ArtYard is a contemporary art center founded by a group of artists, filmmakers, curators, and writers. Located in Frenchtown, NJ, we are about an hour’s drive from NYC and Philadelphia. Construction of a theater and renovation of our buildings will be our primary focus in the coming year. Interim film, performance and art adventures will take place in a designated space until construction is complete. Here are more details about our campus. Here is the story about how ArtYard was born.
Jill Kearney is a writer, visual artist, and a former journalist and film executive. She is the daughter of artists who founded The Contemporary Art Workshop, an art center housed in a rambling former dairy factory in Chicago, Illinois. As a child, she spent many formative summers in Provincetown, Mass, where local arts institutions anchored a diverse community of artists, writers, and fisherman. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in English and Creative Writing, worked in Hollywood as a creative executive at Francis Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios, served as west coast editor of American Film and Premiere Magazine, and later ran the Tribeca Film Center-based offices of Los Angeles film producer Art Linson. She married Stephen McDonnell, founder of Applegate Farms Organic and Natural Meats, moved to Bucks County PA, worked briefly on the sausage line wearing a white cap, raised three strong and capable daughters, and sat on the board of Applegate Farms. Before launching ArtYard she produced theater, dance, and literary events in a cavernous unheated barn in Bucks County PA, where she developed a deep appreciation for the practice of art as a collaborative enterprise.
Artistic Director – Curator
Elsa Mora is an artist and curator. A recipient of the UNESCO-Ashberg Bursaries for Artists, she was born and raised in Cuba and moved to Los Angeles, CA, in 2001, where she lived until 2014. Mora currently resides in New York with her husband William Horberg and their two children. Elsa’s art has been exhibited worldwide in art galleries and museums. She taught at the Vocational School of Arts in Camaguey, Cuba, and has been a visiting artist at the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco State University, The Art Institute of Boston, the MoMA Design Store, and the National Gallery of Art, among other places. Her work is in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, and the Long Beach Museum of Art in CA. Mora has collaborated as an illustrator with organizations such as the Museum of Modern Art, Chronicle Books, The New York Review of Books, Penguin Random House, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and teNeues, among others. She is passionate about forming and strengthening communities through the transformational power of art, creativity, and collaboration.
Director of Strategy,
Partnerships, and Operations
With more than 20 years of experience, Kandy has held numerous executive leadership roles in the health, philanthropy, and social justice arenas, including twelve years as president & CEO of the National AIDS Fund/AIDS United. After founding 360 Strategy Group, she served as lead strategy advisor to Johnson & Johnson’s Worldwide Corporate Contributions Team, facilitated cutting-edge non-profit mergers, and provided strategy and organizational development services to scores of non-profit, corporate, and foundation clients. Since 2015 she has spearheaded strategic partnership and development efforts at the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation’s ReThink Health project. She is a graduate of the Health Care Executive Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, holds a master’s degree in community psychology (MCP) from Pennsylvania State University, and a BA in Family Studies and Gerontology from Messiah College. Kandy lives in Frenchtown and is deeply committed to the community and the cultural life of the town.
Lucinda Warchol is an artist, writer and curator. She grew up in Manhattan and Bucks County. After graduating from Pratt Institute in 2015 where she earned a degree in Critical and Visual Studies, an interdisciplinary program grounded in contemporary critical theory, Lucinda worked in the context of both the primary and secondary art markets in New York City. She recently worked as the creative director to Spoonbill Studio, a project space founded by the unconventional art bookstore, Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers in Brooklyn. Lucinda’s own writing and work investigates collective memory, reinventing the archive and citizenship in times of displacement.
Chris Langhart is among the early innovators in lighting, rigging, staging, and sound, that helped shape rock & roll production. Chris was the technical mind that made significant production contributions to the Fillmore East, the Rainbow in London, Woodstock, the Wings tour of Europe with Paul McCartney, Jefferson Airplane, and any other show or event with which he was involved. Langhart created much of the production values that are the touring music business today. Teaching and mentoring others, Chris’ classes at New York University (NYU) theatre program in the late 1960s gave rise to students and future entrepreneurs such as Richard Hartman, Bob See, John Tedesco, John Chester, Bob Goddard, and Michael Ahern.
FilmYard Coordinator & Gallery Assistant
Annie Parham is a young artist currently located in Lambertville, New Jersey. She graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Green Mountain College. After graduating she spent two years secluded in her studio in Dorset, Vermont. The resulting pieces have been on view in galleries and art centers in New England and Virginia to Philadelphia. She works with various mediums including water-colors, photography, as well as acrylic paint. Parham’s works play with themes of imagination, identity, form, and intentionality.
Founding Board Member
Founder and former CEO of Applegate Farms Organic and Natural Meats. Stephen’s experience as a leader as well as his wisdom and consistent support, have been crucial for ArtYard. He is the finest mentor that we could ask for.