Board of Directors
Ruth Rieffanaugh, UVA President and founding member, resides in Allston and maintains her art studio in Allston as well. She received a Masters in Art Education from Lesley University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston. She is also licensed In Massachusetts as a Teacher of the Visual Arts. Ruth is currently a Digital Teacher at TechBoston Academy in Dorchester, MA. She was previously the Director of the Dorchester Alternative Youth Academy and taught drawing at the Boston Architectural College. Ruth has exhibited in numerous local and regional galleries, including the Lesley University Gallery, the Copley Society Gallery, Boston City Hall’s Scully Gallery, the Brighton-Allston Heritage Museum and the Cambridge Art Association Galleries. She is also a member of the Cambridge Art Association and a founding member, a member of the Board of Directors and current President of Unbound Visual Arts, Inc. Her public art experience includes creating designs for several utility boxes in Boston. She has participated in UVA's Healthful at the Honan-Allston Library Art Gallery in 2015 and The Context of Community at the Athan's Café Art Gallery in Brookline and the Harvard Ed Portal in Allston both in 2015. She has also participated in UVA's Olympic SPIRIT at the Scollay Square Gallery in Boston City Hall in 2015.
Heidi Lee, UVA Vice-President, resides in Jamaica Plain. She is the Artist in Residence for the Common Art Program, where she guides and instructs the participants. She also coordinates many exhibits for the Program throughout the Boston area, including Common Art’s involvement in City HeART, a citywide art fair and sale for homeless and low-income artists. She also teaches at Boston Trinity Academy, a middle to high school for urban teens. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Painting from Gordon College and a Master of Education with a concentration in Visual Arts from Lesley University. Her art studio is in Watertown and she creates a wide variety of artworks and plans exhibits for Common Art artists. She will be installing a sculpture in Charlton, MA which she designed and built with artist Katie Schultz for the Midstate Trail Art Project in September, 2013.
Susan Loomis, UVA Treasurer and founding member, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an MBA from the University of Phoenix Greater Boston campus, and a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Lesley University. She currently lives and works in the Boston area, as Assistant to the VP of Administration and Budget Coordinator for Lesley University and is also a PhD candidate in Educational Studies at Lesley. Susan serves on the Board of Trustees of the Cambridge Women’s Center, and the Brighton-Allston Historical Society Board of Directors. Fervor for art and community continues to permeate in all of her service.
Louise Bonar, UVA Clerk and founding member, is a published poet and an experienced management consultant, educator and community activist. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation and the Brighton-Allston Historical Society & Heritage Museum and a former staff person for Brighton Main Streets.
John Quatrale, UVA Executive Director and founding member, holds a master of arts from Boston University’s American and New England Studies Department. He has museum studies post-graduate training through Harvard University's Museum Studies Program. He has planned, designed, curated and developed over 30 fine art and historical exhibitions in local museums and galleries and has served as Museum Director for the WaterWorks Museum in Chestnut Hill, MA. Mr. Quatrale is a member of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the New England Museum Association (NEMA), the National Association of Museum Exhibitionists (NAME) and the AAM’s Curator’s Committee. In recent years, John organized and led two workshops at New England Museum Association (NEMA) annual conferences - “Exhibitions: Commemorative or Interpretative” and “Where to Exhibit Art?” . He also led an additional workshop at the American Association of Museum’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia entitled: “Choosing art for History and Science Museums Exhibitions”. John also served on the Boston Landmarks Commission for 7 years and managed several successful historic rehabilitation projects and managed the establishment of the Brighton-Allston Heritage Museum. He was also an Assistant Director for Budget and Compliance for the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development and received an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. Most recently, he was a Guest Juror for the"8 Visions" exhibition at the Attleboro Arts Museum, a co-chair of the Allston-Brighton Boston Creates Team and an ArtWeek Boston Community Advisor.
Christine Winship, a UVA Board member and founding member, is co-chair of the Allston Arts District Open Studios Steering Committee and resides in Allston. She studied art at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC and received her BFA in Illustration from the Art Institute of Boston. Christine frequently donates gift certificates for custom paintings to animal shelters and rescue organizations in order to raise funds for those worthy causes. She has shown her work throughout New England in both solo and group shows. Most recently, she exhibited her work in solo exhibits at the Faneuil Library Art Gallery and the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls, MA. She was part of the group exhibits at the Riverside Gallery in Cambridge and at Boston City Hall. She is also an active member of New England Arts for Animals. She has been included in UVA's Song Cycles at the Honan-Allston Library Art Gallery and Olympic SPIRIT at Boston City Hall's Scollay Square Gallery. Her solo exhibitions organized by UVA were at the Faneuil Library Art Gallery (The Pedigree Artist) and the Athan's Café Art Gallery in Brighton (Inseparable Companians).
