Eric Forstmann, President
A lifelong artist, Eric studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston under the tutelage of Barnett Rubenstein and Henry Schwartz. In addition to his many solo exhibitions, he has had five one-man shows at the The Butler Institute of American Art; The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art; The Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science; and the Mattatuck Museum of Waterbury, Connecticut. Eric was featured at the Norman Rockwell Museum in the exhibition Rockwell and Realism in an Abstract World, and in Naples Collects at the Naples Museum of Art. His work has been featured in Architectural Digest, American Art Collector, among many other publications. Eric Forstmann’s work is proudly held in many public and private collections. The artist lives in Sharon, CT and works in Torrington, CT.
Sally Van Doren, Vice President
A poet and artist, Sally is the author of four collections of poetry, Sibilant (forthcoming in 2023 from LSU Press) Promise, Possessive and Sex at Noon Taxes which received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her poetry has appeared widely in publications such as The New Republic, Poetry Ireland Review and Poetry London, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and featured by The Writer’s Almanac on NPR, The Poetry Foundation and American Life in Poetry. Since 2006, she has added one line a day to her ongoing poem, “The Sense Series” which she performed as a multi-media installation at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.
After receiving a BA in comparative literature from Princeton in 1984, Sally began her professional life in Santa Fe, NM where she served as a radio news director, press secretary to the mayor and Director of the Santa Fe Arts Commission. Returning to her native St. Louis, she earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, taught in the St. Louis Public Schools and the Washington University Summer Writers Institute and was a curator for the St. Louis Poetry Center. In recent years, she has taught poetry at the 92nd Street Y, studied studio art at the School of Visual Arts and Hunter College in New York and begun regularly exhibiting her art. She maintains her studio in West Cornwall CT.
Sally first came to Torrington in 1980 when she visited her future husband’s family in the nearby town of Cornwall. In 2008, she enjoyed giving a poetry reading at the former UConn-Torrington campus for the Litchfield County Writers Project and is delighted to see how it is transforming into the new Five Points Arts Center.
Joe Gitterman, Secretary
Joe is an American sculptor. Born in New York, Joe attended the Dalton School and Westminster School, University of Virginia and Columbia University. He continued his studies at the New School, The Art Students League and the Pratt Institute. Joe’s 30-year career on Wall Street included private banking internships in London, Cologne and Paris and brokerage training in Brussels and New York. Joe started sculpting as a hobby in 1969 yet it wasn’t until he retired from Wall Street that he dedicated himself to the full-time pursuit of making art.
Since his first exhibition at a local Connecticut gallery in 2011, Joe’s career has catapulted. He has received commissions from Robert Couturier, Norwegian Cruise Lines, The Riverside Building in London, the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston, and the Robert A.M. Stern-designed Arris building in Washington, D.C., among others. Joe’s sculptures are in numerous private and corporate collections in the United States, Europe and Australia.
Christopher E. Wilson, Treasurer Senior Partner, Stonehill Capital Management, LLC
Chris is a senior partner at Stonehill Capital Management, an investment firm specializing in distressed situations. As a senior partner of the firm for over 25 years, Chris helped build the company from a two-person firm with less than $100 million of capital to its current state managing approximately $3 billion, with approximately 20 employees. Stonehill has an impressive long-term performance record, in the great majority of years a top performer among peers. Chris is also the founder and trustee of the Wilson Sheehan Foundation, which is dedicated to increasing opportunity for underserved communities. Chris began his career in GE Capital’s Corporate Finance Group, and then spent five years at a private equity firm before joining Stonehill. Chris serves on the board of several private companies within the Stonehill portfolio, several philanthropic organizations, and has in the past served on the board of WCI Communities, a NYSE publicly traded company. Chris graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1985 with a B.A. in Government, and a broad course-load in business.
Judith McElhone Founder & Executive Director, Five Points
Under Judy’s leadership, FPG has grown from a small temporary storefront gallery to an arts organization that includes 3 beautifully renovated exhibition gallery spaces, a community pop-up gallery (The Annex), the Five Points Hartford Art School / University of Hartford Launchpad, and as of June 2020, the acquisition of the former UConn Torrington campus that will be converted into a world-class art center. An exhibiting professional artist and a Connecticut Visual Arts Fellow recipient, McElhone holds and AS, BF and MFA, taught at the University of Hartford and was an adjunct instructor of art at Northwestern Connecticut Community College for over 20 years. She was honored as NCCC Alumna in 2003, received the University of Hartford Alumni Association’s 2014 Anchor Award, and in 2019 was selected as an Arts Hero by the Connecticut Office of the Arts. She has also been named one of the 50 Most Influential People in Litchfield County by Litchfield Magazine.
