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Humberto Saldana
Director of Education

Humberto is proud of the work he has done with artists and students alike. Believing that art should reach everyone, he wants individuals who experience art for the first time to continue on with their artistic growth. He attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago and earned a BFA in Illustration. As a teaching artist and project manager, Humberto has worked with several institutions around Chicago. These institutes include the National Museum of Mexican Art and Green Star Movement. Humberto wants to continue his efforts promoting the importance of art in Chicago and in Evanston!

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Lisa Degliantoni
Director 

Lisa Degliantoni, known as “Lisa D” to many Evanstonians, is a powerhouse community arts champion who is taking on her newest role as Director of Evanston’s One River School. Degliantoni’s background is packed  with arts, leadership, and community engagement experience. She is the founder and director of Evanston Made, founder and curator of 1100 Florence Gallery, and sits on the board and volunteers for both YEA (Young Evanston Artists) and non-profit Art Encounter. She also produces and hosts podcast “The Lisa D Show” where she interviews local creatives on their art journeys.“I like to be busy with meaningful work and One River feels like I will have the chance to make a difference in emerging artist’s lives...giving them the enthusiasm and support to pursue their creative ideas. Trying new things is incredibly hard, and if the work I do supports people trying art at any level...that is something I know will be incredibly rewarding.”

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Jessalyn Bertone
Assistant Director

Jessa (the person you've likely been emailing) loves hanging out with One River students and families in the lobby. When she isn't chatting and laughing with guests, she works on connecting with the community to share her favorite things about One River. "This is by far the best job I've ever had. My job is telling people about the coolest art school and sharing the stories and experiences of our students and campers. It's promoting a gorgeous gallery full of art made by lovely people. It's painting on my lunch break in a bright, airy studio and singing ABBA with my co-workers. It's playing with kids and making friends with parents. It's incredibly fun!" Jessa loves living in Evanston and spends much of her free time at the library, learning and practicing new skills, and walking along the lakefront with her fiance and two puppies.

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Liz Rosenberg
Art Instructor

Liz holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MAT in Art Education from Columbia College. She has been a museum educator at various institutions for 10 years, including a children’s museum and zoo, and also taught art in Chicago Public Schools. Her art embraces all that brings her joy and makes her giggle. She uses painting and drawing to share those moments with others. Teaching art is Liz’s absolute passion and she is so honored to share her knowledge and excitement with One River students!

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Patti Montgomery
Art Instructor

Since as long as she can remember, Patti has liked getting her hands dirty and making things. She has worked as an illustrator and graphic designer and runs a small letterpress company, Five Finger Press, out of her garage. As an illustrator, she specialized in linoleum block prints, but watercolor, sculpture, sewing and fixing things keep her busy when she isn't working with young people to make art. Patti has a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Ellie Hazlett
Art Instructor

Ellie is a born-and-raised Evanstonian. She earned a BA in Visual Arts with a minor in Art History from Union College. Back in Chicago, she continued her passion for art, and recently graduated with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her focus began in painting and expanded to wallpaper and textile design, as well as installation art using nontraditional materials. She loves music, experimenting with new materials and combining different mediums.

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Verzell James
Art Instructor

Verzell is a local Evanston graphic artist who has worked for 30+ years as an artist, writer, publisher, and teacher. He has a degree in Design Communications from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has written, illustrated, and published comic books as a partner at his company JAM. Graphics & Publishing. In his free time, he likes to garden, read, fish, play basketball, and create art!

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Amanda roman
Art Instructor

Amanda graduated from SUNY Purchase in 2011 with a BFA in painting and drawing and a minor in art history. While at Purchase College she studied on the New York art scene, and also studied abroad in Dingle, Ireland. She paints mostly landscapes and flowers but has significant experience working with different types of media, using different styles and techniques. She has exhibited work and curated shows in both New York and Chicago. Amanda is passionate about sharing the arts with her community. She especially loves working with youth and promoting positive change through artistic practices. At One River, she hopes that she can help each person find the artist within. She currently lives in Evanston with her family.

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Mia Larson
Art Instructor

Mia began at One River as an intern and was so wonderful that she was hired on as an instructor. She is an exceptionally talented artist and specializes in making whimsical pieces intended to make people laugh and not take life too seriously. Such pieces include embroidered animal portraits on pillows, regal renditions of her dog Pippy as a renaissance queen, and a Ruth Bader Ginsburg dancing the disco, titled "RBeeGee." Every time Mia teaches, the students can be heard laughing and they always produce work that is impressive and usually funny in some way.

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