Council of Advisors
Brenda Gael McSweeney, a member of the UVA Council of Advisors and founding member, is Visiting Faculty at Boston University’s Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program where she teaches Gender & International Development, and is Resident Scholar at the Women's Studies Research Center (WSRC, where Research, Art & Activism Converge) at Brandeis University, both in Massachusetts, USA. She served with the United Nations for 30 years in executive positions including in West Africa and the Caribbean; in Europe heading the UN Volunteers programme; then in India as the Representative of the United Nations System and the UN Development Programme. The Government of India with the UN System designated gender equality as the UN area focus. Brenda holds her Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She was the recipient of a Fulbright in Paris and awards from the Governments of Germany, Jamaica and Burkina Faso, as well as two honorary doctorates. Her research and photography focus on female education and empowerment in Burkina Faso, and a gender perspective on livelihoods in West Bengal, India (see related papers and photographs at The Global Network of UNESCO Chairs on Gender and atbrendamcsweeney.com. She initiated theUNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture & Development (unitwin.blogspot.com) and Burkina Faso: Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment(equalityburkina.blogspot.com).
Karen Smigliani, is a member of the UVA Council of Advisors and founding member. She has curated several group and solo exhibits with UVA. Karen has worked in Graphic Design and Advertising with recent experience as an Account Executive. She holds a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is an experienced business and sales manager for major corporations, including Bloomingdales, Office Depot and Staples.
Francis Gardino, of Brighton and a member of Unbound member of Unbound Visual Arts, received his Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He is a member of the Allston Arts District, the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University and the Marblehead Art Association. He has participated in many solo and group exhibitions throughout Massachusetts.
Tsun Ming Chmielinski discovered her love for traditional Chinese painting while living as a child in Hong Kong. She resides in Jamaica Plain. There she was identified as an exceptional student by the late master L.S. Shaw, a professor in the Department of Fine Arts and the Chinese University of Hong Kong and one of Hong Kong’s master painters. After spending much of her childhood training in Chinese ink painting, she came to the United States in 1975 for the purpose of academic study, achieving a BA in finance, an MBA and a Masters in Communication. Tsun Ming spent the next decade pursuing a finance career, until her passion for artistic expression gradually became again the central focus of her activities. Since arriving in the United States, Tsun Ming’s artwork has been greatly influenced by Western media and technique. The great diversity of style, medium and subject matter in her paintings today is evidence of Tsun Ming’s rich artistic and worldly experience. She has continued to study art under the guide of several teachers in the Boston area and in such major institutions as Mass. College of Art, the Museum School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Wellesley College and the DeCordova Museum School. In addition to her constant learning, Tsun Ming also taught workshops at The Art Center in Chelmsford, Mass., teaches workshops at the Dedham Art Association, as well as private students in her studio. Her art has been shown in various juried shows throughout the New England area. She has won awards including the first prize of the pastel and drawing category in the Duxbury Art Association Winter Juried Show 2002/2003; and the third prize in 2003/4. She is a member of the UVA Council of Advisors. She participated in UVA's EPIC at the Harvard Ed Portal in 2014 and in The Context of Community at both the Athan's Cafe Art Gallery in Brookline and the Harvard Ed Portal in 2015.
Ira Iliana Papadopoulou has been working for the culture and education industry for over 12 years and has an extensive experience in planning and curating cultural programs and events. She studied Sociology, Communications and Arts Management in London, UK and then moved back to her native Athens, Greece to work in major cultural and educational institutions as cultural manager and communications specialist. From 2010 to 2012 she was an International Fellow at the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Marcie Laden currently serves as the Director of Development at Project Place in Boston. She served on its Board of Directors prior to joining its staff in 2005. She is the former Executive Director of Community Living Network, Inc. in Newton, MA a non-profit providing housing and housing support services for seniors. Ms. Laden has worked for over 25 years with non-profits: particularly in organizational and affordable housing development, serving in a number of senior level capacities, as Executive Director and Director of Development. She has provided technical consulting services to many non-profits, including conducting trainings, workshops and grant reviews. She holds an undergraduate degree from Union College and attended Tufts University’s graduate program in Urban and Environmental Policy. Ms. Laden has volunteered with or served on the board of numerous organizations including Friends of Boston Latin Academy, Unbound Visual Artists, Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly, and Temple Hillel B’nai Torah in Boston.
Andrea Newman, of Newton, received Bachelor’s degrees from from Westfield State University and the from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is currently the Development & Special Events Coordinator at the West Suburban YMCA in Newton. She has participated in artist open studio events in Newton and Allston.
Jeanne Lin, of Jamaica Plain, became involved with Unbound Visual Arts through a partnership in planning and managing local art events in Allston-Brighton as a Steering Committee Member with Common Boston. She strongly believes that local artists can foster economic growth, cultivate public interest in visual arts and inspire creative expression in others. As a public health professional and advocate of the arts, she has worked with local municipalities and community partners throughout greater Boston in supporting sustainable programs and neighborhood developments to enhance the quality of life for residents. Jeanne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University and a Masters in Public Health from New York University.
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A 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable and educational corporation.
Organizational Memberships - Mass Creative, Inc., New England Museum Association, and Americans for the Arts
Listed in the New England Foundation for the Arts' Creative Ground Directory