Meet the Artists
305 Knowlton is home to various artist studios and small businesses. Ranging from painters to writers to photographers and more, the building is filled with creatives minds and entrepreneurs.
Emerging Voices Production Company
Ina is the owner of Emerging Voices Production Company, now in its first full season of production! A new venture which seeks to bring cultural relevant content to the Fairfield County Theater Community. With a love for seeing stories come to life on stage, she started in the industry as an actress and is now a writer and director. Ina’s work as a performer and writer/director has been seen in Bridgeport, CT, Brooklyn, NY and in Aiken, SC by thousands from around the area and many states.
As the former Director of MAAFA Influence Productions presents, Ina has written and directed performances such as So What, Now What (2008), Can These Bones Live (2010), I Am A Man (2011), Healing the Land (2011 & 2012), Sankofa; Looking Back Moving Forward (2013), The Journey of Shoes (2014), Shaking the Tree (2015), and For Every Mountain (2016).
In September, 2017, Emerging Voices Production Company made it’s opening debut at the Klein Memorial in Bridgeport, CT with it’s opening Musical Political Satire Show, TRUMPEDNOTIZED, and there is no stopping her or the company now. For more information visit her website below:
Catalyst Massage & Coaching LLC
Life Coach | Energy Work | Massage Therapist
Rev. Gabriela Cascante is a Clinical Massage Therapist, an Intuitive Life Coach and practices Energy Medicine. She is the owner of Catalyst Massage & Coaching LLC.
She became a massage therapist in 2003, specializing in working with clients who have chronic pain, joint replacements, sports injuries, muscular traumas and biomechanical dysfunction. Gaby became a Life Coach in 2010. Life Coaching, coupled with her intuitive ability, allows Gaby to help guide people out of emotional pain, stress and helping them heal while finding happiness and success.
She has also been practicing Energy Medicine along with massage and Intuitive Coaching since 2011. Gaby decided to blend her healing arts because she wanted to help people in pain. Whether that was physical pain or emotional pain, Gaby was called to it. Helping to change the lives of others in ways that allow them to find fulfillment, passion and happiness in everything they do is Gaby’s goal. No one should go through life feeling lost or unhappy. Everyone has their own path but we aren’t always on it. And no where does it say we have to do it alone.
Shaina & Arturo Diaz
Shaina Lee Photography
Shaina and Arturo are a husband and wife photography and cinema team. Together they specialize in weddings and engagements, serving fun and authentic couples who are truly, madly deeply in love. Having been through the wedding planning process, they love being able to help their couples by providing them with plenty of wedding planning tips and advice.
Shaina also focuses on boudoir photography, while Arturo enjoys working to create marketing and promotional videos for many different types of small businesses.
Follow Shaina & Arturo
Facebook: Shaina Lee Photography
Instagram (Shaina): @shainaleephoto
Instagram (Arturo): @arturodiaz.slp
Pinterest: Shaina Lee Photography
Fine Art Landscape Painter
A Brooklyn native, Herm was one of the first tenants to have a studio at 305 Knowlton here in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He earned a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Indiana University. The artist draws his landscape inspiration from the motifs of Soutine, Cezanne and Picasso. He exhibits paintings primarily in the New York City and Northeast areas. Herm was awarded ‘Best in Show’ at the prestigious Silvermine 51st Art of the Northeast USA Annual Exhibition, and recently had a retrospective show of 47 landscape paintings from the previous 20 years in Westport.
In addition to his emotionally charged landscape painting, Herm Freeman has pursued his musical muse throughout the years, and still performs locally and in New York City. He taught art in Connecticut schools for 40 years, and is now painting full time.
Mixed Media Fine Artist
Jonathan-Joseph is a mixed media fine artist working primarily in oils. An abstract expressionist in the traditions of Cy Twombly, Clyfford Still, Gerhardt Richter and Rauschenberg, Jonathan explores narratives rooted in notions of transformation and the complexity of human experience and our relationship to trauma.
Speaking of his work he says, “Too often abstract expressionist work falls short of its lofty aims. I work to imbue my canvases and objects d’art with the meditative energies that go or went into processing the worst of my experiences or those of individuals I have interviewed for various collections. As a disabled artist with Cerebral Palsy living with HIV, my motifs invite the viewer to confront their own feelings of discomfort, darkness, confusion and beyond. My goal is to translate the complexity of the human experience into a palimpsest exploration of texture, color, form and frenzy. I work to evoke a visceral reaction be it meditative, confusing, starkly troubling, or a tense calm.”
Jonathan is also the cofounder of LA based boutique consulting firm Savage Venture and is the Director of Development for LA based anti-human trafficking organization Rock Against Trafficking. He serves on the board of The New Haven Pride Center, the advisory board for The HIV League, and serves as an ambassador for NYC based anti-human trafficking organization Beauty For Freedom. He resides in both Connecticut and Los Angeles, and loves dogs, hiking, opera, single-malt scotch and bodysurfing.
