Staff & Board


Joanna Pinsky
Founder/Artistic Director
Joanna develops our tours, workshops and programs for youth, the elderly and special needs groups and leads most of our education programs for the general public. Joanna also leads monthly critique sessions for professional artists. With an active artistic practice, Joanna has exhibited her shaped paintings nationally and internationally in solo and group shows including several at Perimeter Gallery in Chicago. She is a founding member of Space 900 Gallery, an artist’s collaborative in Evanston. Joanna has a BFA from Cornell University where she studied painting and art history.  View Joanna‘s art:

Harry Wells
Interim Executive Director
Harry has over 40 years of experience as a nonprofit leader, having served as the Chief Executive Officer of five nonprofits since 1978. These include positions as Interim President and CEO of the Milwaukee Center for Independence and Voices for Illinois Children from 2015 through 2017. Harry was also the President and CEO of Chicago Youth Centers from 2004 to 2012 and Executive Director of OMNI Youth Services, a Chicago area organization, from 1978 to 2004. He joined the Art Encounter team in fall of 2018 to provide leadership and oversight to all areas of the organization. Harry and his wife Marsha are avid art lovers who enjoy participating in Art Encounter programs and events.

Caryn Berman
Managing Director
Caryn joined Art Encounter’s staff in 2008 and is responsible for the financial management of the organization. She also acts as board liaison, oversees marketing, membership and volunteers, and assists with program development and special events.  Caryn has a BS from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Lea Pinsky
Director of Outreach and Community Programs
Lea joined  Art Encounter’s staff in August 2015. She has been a teaching artist with the organization since 2002 and has worked in the field of arts education program management in Chicago since 1999. She is also an artist and has been leading public art mural projects with her husband Dustin Harris since 2005, including Rogers Park Mile of Murals and now Art Encounter’s Evanston Mural Arts Program. Lea oversees Art Encounter’s outreach programs in schools, senior centers, and in the community at large, as well as co-manages EMAP projects.

Susanna Decker
Development Director
Susanna brings more than 25 years of fundraising experience to Art Encounter. As Development Director, Susanna guides all fundraising activities, including major gifts, special events and corporate and foundation giving. Though Susanna is not an artist, she is an art enthusiast and strongly believes in Art Encounter’s mission to empower and connect people of all ages and backgrounds through interactive encounters with art.

Dustin Harris
Evanston Mural Arts Program 
Dustin joined Art Encounter in 2017 with the launch of our new public art initiative Evanston Mural Arts Program. Dustin is a painter and sculptor as well as a working deejay most weekends. He has been painting murals with Lea Pinsky since 2005 and co-managing the Mile of Murals in Rogers Park since 2010. He oversees artist selection and site managment for EMAP murals, and works with Lea on all aspects of community engagement.

Annie Trincot
Operations and Development Coordinator
Annie is a painter originally from Indiana. Prior to joining the Art Encounter team, she lived in New York City, where she participated in an artist residency at Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn and worked as the After-School Program Coordinator and Marketing Assistant for a nonprofit music and art school in Manhattan. As Operations and Development Coordinator, Annie oversees Art Encounter’s operations and communications and assists Development Director Susanna with fundraising and event planning. As an artist, she feels very passionately about public art and accessible arts programming, two major parts of the Art Encounter mission.

Board of Directors


Gale Goldstick Cohen

Elizabeth Whiting
Vice- President

Charles Harper


Carol Cohen
Lisa Degliantoni
Susan Gaud
Marsha Goldstein
Wendy Kleper
Leslie Luning
Kathleen Hogan McBride
Bonnie McGrath
Irving Miller
Terry Shewfelt
Nicole Spicer
Janis Todd
Peter Vale