meet the organization
Board of Directors
Sandra Sedmak Engel - Chairman
Leadership involves a rare combination of skills that Sandy has honed as an artist and business owner. A Maryland native, she maintains her home studio in Baltimore. Her encaustic paintings can be seen at an impressive list of annual shows in the northeastern United States. Before her role as Chairman Sandy served on the RSFAA board for several years, helping to shepherd the show through re-branding and the expansion of our social media presence. She brings her myriad skills, good humor, and graphic design experience when guiding the team toward new goals.
Sharon Strine- Vice Chairman
Sharon brings a wealth of knowledge crucial to the success of a show like ours. A member of numerous boards, Sharon’s background includes first hand experience in steering economic development, urban revitalization, strategic marketing and small business advancement. In her life as a painter, Sharon annually travels to a select number of top shows in the country from her home in New York City. Acting on a longtime passion for the non-profit arena, Sharon offers her skills for building community bonds as the Vice- Chair of the RSFAA Board.
Lila Turjanski Villard - Secretary
Lila studied clay sculpture privately in her country of origin, Argentina, for many years. After moving to the US she expanded her sculptural work to include mixed media, which led her to participate in various art shows and galleries across the eastern part of the country for more than a decade. She has been an exhibitor at Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show since 2012. In addition to her work as a sculptor, Lila’s background includes varied experience in the nonprofit field that serve her well in the role of Secretary.
Amy Leigh Carstensen - Treasurer
Amy Leigh Carstensen's considerable expertise brings insight and practical skills to her roll as Treasurer of the RSFAA. A Self-taught artist, Amy is an award-winning abstract painter who regularly exhibits at the top festivals across the country. Prior to becoming a painter, Amy practiced law for many years, specializing in business law, business planning, and non-profit law. No stranger to hands-on work with non-profits, Amy has served on various boards, including time with Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure.
Chris' enthusiasm for the arts is infectious and as the owner of “13 Degrees Studios" in Philadelphia his professional roots in the area run deep. A BFA from the University of the Arts launched his career as a full time sculptor, creating architectural ornament and commissioned sculpture in the Philadelphia region, across the United States, and in the Czech Republic. He refined his carving skills as an apprenticeship with a master stone carver in Prague, executing many permanent public works in that city. Chris's varied experience lends itself to the show's central tenet as an artist-run event.
David began exhibiting at outdoor festivals in 1999, and has served on the RSFAA board since 2000. He travels extensively throughout the year to show his colorful still-life and abstract oil paintings at many of the top festivals on the national circuit. His involvement with the local art scene includes painting classes, art business workshops and collaborative efforts to help create a lively artist community with many of his contemporaries from the local galleries and national festivals. As a veteran road warrior in the art industry, he draws from a wealth of experience and insight to help shape the decisions of the Rittenhouse board.
A biochemist by training, Rinal has been a professional artist for more than 10 years. During that time she has gathered skills well beyond mastering the traditional painting styles of her native India. Rinal is a regular exhibitor in the Philadelphia area, winning honors such as the Loos Award for Works on Paper at the Philadelphia Sketch Club, and having work published in the Rathalla Review and Philadelphia Stories magazines. In addition Rinal is a social media maven, applying her knowledge to help increase the online visibility of our Fine Art shows.
A former color stylist for Walt Disney Feature Animation who now lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, Sarah has been a full-time fine artist since 2003. She exhibits in outdoor art shows throughout the East and Midwest. Sarah is also a University of Tennessee Extension Master Gardener, currently working on a series of plein air landscapes from the Great Smoky Mountains as part of a Bailey Opportunity Grant from the Knoxville Arts and Culture Alliance. Sarah brings her leadership experience to the board having worked with multiple arts organizations, including the Maryland Pastel Society, and the Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania.
A native Pennsylvanian, Kerry attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, focusing on lithography and oil painting. Since that time Kerry has traveled the world to capture the striking light and shadow effects that illuminate her work. She has been honored with multiple awards in the tri-state area including 1st place at the Bucks County Gallery’s Local Color Plein Air Festival. A frequent exhibitor, Kerry brings an insider’s knowledge of the nuanced logistics involved in organizing a successful fine art show.
About the Association
The Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Association is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of running the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show twice annually.
Its board of directors is comprised solely of artists
who also participate in the shows.
Autonomous and independent, the RSFAA receives
no public or private funding to conduct these events.
"Art is our life. Let it be a part of yours."
Steve Oliver - Executive Director
To produce a seamless three day event, the RSFAA depends on the strength of its partnership with the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. Steve has nurtured this alliance during his 23 years of work on the board, evidenced by the community support the show continues to enjoy. A combined 15 years of experience as Marketing Director and Board Chairman, prior to becoming Executive Director, `has helped Steve gain an intimate knowledge of the show’s framework and a deep appreciation for its idiosyncrasies. Never one to direct solely from behind the scenes, Steve also makes himself available
Kris McKercher - Student Coordinator
Kris develops relationships with art colleges and universities across the Delaware Valley and beyond. She oversees the planning and detailed orchestration of the student section of our show ensuring a smooth event for all involved. Kris has a talent for interacting with students at all points along the way, providing the structure and information needed for success. The student exhibit in the center of the park is a historic and integral portion of our shows.
Parris Bacai - Hospitality Coordinator
A Philadelphia based interior designer, Parris brings her considerable talents as a business owner to her work with RSFAS. With over 14 years of experience making her customers happy, we are thrilled to have Parris' enthusiasm and skills as she orchestrates the best experience for our artists and patrons.
Parris holds a BFA in interior design from the Art Institute of Philadelphia, and an MFA In interior design From Parsons New School, in New York. She is the owner and principal designer at Urban Poetic Design.