Mark Cavagnero Principal, Mark Cavagnero Associates, Architects
Mark has over three decades of expertise in the planning and design of community based projects. His design-centered practice serves clients locally and internationally, generating a body of numerous award-winning, public serving projects. His work is visible in a broad range of renovation and new construction work for various building types from educational, museum, civic buildings, theaters, commercial, and residential buildings. Mark’s work has been recognized with over 100 design awards for more than 30 completed projects. Mark was personally honored with the 2015 lifetime achievement Maybeck Award and the 2010 Distinguished Practice Award from the AIA California Council. Under Mark’s leadership the firm ranked #8 in Architect magazine’s ranking of the top architecture firms in the country for design in 2014. The firm also received the 2012 Firm of the Year Award from the AIA California Council.
Lisa Coleman, Managing Director, in the Global Fixed Income, Currency & Commodities Group
Lisa Coleman is the head of the Global Investment Grade Corporate Credit team in the Global Fixed Income, Currency & Commodities (GFICC) Group. Prior to joining the firm in 2008, Lisa was at Schroders Investment Management for eight years, serving as the head of Global Credit Strategies and the head of European Fixed Income. Previously, she was at Allmerica Financial for six years, managing core and corporate bond portfolios. Before this, Lisa was Deputy Manager of Global Fixed Income at Brown Brothers Harriman for five years, managing corporate bond, asset-backed security, mortgage-backed security and government bond portfolios. Prior Brown Brothers Harriman, Lisa worked at Merrill Lynch in foreign exchange sales and at Travelers Insurance Company as an analyst and portfolio manager. Lisa began her career at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, holding roles in the foreign exchange and foreign relations departments. Lisa holds a B.A. in economics from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut and a M.I.A. in international banking and finance from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University, New York. She is a member of the SIPA Advisory Board. In addition, she is a CFA charter holder and holds the Investment Management Certificate from the UK Society of Investment Professionals.
Mark Malaspina Partner, Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey’s Business Services Group
Mark Malaspina, a partner in Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey’s Business Services Group, has performed a wide variety of legal services for clients in business, industry and government. Mark is a Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA), one of eight Connecticut lawyers with a CLSA Fellowship. CLSA Fellowships are offered by invitation only, and are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in construction law and closely related specialties, as well as superior ethical reputation.
In addition to construction matters, recent representative experience includes corporate and commercial matters, mergers and acquisitions, commercial real estate acquisitions, commercial real estate development and finance, municipal development projects, electric power generation projects including green energy, electric transmission projects, wastewater treatment projects, water system projects and brownfield redevelopment projects.
Mark has provided legal services to numerous state and local governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, as well as legal services to a large U.S. utility for over 35 years.
Mark earned his BA from Fairfield University and JD from Yale Law School.
Ricardo Reyes, Director of Galleries and Curator of Collections at Lafayette College, Easton, PA
Rico, also oversees the activities of the Williams Center Gallery, Grossman Gallery, Kirby Art Study Center, and Art on Campus.
Dr. Reyes (Rico) is an artist, curator, and cultural theorist whose 30-year experience has focused on expanding the conversation around art-making and exhibitions to be more inclusive and equitable.
His art employs the idioms of performance, video, and installation while addressing issues of ethnicity, sexuality, and global politics. His curating is focused on elevating the voices of BIPOC and Queer artists; contemporary art from diasporic Filipino communities; photography and cultural regeneration; and has curated exhibitions at the Orange County Museum of Art, UCLA Fowler Museum; and SF MoMA Artist Gallery.
Rico received his BA in Sculpture from the University of California at Berkeley and his MFA in New Genres from UCLA, his Executive MBA from Quantic School of Business and Technology, and his Ph.D. from the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Anna McKeithen Webersen
Anna has been practicing art since receiving a BFA from the University of Georgia in 1985. Following nearly two decades of professional life as a graphic designer, sales executive, and decorative painter, she transitioned to her own creative pursuits. Her paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in numerous juried and group shows, including at the Five Points Gallery and the Annex. Currently Anna is working on a varied series of abstract mixed media paintings. When not in the studio, Anna devotes her time to her family and supporting education and the arts in and around her West Hartford community. Her associations include the West Hartford Public Schools, Hartford Art School Endowment Board, Hartford Golf Club, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Asylum Hill Congregational Church, and West Hartford Art League.
Oscar Rene Cornejo | Betsy Ennis | Joe Fig | Rachel Eliza Griffiths | Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe | Michael Shortell | Deborah Seidel | Ann Temkin