Staff & Board

  • Ama Rogan
    Managing Director
    Ama Rogan is the Managing Director of A Studio in the Woods. She is a native New Orleanian who earned a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1988 and had a professional art practice until 2000, working in a variety of media including printmaking, ceramics and mixed media. In 2001 she joined the fledgling Board of Friends of A Studio in the Woods and founded the Program committee that oversaw the development of the Studio’s signature residency program. In 2004 she became Managing Director and recognized the opportunity to focus residencies on pressing environmental themes. She spearheaded the transition of the program to the internationally recognized leader in ecological residencies that it is today. Rogan directs the planning, development and management of A Studio in the Woods and the Lower Coast Field Station at Carmichael Forest.
  • Cammie Hill-Prewitt
    Residency Coordinator
    Before moving to New Orleans to pursue a Masters degree in Art History at Tulane, Residency Coordinator Cammie Hill-Prewitt was the Program Manager of a non-profit organization in San Francisco working with emerging visual artists. Passionate about the arts, she has worked in non-profits for more than fifteen years. She started working at A Studio in the Woods in 2007 and enjoys finding new ways to bring the arts to the Greater New Orleans community and to students of all ages. Part of Cammie's job is to help source the materials, sites and individuals that artists need to create risk-taking new works during their residencies. In addition to facilitating programmatic activities such as Kids in the Woods summer camp and the annual FORESTival fundraiser, she acts as a grantwriter, bookkeeper and database manager for the organization.
  • Grace Rennie
    Marketing and Operations Coordinator
    Grace Rennie has worked at A Studio in the Woods since early 2017. She wears a number of hats as Marketing and Operations Coordinator, managing the facilities and marketing for the residency as well as assisting with events and programming. Rennie is a weaver and arts administrator who has worked with a number of organizations across the New Orleans area since her arrival to the city in 2011, including the UNO - St. Claude Gallery, National Performance Network, Prospect New Orleans and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. She holds a BFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a MA in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans.
  • Gary Watson
    Development Manager
    Gary C. Watson, Jr. is an executive level advertising and business development consultant with over 20 years’ experience in marketing, promotions, fundraising, strategic planning, and digital media. A graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, Gary started his career as a college student working in radio promotions at Clear Channel Communications. He later became Clear Channel/iHeartMedia’s Political Advertising and New Business Sales Manager. After garnering experience in radio and television, Gary attained entrepreneurial success as the Principal Consultant of Gary Watson Media, serving diverse clientele from healthcare, legal, automotive, special events, and education. Although a resident of New Orleans, Gary is a native of Vacherie, Louisiana where he remains involved in community and civic organizations such as the West St. John the Baptist Parish Civic Association and Concerned Citizens of St. John the Baptist Parish. Gary is also a member of multiple professional and philanthropic organizations including the Alzheimer’s Association of Louisiana and the Iberia African American Historical Society.
  • David Baker
    Environmental Curator
    David Baker studied botany under Dr. Bill Platt at LSU and went on to study the impacts of Hurricane Andrew on Everglades National Park and LSU’s Ben Hur Woods, a bottomland hardwood forest.  While working in the Everglades, Baker learned the trade of prescribed burning.  Following his time at LSU he worked at the Louisiana Nature Conservancy as the Louisiana State Land Steward, managing and burning 16 nature preserves in Louisiana. In 2004 Baker began removing Chinese Privet at A Studio in the Woods and has worked there ever since as the program's Environmental Curator. While working at A Studio in the Woods Baker has installed thirty-two ten-meter by ten-meter plots for the long term study of changes in the ecosystem during the restoration process.
  • Joe M. Carmichael
    Co-Founder, Steward, and Board Member
    Joe M. Carmichael is the co-founder and steward of A Studio in the Woods. Born and raised in West Texas, Joe moved to New Orleans in 1941 and purchased the land that is now A Studio in the Woods with his wife Lucianne in 1969. Joe worked as a journalist and lobbyist for public education before retiring. Joe enjoys woodworking and watching the woods grow from his porch swing.

 

Friends of A Studio in the Woods Board
Friends of A Studio in the Woods is the 501(c)3 that supports the Studio by providing guidance, expertise and direction on major decisions impacting the Studio’s arts, environmental and educational programming. The Friends of A Studio in the Woods Board provides financial, project development and volunteer support, along with other resources. Friends is the primary funder of the Studio, providing most of the program costs and 60% of salary costs. Friends relies on support from individuals and private foundations to produce all community programming.