Laura James Studio
Mixed Media Artist, Designer, & Poet
Laura James is a mixed media artist, designer, and poet from Fairfield County, Connecticut. As a mixed media artist, Laura works with an array of mediums from alcohol ink and resin, to pen on paper. Growing up, she was a member of a world winning Odyssey of the Mind team for 9 years, where she was challenged intellectually and creatively. Innovation and conceptualization have always come naturally to her, which she employs as a part of her successful formula for achievement.
She holds a bachelor's degree from The Fashion Institute of Technology in Accessories Design, as well as a minor in Art History. As the first ever recipient of the Jenny Brill Handbag Scholarship, she has been able to specialize in the development and production of women's best-selling contemporary handbags for stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Urban Outfitters. After designing for six years in New York City, Laura broke away from the industry to start Laura James Studio, a fine art and fashion company. With her background and knowledge of the fashion industry, she is currently working on incorporating her artwork into an apparel and accessories line.
Photographer, painter, and comedian
Nicole Cantore Koester
With a BFA in Communication Design from Syracuse University, Nicole specializes in painting, design, mixed media and more. She also holds a teaching certification for art in grades K-12.
Stanley Leon Photography
Event & Portrait Photographer
Stanley Leon was born in Queens, New York but was raised in Stamford, Connecticut. Despite growing up in Stamford, he has always found himself in New York City. No matter where Stanley is or where he is working you will always feel his sense of creativity. Stanley has added his ability to visually story-tell in everything that he does. He is an alumni of the New York Film Academy for photography and is currently studying digital marketing at Sacred Heart University. Stanley is passionate about telling stories through his lenses. For this reason, he has become an event, portrait, and lifestyle photographer based in the Tri-State area. Stanley Leon is a photographer, videographer, visual story-teller, and a blogger. He understands that talent is not enough and in order achieve a certain level of greatness he must out work everyone. Behind every great man/photographer is a wonder woman. Stanley has a privilege that not many people have, which is the ability to work closely with his girlfriend, Rebecca Lesperance. Rebecca has been the backbone of Stanley and his pursuit in photography. Rebecca not only inspires Stanley but she handles majority of the videography and brings her innovative mindset to every shoot. Together they are able to create magic.
Ivan Lopez & Luis Cuevas
Hair Stylist & Graphic Designer
Made by Madeline
Cynthia Lucero Artists & Ceramics
Mixed Media Artist
Cynthia grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut and is a graduate of UCONN with majors in Communications and Graphic Arts. She freelanced as a graphic designer for several years. In 1999, Cynthia joined Business Journals, Inc. in Norwalk. She worked there for 16 years as an Art Director for MR (Men’s Retail) Magazine and Accessories Magazine. Cynthia gained expertise in the publishing world but always wanted to share that experience with the community. In 2015, she opened Kre8art Studio in Monroe, Connecticut. The studio was a paint-your-own-pottery and art studio. Besides pottery, Cynthia also offered classes in glass fusing, canvas painting, and clay/pottery wheel. In 2018, the studio closed but artist fire still burned on. Cynthia is now focusing on her own personal artwork. She is still doing workshops and classes on a mobile basis as Kre8art Studio. She hopes to start pottery wheel classes in the summer of 2019 in her personal home studio. Now part of the Artists of 305 Knowlton community, Cynthia is very excited to have a place to continue working on her art and sharing it with others.
Fine Art Sculptor
Illustrator & Painter
Ricky is a Puerto Rican artist born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. At the University of Bridgeport, Ricky majored in Illustration and also took courses in Theatre and Photography. It was during this time that his work-study job put him in Bassick High School where he worked as a tutor and mentor for students who were interested in pursuing college education.
Ricky has also participated and curated different shows for several galleries in the Bridgeport area. He started with a show called "heavy-heARTed" which featured several artist friends who created pieces which were inspired by human emotions. Next came the idea to have a gay themed art show called "SameSex" and he introduced the idea to the City Lights Gallery also in Bridgeport. The result was one of the most well attended openings the gallery had ever seen and a number of art works sold. With the success of "SameSex" it was evident that it would become an annual event during gay pride month, June. The SameSex show in June 2013 landed a spot in the New York times featuring a color photo of Ricky's painting of a gay boy scout called "A Scout Is Proud". Ricky continues to produce his artwork, photography and video work and has begun combining different elements for live art performance pieces for various fund raising shows across the state.
Rich Patton IV
Contemporary Abstract Artist
Richard T. Patton IV is a contemporary fine artist and graphic designer. His artistic process began at an early age. As a child, he showed an interest and talent in drawing, that later grew into a career and life as an artist. In 2010, Richard obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Western Connecticut State University, School of Visual and Performing Arts In Danbury, Connecticut. "After graduation, life led me to painting. My work is spiritual to the point that the act of painting becomes a form of prayer and meditation.” His work expresses emotions, feelings, ideas and beliefs; created through the use of vibrant colors, bold compositions textures, and patterns. Richard has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions throughout Connecticut, including the historical McLevy Hall where he was recently awarded a grant for his work “Ethiope” depicting “Little Liberia” and Bridgeport’s rich history. His art work is owned by private collectors in the United States and around the world. Richard's work is also in public collections such as Yale New Haven Health’s Park Avenue Medical Center. “Painting takes me back to my beginnings as a child where my mind and imagination are completely free and my creativity can run wild. It allows me to express my true emotions and feelings from my subconscious and give my perspective on the world and how I see it. It is a beautiful thing!”
