Meet Our Staff
As Clay Art Center has grown, so has our full-time staff. Meet a few of the people who keep CAC thriving, and the board members who are helping to ensure a strong future for the Center.
Leigh Taylor Mickelson
Leigh Taylor Mickelson has an MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology's School of American Crafts and a BA from Hamilton College, where she double majored in English Literature and Studio Art. From 1997 to 2006 Leigh was the Exhibitions Director at Baltimore Clayworks. In September of 2006 she moved to Ossining, NY with her filmmaker husband and two daughters and joined the Clay Art Center staff as Program Director. In November of 2012, she stepped into her current role as Executive Director. She exhibits her abstract organic sculpture across the US and was showcased in an article in the March 2005 issue of Ceramics Monthly. In March 2013, Mickelson joined the NCECA board as their Exhibitions Director.
Community Arts Manager
Kelly O'Sullivan earned an MPS from Pratt Institute in 2016, where she completed her studies in Art Therapy and Creativity Development. Her interest in the potential of art-making as a means of healing began during her studies at SUNY New Paltz, where she completed her BFA with a concentration in ceramics, in 2011. Following graduation, Kelly returned to her hometown of New Rochelle NY, and began volunteering with Clay Art Center. In 2012 she was welcomed by CAC as the Westchester Community Foundation Young Artist Fellow. Kelly has continued to teach throughout her time as a graduate student, working with CAC as a Community Arts Teacher, for five years before stepping into her new role as Community Arts Manager in 2016.
Adam holds a Master of Design from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from Maine College of Art. Additional education in the arts has included a post-baccalaureate at Michigan State University, assistantship with Dutch jeweler Ted Noten, and a design residency at Fabrica in Treviso Italy. He has previously worked as Program Director at Maine FabLab, a nonprofit digital fabrication studio in Biddeford, Maine. After receiving a grant in 2014 to purchase a CNC machine, Adam has been producing ceramic objects that hybridize industrial design with studio pottery. Recent publications include Ceramics Monthly (May 2015) and Studio Potter (Summer 2015).
Brandon Schnur is a ceramic artist originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He started his art career with drawing and oil painting, but has received his BFA in ceramics in Kansas City, Missouri at the Kansas City Art Institute. He completed his MFA in ceramics at West Virginia University in 2018. He has had the opportunity to participate in a residency in Kecskemet, Hungary at the International Ceramics Studio and has exhibited his work throughout the United States and China.
Wendy came to Clay Art Center as a student and quickly grew into a volunteer and then a staff member, stepping into the role of Development Associate in 2014. She has a BA in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, and an MBA in Marketing from DePaul University. Her professional career has been in sales, marketing, business management and consulting, and she has been actively involved with volunteer efforts in many community and non-profit organizations over the years. She has been dabbling in clay in her spare time for over 20 years, and currently lives with her husband, her daughter, and her Portuguese Water Dog, Ridley in White Plains.
Assistant Program Manager
David has been part of our gallery and front office staff since 2014. He received his BFA with a concentration in mixed media from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. After returning to his hometown of White Plains, NY he began working with the White Plains Outdoor Arts Festival, putting together an exhibition for the festival's 50 year anniversary. He is now a council member and head of the Emerging Artists Committee. As a mixed media sculptor, he creates creatures that combine his passion for myths and fables with animal physiology and humor. He exhibits his fantastical creature sculptures in shows and conventions throughout the northeast, including New York Comic Con.
With over half a decade developing and implementing public relations and social media programs in the arts, Nancy Yates is devoted to promoting art and artists. After earning a B.A. in Art History from the University of Toronto, she spent ten years at Christie’s Auction House in New York as a fine art cataloger and administrator. From there she continued her art career in the ceramics industry as Product Development Manager at Mottahedeh, a manufacturer of antique reproduction dinnerware in partnership with The Metropolitan Museum, Winterthur, Colonial Williamsburg & Historic Charleston. She has also worked as a curator of contemporary art and emerging artists and as an independent art appraiser and advisor. She lives in Rye, NY with her husband and daughter and their pets, an Australian Shepherd dog, Lexy and cat, Batman.
Sales & Program Associate
Don Reynolds graduated from the University of Michigan, School of Art in 1982, where he studied Ceramics. After a year working for various local potteries in California, he became a Resident Artist on-board the Artrain, an art museum and working studio housed in five train cars. Don traveled with the Artrain across the country bringing an interactive art experience to underserved communities and maintaining his own studio practice. In 2012, after a 10+ year absence from the ceramic community, Don accompanied Jenny Mendes as a Studio Assistant during course at Penland School of Craft, NC. This experience became the springboard to launch him back into the craft world as a ceramic artist. In 2013, Don landed at Clay Art Center, becoming part of the vibrant community of makers both as an artist and an educator.
Jay Oh came to Clay Art Center after working and volunteering in publishing and non-profit art organizations in Greensboro, N.C., Minneapolis, and New York. She holds a B.A. in art history from Smith College and an M.A. in art history from Williams College, and she currently lives in Scarsdale with her family.
Janai Cornwell is currently pursing a B.A. in Arts Management at Purchase College. Janai came to Clay Art Center in the Summer of 2017 as a PR/Marketing Intern, and then in the Fall of 2017, transitioned into her role as the Communications Assistant. Although not an artist herself, she believes in making the arts accessible to all and is an advocate for arts education and art as therapy programs. Janai has a strong focus in Digital Marketing, and has been actively working with nonprofit arts organizations, artists, and art galleries all over the country.
Zeltzin Sanchez Gomez
Zeltzyn Sanchez Gomez was the Community Organizer for Sustainable Port Chester Alliance from late 2016 until July of 2018. Zel sits on the Senator Shelley Mayer Youth Board, Census Complete Count Committee, and the City Status Committee for the Village of Port Chester. She is a Youth Coordinator with Wespac, which gives her the flexibility to build her organizing and advocacy chops such as helping to organize the next Westchester Social Justice Forum. She has been a part of the Clay Art Center since 2013 and loves being involved in a variety of classes, workshops, presentations and community events. A 20 year-old DACA-mented recipient, Zel represents the future of our village. She hopes to start her college career soon.