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 fishermen. 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 art, creativity, and collaboration.
Gallery Director & Curator
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.
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.
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.
Sarah Finn is an independent theatre maker, performer, and writer. Her work has been seen internationally, most recently at the 2019 Prague Fringe Festival, with her play, In the woods where the men work; as well as Ponderosa Tanzland Festival in Stolzenhagen, Germany and various venues in New York including The Tank, The Hudson Guild Theater, Cloud City and Dixon Place. In 2019, she was a resident artist at the Barn Arts Collective as well as The Cannery, both in Southeastern Maine. She has worked and interned at a variety of community art spaces and non-profits both abroad and in the states, including ZOO Venues at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Ponderosa Art Centre and Movement Research. She graduated with her BA in Theatre and Literature from Sarah Lawrence College and completed the two-year conservatory training at Ecole Internationale de Jacques Lecoq. Her created work investigates routine, denial, and hierarchy amidst environmental catastrophe and she is passionate about both making and facilitating artistic work that stems from and breeds community. Sarah is absolutely stoked to join the team at ArtYard and contribute to its mission.
Eric Fiorito is an artist, performer, and proud toolpusher. Born and bred in New Jersey, Eric graduated from Mason Gross School of the Arts in 1995 with a degree concentrating in Sculpture and Performance Art. A fascination with prosthetic special effects makeup and the sculptural nature of lighting, rigging and facilitating camera movement, led him into a 24-year career in the motion picture film and commercial industry. Eric has worked as a Key Grip, Gaffer, Rigging/Dolly Grip, Assistant Camera, and Scenic Designer/Builder on numerous feature films, commercials, documentaries, museum installations, and music videos. Eric has been living and making art in Frenchtown with his wife and two children for over a decade, in this time he’s come to know, love and participate in a community like no other he has ever encountered.
Barbara Rossi’s bio coming soon!
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. Learn more about Stephen here.
Charles Stuckey is a widely published independent scholar who has served as curator in major US museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, helping organize highly acclaimed retrospectives for Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, and others.
Temple Smith Richardson
Tintype portrait by Collier Beam
Temple Smith Richardson is a photo editor, researcher, and curator based in New York. She has been engaged with photography since she borrowed her Mom’s Rolleiflex in the 6th Grade. Along the way, places she has worked at include The Boston Atheneum, Light Gallery, Magnum Photos, Esquire Magazine, Aperture, Magnum Foundation, as well as with assorted photographers and institutions. The journey continues.
Kira Willey is an award-winning songwriter, children’s music performer, yoga and mindfulness expert, and creator of Rockin’ Yoga school programs. She is also the founder of Pop-Up-Choir, a unique experience of community, musical celebration, and charity. Kira has been curating Pop-Up-Choir events for ArtYard since 2018.
William Horberg is a Film Producer and Chair of the Producers Guild of America on the East Coast. In 2016 Horberg founded ArtYard’s FilmYard program, which he curated until 2018. His films include Anthony Minghella’s adaptations of the novels The Talented Mr. Ripley and Cold Mountain, among many others. He also produced the Fallen Angels series for Showtime from 1993-1995. He continues to produce independent and studio films with his own company, Wonderful Films.