Born in Bowling Green, Ohio, Jill currently lives and works in Bridgeport, CT. She holds an M.F.A. in Painting from Western Connecticut State University, M.A. in Painting and Drawing from Eastern Illinois University, and B.F.A in Painting and B.A. in Spanish from Miami University. Jill actively studies art, archaeology, and art history in Rome, Italy where she is Visiting Professor with Rome Art Program.
Jill's work investigates feminine presence, derived from memory and observation of ancient Egyptian and Roman artifacts. She uses shifts in tonality and light to explore the duality between solidity and air, linking present and past.
Katie Settel Photography
Katie is a portrait, event and concert photographer. Her photography career started as a child with her plastic camera and anyone who would stay still for her. She later took a chance in life, became a professional photographer, and found her calling. "Taking risks is definitely my biggest inspiration. Reaching for the impossible... Now mix that with music and people, and I become one with my camera. I gravitate towards vulnerability and specialize with the camera shy." Katie is also the house photographer at the Fairfield Theater Company's Warehouse and StageOne, as well as the Connecticut Post.
Emerging Voices Production Company
Portrait & Fashion Photographer
Emily Swift is an international portrait and fashion photographer residing in Connecticut. Emily received her bachelor’s degree in photography from Western Connecticut State University. With her background as a fine artist, Emily truly crafts each image with a unique approach. Emily was taught photography through the traditional 35mm method in 2011. She shot, processed, and developed all of her images by hand. The 35mm process is long and slow, forcing the photographer to work hard to accomplish each image. With a fine attention to detail, Emily is able to bring any vision to life.
“What I love about fashion photography is the way it combines all elements of art. You can manipulate the lighting, the wardrobe, and the colors of the image to create something that might remind you of a painting, or a moment from a movie. The creative freedom you have is only limited by how far your imagination is willing to go”
Emily has been a photojournalist for FNL Network covering different fashion weeks across the globe since September 2015. Working in this environment taught Emily how to craft an image under any circumstance as far as lighting and time constraints. Emily accepts any challenge with a go-getter mentality. Outside of the US, Emily has traveled for work to Morocco, Italy, France, and Spain.
Zaibel is the photographer and founder of ZaiPhotography and the Youtube series Creative Twist. She has always had a fascination with the arts, from drawings and paintings to photography and graphic design. As all photographers, Zaibel has a style that really portrays her artistic style and is always looking for new ways to keep her creative juices flowing. Her areas of specialty include portraits and events.
Walsh Public Relations
Walsh Public Relations was founded in 1997 by Greg Walsh as a full-service public relations agency that caters to select clients.
With 30+ years of media experience, Greg Walsh is an accomplished public relations practitioner and account manager. He founded Walsh PR in 1997 with a primary focus on bringing senior level attention to each and every client. Now celebrating more than 20 years in business, Greg has clearly driven Walsh PR to become a leading agency for PR support to consumer product companies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses seeking elevated awareness in corporate branding.
A former journalist, Greg has a unique media savvy expertise that could only be acquired from working in the heart of the field. As a news reporter prior to working in public relations agencies and internal corporate PR positions, Greg has the practical knowledge, media respect, and ambitions to provide the most efficient, effective, and latest approaches while promoting the clients of Walsh PR.
Contributing a rare and creative approach to his operational skills, Greg has successfully represented/represents some of the world’s most renowned licensed properties characters, and brands. These include Ziggy, U-Haul, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Slylock Fox, as well as international toy companies (Wild Republic, Tucker Toys, Tactic Games, Uncle Milton, R&R Games, Fashion Angels, Playroom Entertainment), consumer electronic manufacturers (Timex, Iqua, Honeywell, Hideki, Oregon Scientific), publishers (Strang Communications, HCI, CTC Publishing, Dragonfly Publishing), authors (Tom Wilson, Dr. Don Colbert, Stevanne Auerbach (aka Dr. Toy), Karen Carney); nonprofit organziations (American Kidney Foundation, Larry King Cardiac Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, American Pancreatic Foundation), and marketing service firms (Power Marketing Partners, Ryan Partnership, Catapult Marketing, Heavybag Media). Greg is a significant and valued member of the media community and within the industries in which Walsh PR operates for its clients.
Greg holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Mass Communication from St. Bonaventure University. In 2005, he was named one of the 40 Under 40 Top Business Executives by the Fairfield Country Business Journal. Greg is a member of The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Fairfield and Westport Chambers of Commerce, The Knights of Columbus, and is a YMCA of the USA certified personal trainer in Connecticut, where he resides with his wife and two children.