MEET OUR TEAM
Donna-Mareé Wilding (CEO & Founder)
Multimedia Artist & Fine Art / Expressive Arts Instructor (Teaching, lecturing, breakout workshops and retreats worldwide)
Donna-Mareé Wilding is the founder and CEO of Creatively Wild Art Studio. Better known as “DM,” she hails from Auckland, New Zealand and has worked all over the world, including England, France, Italy, and New Zealand. DM studied Fine Arts under Sue Daly, a widely acclaimed artist and art curriculum creator throughout Oceania, before leaving New Zealand and spending many years working as a teaching artist in the U.K., France, and Italy.
She has exhibited and sold her contemporary artworks to museums and private collectors extensively through out the Asia Pacific, Europe, South America, and the U.S.A. Her solo exhibition “Oops, Not So Perfect” shown in Overfoto Gallery in Naples, Italy in 2005 inspired local filmmakers to produce a documentary about this exemplary, influential female artist. In 2006, she moved to New York City where she established a respectable reputation. Her interactive installation of “We Are Happy,” a collaboration with famous composer Jim Pugliese, was exhibited in New York City's award-winning space, Issue Project Rooms, in 2010. Sponsored by Susan Fiol, DM received a NAFA Grant for this exhibition. Similarly, this installation was widely noted by critics as an outstanding piece of “contemporary interactive art ahead of its time.”
She trailblazed the expressive arts after-school program for Jim Pugliese “Leap Rave,” funded by The Bloomberg Project, which was formed to transform schools and engage at-risk youth in the South Bronx. It then won the PACE Best After School Award in NYC. Due to the program’s massive success, DM was then asked by “LeAP,” currently the largest and oldest non-for-profit organization in the US, to design and expand her art expression program with at-risk youth throughout the five boroughs. Her accomplishments include the creation of the children’s art program and adult’s mixed-media and experimental arts program at The Art Studio NY. She is also the creator of an art expression and urban arts program at Harlem Village Academies and played a key role in the “Find Your Passion” initiative, which has been lauded by President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg. Similarly, DM has successfully developed after school art programs for the Fieldston School in the Bronx. She ran the children’s and family zone for Dumbo Arts Festival in 2015, to which over 5,000 people visited.Back in her homeland, she has created a legacy for herself for being the founder and creator of “Wild Country,” the gourmet food range established in 1992, that changed the course of gourmet food products in New Zealand, Australasia, and the U.S.A.DM continues to bridge the gap between lower-income families and the often inaccessible art world by providing progressive and traditional art classes, free inclusive scholarship and public art programs. While it is important to acknowledge the boundaries that can separate us, our founder’s mission is to find what can unite and heal us unbiasedly through the power of intrinsic self-expression.
Our Teaching Artists
Sally Novak received her BFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn New York campus. She graduated cum laude as a painting major. She works in oils, acrylics, mixed media, sculpture and printmaking. She’s an award-winning artist with numerous art sales, solo and group shows. She’s an experienced Art Administrator, having co-curated a group show at Westbeth Gallery in Manhattan. She has been represented by galleries in San Diego, Palm Springs and New York, and her work is collected in both the United States and Europe. Sally is both Studio Manager and Teaching Artist at Creatively Wild Art Studio. She instructs toddlers, children, teens and adults. Her emphasis involves not only art instruction, but providing her students creative freedom. Color theory, art history, and art critiques round out her curriculum. She encourages students to think critically and independently, widening their creative vocabulary. She is currently working on a year-long project by creating a painting a day, which can be seen on her Instagram account. For more information and samples of Sally’s diverse body of work, please refer to her website.
Sydney Spink ( Animation Program)
Sydney is a new member of our team and heads up our Animation Program as well as teaching Still Life. Sydney was raised in Southern California, and has been studying and working as a freelance artist for 6 years. Starting professionally at 13, she created a platform to post her work and gained a quick following that turned into commission work and online vending. Doing commission work and selling merchandise for customers spanning from London to Australia, she provides digital character and background design, character and abstract illustration, color theory, and animation. At 16, was recruited in developing art and characters for a children's educational series in association with Cartoon Network and vending with local Californian festivals such as SD ZineFest. A lifetime passion for cinema and animation took her to New York to study film and art and she currently teaches still life, 2D animation and stop motion animation.
Elena Chestnykh was born in Russia, and has been an exhibiting artist for twenty years. Her work has been shown in numerous venues including the Museums of Contemporary Art Erarta in Saint-Petersburg and New York; Art Center WINZAVOD in Moscow; State museums in Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Kemerovo, Russia; Nord Art 2010, Rendsburg, Germany. Novosibirsk State Museum & Kemerovo Regional Museum all have her artwork in their collections. Elena has traveled around the world painting and learning different cultures; she painted in Italy and Syria, India, and Indonesia. In 2015-2016 she attended the MFA FA program at the School of Visual Arts. In 2015, she contributed to the International Conference “Art in Modern Education”, Novosibirsk. Since 2016, she has written her blog about American art in English and Russian. In 2016 she curated a group exhibition “Breach” at the Rabbit Hole Gallery in Brooklyn.
Chris Anderson is a visual artist whose work explores the nature of home, family, and neighborhood. Chris studied at Claremont Graduate University (MFA), Scripps College (BA), Pratt Institute of Art, and Tyler School of Art in Rome, Italy. Chris has been awarded fellowship grants in painting and drawing from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts (CAPS), Artists Space, and the Fulbright Commission, as well as residency fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, Austrian Chancellery of Art, Millay, VCCA, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Center, & Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, among others. Chris has taught over 30 topics in visual art at Skidmore College, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, University of Maryland, Gordon College Orvieto, and as a Fulbright artist, at the Berlin University of the Arts.The work of Chris Anderson has been exhibited here and abroad and is held in over fifty public and corporate collections.