Our Team

We are a small team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion. We look forward to working with you!

Bailey Chiotti

Studio Manager & Art Instructor

Bailey wears many hats at the studio. In addition to teaching and assisting a variety of Kids and Adult Classes, she is also the Dungeon Master for our popular Dungeons and Dragons Class and manages the studio by helping to book private parties, maintain inventory and load and unload our kilns (which makes all our Ceramics students happy).

Bailey hails from North Western Pennsylvania where she earned her degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in graphic design from Clarion University. Bailey has served on multiple arts councils and currently serves as Chair of the Plumstead Township Council for the Arts. Bailey seeks to inspire others with her artwork and teaching style. Her unique middle name is Ambition and she lives to embody this idea through teaching her passions. Bailey’s positive and nurturing energy makes her a great addition to the Leaping Dog Art Studio Team. Her work can be found on Facebook or Instagram @createambition. 

Caroline Conroy

Ceramics Instructor

Caroline has been practicing her pottery skills at Leaping Dog Studios for a little more than two years now.  It wasn’t, however, her first love!  She has a degree in Fine Arts with a focus in Textiles and Design from William Paterson University.  She went on to obtain her teaching certificate in Elementary Education after that, and is currently working on her masters in Special Education. She enjoys working with various mediums outside of our studio including Waldorf doll making, sewing many of her own clothes, and finding new ways to push the limits of her own personal artistic skills.

She resides here in Bordentown, where she set down roots nearly 20 years ago.  She lives with her husband, Joe, and their two children.  

Desiree Luszcz

Ceramics Work/Study & Instructor

Desiree helps man our Open Studio Times for Adult Ceramics students every Monday and inspires us with her beautiful sculptural ceramic tiles and houses. We are excited to have her join our team as our Clay for Teens instructor this May.

Desiree started her career as an artist finger painting at her mom’s kitchen table, and went on to study Printmaking, Fiber Arts, and Art Education at Syracuse University, where she received a B.F.A. and M.S. degrees. For 14 years, she taught Visual Arts to middle and high school students in Manville, NJ. Desiree enjoys getting inspiration for creating art through travel, spending time playing in the dirt, devouring books, and dreaming with her three cats. A recent transplant to Bordentown, she can often be spotted being walked by a silly yellow dog.

Melany Maro

Adult Ceramics Instructor

Melany has been throwing clay for many years. After the studio at Burlington Community Center closed down, she was thrilled to discover Leaping Dog Art Studios.  Melany graduated from Rutgers University with a major in Education and Art. Recently retired from teaching, she now has more time to teach and devote to her pottery practice. She loves inspiring others to throw.

Melany lives in Columbus with her husband and two dogs. When not on the wheel, she enjoys gardening, going to the beach and camping in her RV.

Gina Ortolano

Kids Art Class Instructor & Paint Instructor

Gina comes to us with a degree in Elementary Education and Art from the College of New Jersey .

Gina has been teaching our Saturday morning Kids Art Mix classes for two years now and our students love her! While Gina enjoys a full time job as an Elementary School teacher in Cinnaminson NJ, we are so thankful to have her dedicate some time to helping us make our studio the happy creative space it is!

Jennie Leichner

Summer Art Camp Instructor

Jennie has been teaching art for 20 years (yet she’s only 29 1/2 years…don’t do the math!). She studied Art Education at Monmouth University and the University of the Arts. She loves creating all types of art using all types of mediums, but especially loves working in clay, colored pencils, and watercolor. Her favorite subjects are animals, cartooning, typography and patterns. In addition to sharing her love and enthusiasm of art, Jennie enjoys working on her tennis skills (no endorsements yet), keeping up with the latest trends and her absolute favorite way to pass the time: Discussing any and all things Food-related. 

Jennie lives in Bordentown City with her husband, Eric and children, Owen and Emilie (her favorite child being their cat, Tigger).

Susan Gerike

Ceramics Instructor

To some of our Adult Ceramics Students, Susan is known as an expert on glaze combos and a fantastic mug and handle maker! She is also an amazing knitter and owner of Four Bears Fiber Arts and is a full-time English teacher at Bordentown Regional School District. We are so happy to have her inspire our students every Thursday during our Adult Ceramics Class.

Susan is a life-long resident of Bordentown, where she lives with her three children and two dogs.

Liza Jane

Studio Dog

As a young pup, Liza loved to run and leap when her parents let her off leash in the woods. When Studio owner Jennifer was thinking about a name for her future Art Studio, she wanted a name which conveyed ‘pure happiness.’ The image of Liza leaping in the woods was the perfect inspiration.

Want to work with us?