ArtConnect Forum

a community gathering for art-enthusiasts, artists & creative minds

ArtConnect Forum will start-up again in spring 2024

Admission donation requested / Free to members


The Hopewell Valley Arts Council invites you to explore and deepen your passion for art at ArtConnect Forum, community gathering for art enthusiasts, artists & creative minds.  Each Forum features fascinating speakers with big imaginations who share their work, inspiration, and creative process, and provide an opportunity to interact with fellow artists and art lovers.

The Forum is held three times per year and is a highlight of the HV Arts Council’s program, ArtConnect: Creating Opportunities for Artists, with free tickets as a benefit of HV Arts Council membership.


HVArts Council Pumpkin Carve

CATHERINE FULMER-HOGAN — Trustee of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, the Hopewell Museum, and Hope Rises Up

“High Notes: Gospel Music as a Catalyst for Social Change”

Fulmer-Hogan, a community and social justice advocate, will speak about the role of gospel music in the church, how spiritual music tells the story of being Black in America, and her adventures living in a large family chock-full of singers, musicians, and artists.


“Member Spotlight”

Hantman is an eclectic and versatile artist formally trained in ceramics and jewelry-making. Hantman will share his passion for collecting “outsider art”, what inspires his work, and his most recent favorite mediums: fused glass and mixed media assemblage.

LINDA MARTIN-MILLS, R.N. — Patient Advocate, Patient Experience Manager for Capital Health, and Quilter

“The Reluctant Quilter”
Never say never! Martin-Mills will speak about how she reluctantly came to be a fiber artist, how she has incorporated art into her professional life, and how her passion for art helped her weather the pandemic.

SARAH BERNOTAS — Artist, Teacher, and Art Therapist

“Finding Your Center in the Circle”

Art is a voice we all possess that can be used to express ourselves. Centering the self, practicing mindfulness, and promoting wellness through the visual image all come together in the art of creating mandala. From blank paper to reflection, the process of creating a mandala allows us to express ourselves in a safe and focused art form using multiple media. Bernotas will share images of mandala, her own process of creating mandala, and the benefits of the art form in the personal pursuit of mindfulness.


Born and raised in Poland, Ms. May’kowska survived extended periods of personal trauma and homelessness.  Having overcome these difficulties, May’kowska now volunteers with local and online groups, and ministries, inspiring others to live wholeheartedly. She uses her work as a platform to bring awareness to psychological abuse and provide victims with a visual art form to express their struggles and hopes for healing.

DIANE GRILLO — Vice President, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton

“Alternative Medicine & Healing: What’s the Scientific Research?”
Holistically supporting the mind, body, and soul connection was, until recently, viewed as pseudoscience. But today, programs that heal the whole person by addressing the range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental influences affecting each patient’s health, have started to take their place alongside traditional treatments and medications. Grillo will be joined by Patricia McDougall, RN and integrative therapy nurse to share some of the hospital’s leading- edge research and experiences to maximize the potential for self-healing by its cancer patients.

PATRICIA MCDOUGALL, RN, BSN, CRS — Integrative Therapies Nurse at RWJ / Barnabas Health, Hamilton

In addition to over thirty years of nursing practice, she brings years of experience in varied holistic and complementary practices, such as Reiki Master/Teacher, Certified Body-Centered Psychotherapy, RN Health Coaching, Energy Medicine, and is a Mindfulness Meditation Instructor. McDougall believes in the powerful healing ability of the human spirit.

JANE ZAMOST — Artist and Healing Art Instructor

“Art Nourishes the Soul”
In childhood, we see crayons, paints, and ephemera before us. With little encouragement, we immerse ourselves in the creative process. At some point it comes to a screeching stop. But why? Zamost will speak about the significance of creative play in leading a productive and happy life. She will share anecdotes about her involvement with the healing arts and how to reintroduce the creative flow back into your life.

Kirsten M Jensen, Ph.D. – Former Gerry & Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator at Michener Art Museum, presenting “Magical & Real: Henriette Wyeth and Peter Hurd, A Retrospective”

Jensen presented a talk about the Michener Art Museum’s exhibit Magical & Real: Henriette Wyeth and Peter Hurd, A Retrospective. The exhibit featured notable artwork of Henriette Wyeth, daughter of N.C. Andrew Wyeth. Dr. Jensen discussed Henriette Wyeth’s early training and career, her relationship with her father and his student Peter Hurd.