  • Ylva Rouse
    Board Chair
    Ylva Rouse currently serves as Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Florida. She served as the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and later Interim Director for Prospect New Orleans from 2007 to 2019. With the firm belief in art as a force for change, she has been active throughout her career curating and writing about art. She has immersed herself in the communities where she has lived, both as advisor and collaborator, participating in diverse arts projects and initiatives with local organizations, community centers, and universities; always in pursuit of spreading the understanding and enjoyment of the modern and contemporary arts and to bring awareness of the importance of nurturing the creative spirit, both as individuals and as community.
  • Jennifer Fuselier
    Board Treasurer
    Jennifer Fuselier, CPA, is an Associate Director in P&N's Accounting and Assurance Services Group. Jennifer joined the firm in 2010. With over ten years of public accounting experience, Jennifer has served a wide range of clients, including various non-profit organizations, governmental entities, charter schools, employee benefit plans, and others. Jennifer performs financial statement audits, single audits, agreed-upon procedure (AUP) engagements, and other services for these clients. She also serves on the boards of Academy of Our Lady and Young ACG Louisiana.
  • Alexandra "Sascha" Mora
    Board Secretary
    Alexandra "Sascha" Mora is originally from New York, and feels connected to her Latin American and Swiss roots. New Orleans has been home to her for over 20 years. She is a lawyer, mediator, and hearing officer. She also serves the government of Switzerland as an honorary consul of New Orleans. As a lawyer, she has worked with non-profits and taken on civil rights cases, including voter registration and discrimination. For relaxation, she enjoys practicing Reiki and Jin Shin Jyutsu, and painting. Sascha expresses her commitment to the environment by carrying her own plastic cup, avoiding plastic water bottles, re-using whenever possible, and supporting organic and local businesses. She is proud to support Friends of A Studio in the Woods as its Secretary and a board member.
  • Katrina Andry
    Board Member
    A native of New Orleans, Katrina Andry received an M.F.A in printmaking in 2010. She currently lives and works in New Orleans where she maintains a studio and works as the Project and Publications Manager for The Data Center. Andry’s artwork explores the negative effects of stereotypes on the lives of Black people and how these stereotypes give rise to biased laws and ideologies in our society. Her large-scale prints confront the viewer with these derogatory cultural clichés. Andry’s more recent work expresses the collective experiences of Black people in our society, such as problems of gentrification, unequal education, unequal pay, and gender politics through the lens of stereotyping an entire group of people. Andry was listed in the September 2012 Art in Print magazine as one of the top 50 printmakers. She has recently shown at the Hammonds House Museum (solo), the Pensacola Museum of Art (solo), and the New Orleans Museum of Art. She has also been an artist-in-residence at Anchor Graphics in Chicago, Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA, and the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans.
  • Mary Len Costa
    Board Member
    Mary Len Costa met the Carmichaels in 1995 and has benefitted from a relationship with ASITW ever since, most recently serving as Board Chair for the Friends in its successful capital campaign to build the Writer’s Cabin. Long an advocate for the value of regional arts and culture, Mary Len worked at the Arts Council of New Orleans for 18 years. In administering the City’s public art program, she assisted artists in creating artworks that tell the story of our local communities. Post-Katrina, as Interim CEO of the Arts Council, she increased public, private, and foundation support for the local cultural community to assist in recovery efforts. In partnership with Evacuteer, she formulated the process to create 14 sculptures that mark pick-up sites throughout the city for those without transportation in the case of mandatory hurricane evacuation. With her husband Louis, she has received local and national awards for their contributions to the preservation of the Lower Garden District and revitalization of its residential character.
  • Luann Dozier
    Board Member
    Luann Dozier serves as Vice President of Advancement for Constituency Programs at Tulane Unviersity.
  • Alicia Franck
    Board Member
    Alicia Franck was appointed Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Chief Development Officer at The National World War II Museum in November 2019. A member of the executive leadership team at the Museum, Ms. Franck maintains primary responsibility, and provides strategic direction, for planning, managing and executing fund raising activities in support of the Museum’s capital and programmatic priorities, as well as overseeing the annual Membership and Events program. Ms. Franck has over 30 years of advancement experience working in a variety of sectors including higher education, international development, and healthcare. A native of Mississippi, Ms. Franck earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rhodes College and a Master of Divinity degree, cum laude, from Emory University.
