2017 Artists' Market Jurors



Mark Bender’s artisan illustration is classically inspired and hand crafted, combining traditional media with contemporary technology to create compelling imagery that connects with the audience. His visual vocabulary pulls from vintage advertising of the 20’s and 30’s, WPA and propaganda posters, giving contemporary concepts a timeless motif. Mark’s meticulously crafted images have been incorporated into advertising campaigns, packaging, annual reports, CD jackets, children’s books, murals, posters and magazines.

Recognized by Communication Arts Magazine, 3X3 Magazine, Archive 200 Best Illustrators, Creative Quarterly and the New York Society of Illustrators, Mark has been included in the society’s annual exhibitions and in Original Art, the best in children’s book illustration. A member of both the NY Society of Illustrators and the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators, he has also been awarded both gold and silver Addys and a prestigious silver medal from the New York Society of Illustrators.

Mark has been nurturing young illustrators for more than a decade as a faculty member at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he received the 2008 Inez C. Hall outstanding faculty member of the year award. Mark is a proud member of the “Syracuse Syndicate”, receiving a Masters in Illustration from Syracuse University.

Melissa Fabian is a former Art Instructor of 35 years and is currently teaching Botanical Illustration classes for Phipps Conservatory.

She received her BS in Art Education from Edinboro University and a MA from Duquesne University. Working with others to uncover their creativity has always motivated her teaching and along with other dedicated former teachers they volunteer to conduct art “repurposing” workshops at Our Clubhouse located on Smallman Street.

Melissa is the owner and lead designer of Wild Rose Landscape Design,LLC, located in Bridgeville. They have been practicing artistic and sustainable (chemical free) landscaping in the greater Pittsburgh area for 11 years.

Charlene Langer is a Mount Lebanon resident. She and her family also enjoy their farm in Greene County.

Charlene is retired from teaching studio arts and art history. She was a faculty member at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, a guest lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh and an adjunct faulty member at the Community College of Allegheny County.

She did her undergraduate work at the University of Kansas and her graduate work at Carnegie Mellon University.

Currently, she is in her third term on the board of Touchstone Center for Crafts. She is also a past board member of the Fort Pitt Museum and the Carnegie Library of Carnegie.

For many years, Charlene owned and operated Langer Studio. She started designing custom stained glass and later moved into metal smithing. Currently, she has gone back to drawing. 

Charlene has exhibited at many local shows including the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Shadyside Arts Festival, numerous faculty exhibitions and galleries.

For a number of years, Charlene and her husband directed the Galleries on the Avenues in downtown Pittsburgh. The concept was to take abandoned and empty buildings and turn them into opportunities for arts organizations and individual artists to promote their programs, events and art. These street galleries were found all over the downtown area, especially on Fifth, Penn and Liberty Avenues.



 Kate Lydon

Kate Lydon

Kate Lydon is the Director of Exhibitions at the Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC) and oversees the installation of exhibitions mounted at SCC’s main Strip District gallery and at the BNY Mellon satellite gallery in downtown Pittsburgh. She participates in all decisions regarding exhibition development, selection of work, touring of exhibitions and development of public programming. Lydon received dual degrees in Art History and French at Denison University in OH and her master’s degree from the Archival, Museum and Editing Program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. With more than 28-years of experience at SCC, she offers a strong working knowledge of the contemporary craft field, artist and process, and public education about craft. Prior to joining SCC, Lydon served as registrar for The Frick Art & Historical Center in Pittsburgh and exhibitions coordinator at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. She has been an adjudicator for Best of 2016, Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH (2016); Tranquility and Turmoil Exhibitions, Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc., Hebron, CT (2016); Craft Art Festival, Florida CraftArt, St. Petersburg, FL (2014) and the Tennessee Arts Commission, Individual Artist Fellowship in Craft (2010). She has also participated on jury panels for Tabletop, The Art League, Alexandria, VA (2016); 60th Annual Boardwalk Art Show, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, VA (2016); Craft Expo 2015, Guilford Art Center, Guilford, CT (2015); 2014 Artist Awards Competition, The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA (2013); 2014 Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, DC (2013); Craftboston 2013, The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA (2012); Kentuck Festival of the Arts, Kentuck Art Center, Northport, AL (2012), the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Individual Artist Fellowship/Crafts (2009); Greater Columbus Arts Council, Individual Artist Fellowship Selection (2004); Best of 2004, Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH (2004) and ACC Southeast Region Spotlight 2004 Exhibition, Tamarack, Beckley, WV(2004). Lydon served on the Board of Governors of Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN from 2006-16 and currently is Co On-site Liaison for the National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts Conference to be held in Pittsburgh in 2018.