Jensen is the former Gerry & Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator at Michener Art Museum.

Mike ElleryCreative Designer, Chief Creative Officer at Sparks in Philadelphia, PA presenting “The Art of Experience”

Ellery has spent the past two decades developing and creating innovative artwork in event design and marketing. Leading a team of over 60 creative designers, Ellery specializes in eye-catching trade show exhibits creating engaging, purposeful, and themed environments for his clients. He discussed the way art and design are used to engage customers and drive business at live events.

Joy Kreves Mixed Media Earth Artist, presenting “Preserving Reality: Technical and Ethical Challenges When Working with Natural Materials”

Kreves is a miseducating media artist whose innovative works incorporate bees that she has gilded, moss she has preserved and dyed, as well as grasses, tree bark, and other natural materials. Kreves has been influenced by Dr. Glenn Albrecht’s “New Language of the Earth” vocabulary and by Sister Miriam MacGillis’ focus on connections between the health of the earth and of human communities.

Charles Miller – Art Photographer, presenting “Photography IS an Art”
After a career in the theater design and administration, Miller returned to his artistic side by focusing on art photography, while curating and exhibiting in many galleries around New Jersey. “Because I come to my photography from a theater design background, I know that I do not know or follow all of the classic ‘rules’ of photography. But maybe that is part of what makes my work different. I look for beauty within the images that may not be readily seen…..” Miller works in many styles from classic flower photographs to highly manipulated abstracts, digital art, and pop art images, on a variety of mediums including prints, canvas, metal, acrylic and fabric. Miller has a line of stylish clothing and accessories using his images. Miller has a BA and MS in speech and theater from Kansas State College of Pittsburgh and post-graduate work in educational theater at New York University.

Mira DeMartino Sculptor, presenting “Empowerment Through Art-firmations”

DeMartino has a highly personal style using an aluminum sculpting technique she developed and is in the process of trademarking, called AlumixArt Mixed Media. She explores the area of modern spirituality and challenges her viewers to connect with their own potential and self-empowerment through art. DeMartino has a Masters in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, Poland and an MBA from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. Working mostly on commissions, her artwork can be found in private collections in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Singapore and the United States.

Lynn DeClemente LosavioCollections Manager at The Seward Johnson Atelier, presenting highlights of exhibit at GFS

DeClemente Losavio presented highlights of “What’s Worth Celebrating: The Life and Work of the Johnson Family” which focuses on the family’s passions, belief in the spirit of innovation and the power of community, as well as Seward Johnson’s influence on the art world. DeClemente Losavio also discussed the education and sculpting services the Johnson Atelier offers to local artists and skilled crafts persons including modeling, enlarging, casting, fabrication, paint and patina, production and conservation services — all with an emphasis on promoting public art. 

DeClemente Losavio is the Collection Manager of The Seward Johnson Atelier.  With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The College of New Jersey and a Master of Fine Arts in Textiles from California College of the Arts, DeClemente Losavio serves as a member of Capital Health’s Art and Healing Program and the 28th International Sculpture Center Conference: Defining Moments in the Face of Change to be held in Philadelphia in October 2018. DeClemente Losavio and her family are residents of Hopewell, NJ.

Gyuri Hollósy Sculptor, presenting “Animal Architects”

Hollósy talked about a latest inspiration – “animal architects” – and how he employs a unique formula of resin and sawdust form the shape and patterns of rotted wood and bark in his creations. Hollósy also shared his unique experiences consulting with the local government of Xinjiang Province in China on the creation of a new sculpture park and his most recent ‘silk road’ commission for the China National Academy of Painting in Beijing. Hollósy is the author of “Voices in An Artist’s Head” which was released in 2017.

In addition to his many commissions and exhibition awards, Hollósy has received professional grants, including the Helen and George Segal Foundation, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation and the Herk van Tongerin Sculpture Award from the Atlantic Foundation.  Hollósy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio University and a Masters of Fine Arts from Tulane University.  Hollósy taught at Tulane, Washington University, Bethany College and at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture.  Hollósy and his family are residents of Titusville, NJ.