  • Robert Hopkins
    Board Member
    Robert Hopkins serves as Assistant VP of Business Banking Development for Hancock Whitney Bank. He also serves on the board of GNO Inc, as Executive Vice President of the Westbank Business and Industry Association, and as Director of the Plaquemines Parish Seafood Festival. He is the Former Chairman of the Plaquemines Association of Business and Industry.
  • John Kleinschmidt
    Board Member
    John Kleinschmidt is an architect and urban designer at Waggonner & Ball Architecture/Environment where he leads projects focused on creative adaptations to climate change and sensitive responses to place and site. Additionally, he maintains an artistic practice focused on drawing, printmaking, and site-specific installations. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and the Yale School of Architecture, and was a 2018 Adaptations Artist-in-Residence at A Studio in the Woods.
  • Libra LaGrone Pealer
    Board Member
    Libra LaGrone Pealer currently works as a Research Associate at Amanda Winstead Fine Art, LLC, New Orleans, LA. Previously, she was the Finance/Development Manager at the Newcomb Art Museum, the Deputy Director/Curator of Southern Music at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art and has consulted independently for multiple arts and cultural events including Prospect 4, TEDWomen, and French Quarter Festival. Libra serves on multiple parent driven committees at the Newcomb Children's Center where her two daughters attend. She holds an MLA from Tulane University and a B.S. in Political Science from the University of North Alabama and is FORESTival's biggest fan.
  • Renee Peck
    Board Member
    Renee Peck earned a BA in English literature at Kenyon College in Ohio before returning in 1975 to her native Louisiana and a job as an editorial assistant and curator at The Historic New Orleans Collection – a job that fed her passion for all things New Orleans and augmented her understanding and appreciation of its unique culture and history. Two years later, she joined The Times-Picayune, where she worked for 32 years as a feature editor and writer. Titles included food editor, entertainment editor, TV editor, associate lifestyle editor and home and garden editor. Post-Katrina, her This Mold House column chronicled rebuilding efforts with humor and advice. In 2011, with the late Sharon Litwin, she founded NolaVie, a digital publication devoted to the life and culture of New Orleans. In the site’s Big Easy Living column, she explores the way we live in this entertaining but sometimes uneasy city. NolaVie publishes curated content from a wide range of contributors, and spotlights emerging writers and artists by showcasing their work and providing them with a digital platform. Renee has served on various boards, including Partnership for Action, dedicated to local quality of life issues, and Lindy’s Place, which served homeless women. She is a local host of Notes from New Orleans on WWNO radio, the local NPR affiliate, and was co-host for two seasons of the podcast Everyday Wonder.
  • Monique Michelle Verdin
    Board Member
    Monique Michelle Verdin uses imagery to expose the reality of a Louisiana lost and the Louisiana left behind. More folk artist than photographer, more storyteller than visual artist, Verdin has captured, collected and exposed an intimate perspective into the survival of her Indigenous French-speaking clan who still inhabit the endangered bayou communities of southeast Louisiana. Her story has been shared and exhibited at the University of California, Georgia College and State University, Mesa College of San Diego, the Social Public Art Resource Center in Venice, California and at a number of other galleries along the Gulf Coast. Verdin currently resides on her family land in lower St. Bernard Parish. Monique has been an artist in residence at A Studio in the Woods several times between 2007 and 2019.
  • Dawn Wesson
    Board Member
    Dawn Wesson is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medical at Tulane University. Wesson's background in medical/molecular entomology and vector biology has led to her role as a principal investigator on many research projects on vector-borne pathogens (particularly dengue, West Nile, and Chagas disease), and as an instructor of graduate and undergraduate courses on vector biology and ecology. Her research interests include the ecology of arbovirus transmission, eco-epidemiology of Chagas disease, host-pathogen co-evolution, development of novel vector control strategies and tools, and examining the effects of vector-borne pathogen infection on human pregnancy outcomes. She has mentored more than 170 students (BSPH, MSPH and PhD), and post-doctoral researchers.
  • Emily Wilkerson
    Board Member
    Emily Wilkerson is a writer and curator based in New Orleans. She serves as the Writer and Editor for Tulane University’s School of Liberal Arts and the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, and prior to this position was Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs at Prospect New Orleans. Wilkerson has worked on exhibitions and projects at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Chinati Foundation, and the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, among others, and has contributed to publications such as Artforum.com, Art in America, Art Papers, Pelican Bomb, Burnaway, and multiple exhibition catalogs. She completed her Master's at the University of Southern California in Art and Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere in Los Angeles and holds a B.A. from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She is most interested in the ability of artists of all types to tell the untold stories of our lives.