Board of Directors
Stuart Pearl, President, joined the AAWR board in 2013. He is an photographer, Archived Artist, and a lifelong Clevelander who loves to promote our city’s growth and transformation. The Innerbelt Bridge Project, our urban skyline and the Emerald Necklace all present opportunities for telling stories through the art of photography. His goal is to create images that have lasting impact. Stuart does this by carefully framing and timing his compositions to create an engaging narrative between photograph and viewer. He strives to gain access to unique sites around Cleveland that tell the story of the city beginning at its core. Stuart then shares these stories through his blog, print exhibits, and community engagement. Stuart is also the son of the late Archived Artist Moses Pearl.
Dave Joranko, Treasurer, CPA, started with the AAWR in 2011 and was an international tax advisor with Ernst & Young LLP. He has over 25 years of experience in accounting firms advising a variety of large and mid-size U.S. multinational corporations. He graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Business Administration/English and received a J.D. from Ohio State University College of Law. Dave is the son of the late Archived Artist Ron Joranko.
Lee Heinen, Secretary, has been a member of the AAWR Board since 2014. She serves on the AAWR’s Peer Review & Nominating Committee, and is an Archived Artist. She maintains a studio and gallery in Cleveland’s Little Italy, where her work is well known. Heinen graduated with a B.A. from Rutgers and her work has been included in numerous corporate collections including Ameritech, B.F. Goodrich, Cleveland Clinic, SUMMA, and University Hospitals. She credits her travels to Mexico and other places abroad as a source of inspiration for her work.
Herbert Ascherman, Jr., Honorary Director, began his service on the AAWR’s board in 2009. An fourth-generation Clevelander, he is considered by many as one of this nation’s foremost living portrait photographers. Herb has been creating fine art and professional portraiture for more than 35 years specializing in black and white and the resurgent art of platinum photography. Internationally recognized for his photographs of people in creative, commercial, and social settings, Herb’s work has been exhibited and commercially published throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan, and India. He has taught for over 30 years (including at the Cleveland Institute of Art), appeared on many television and radio programs, and authored three books on portraiture as well as numerous articles and essays. Herb has also been an Archived Artist since 2008.
Phillip Bautista, Board Member is a lawyer and partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, practicing in the areas of intellectual property and litigation. Phil advises both individuals and institutional clients on the management, protection, and licensing of their intellectual property. Phil also has significant first-chair experience litigating business cases throughout the United States and before federal and state courts and arbitrators, focusing on cases that involve trademarks, copyright, patents, and trade secrets. Phil also has extensive experience in litigation involving commercial, product liability, engineering, and construction matters.
Stephen J. Bucchieri, Board Member, Stephen Bucchieri graduated with a degree in architecture from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute of technology (now Carnegie – Mellon University) and he is the 1991 recipient of a Cleveland Arts Prize. Since the establishment of Bucchieri Architects in 1967, Stephen has produced subtle and sophisticated modern work through a design process that draws inspiration from minimalist principles, materials that reflect inherent dualities of the site and ways in which space responds to daylight. His residential and commercial buildings have won many awards and his Addison Library and Hawley House were included in Ohio Perspectives: Architectural, Graphic and Industrial Design, an exhibition mounted in The Akron Art Museum and the Riffe Gallery in Columbus, Ohio.
Ryn Clarke, Board Member, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, Ryn is a visual artist, photographer and educator. She embraces both her iPhone and digital SLR cameras and considers it a gift to be able to share what she has learned. Most of her photographic work represents some aspect of the beauty in Nature. In an attempt to interpret the natural world in different ways, she tries to see things in ways not ordinarily perceived. Besides leading iPhone workshops around the country, Ryn also experiments with different photographic techniques, including photopolymer gravure, encaustic & hand-colored photographic prints. She has been a board member of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s affiliate group, Friends of Photography and past president, a Zone Photography Representative for Zone X for the Garden Club of America. She holds a fine art degree from Marymount University and has exhibited nationally & internationally. Her work is held by private, corporate & medical collections throughout the United States.
Kristi Copez, Board Member, is an Advocate-Artist. Hidden-Disability-Warrior. Other-Mother. Poetic-Essayist. Space-Holder. Student. Womanist. Veteran. Kristi Copez, a seminary graduate, believes in Servant Leadership and is passionate about justice & racial equity as demonstrated through her belief in the power of art to heal and facilitate reconciliation. She uses her artistic media to voice, validate, vindicate, and vitalize us unto actions of dignity for community. She envisions a non-profit Arukah.Art, a sacred space for creating a sense of spiritual, emotional, & physical resilience and vigorous well-being for trauma survivors. Kristi Copez was recognized by and awarded “The Tyrian Artist of the Year” (2017-2018). Tyrian seeks artists whose work promotes harmony with nature and all people, & whose life work align with their mission goals of Creativity, Healing and Peace. She has earned her A.A. in Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution, her B.A. in Studio Art, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Theology & Pastoral Studies. Kristi resides in Cleveland, OH.
Al Cowger, Board Member, is a new member of the AAWR Board, having joined in 2020. He has lived much of his life in Northeast Ohio, with interludes in Northeast Pennsylvania, New York City, and Sofia, Bulgaria. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Case Western Reserve Law School. Much of Al’s legal career has been as a part-time in-house counsel to companies too small to have a full-time staff counsel, as well as pro bono counsel in a number of civil rights related legal matters. Cowger is currently a resident of Gates Mills, Ohio.
Jocelyn Ruf, Board Member is retired and a former Senior Executive and Line of Business Manager of Key Bank. A community activist and supporter of the arts through collection of prints and decorative arts, she is also a member of the Print Club, Member of Women’s Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and a Donors Circle Member of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Jocelyn is also a Board Member of the Intown Club, Member of the Finance Council and Sustainer Council, Junior League of Cleveland, Inc., and Member of the UH Seidman Cancer Center Leadership Council. She is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Positive Education Program (PEP) and former Treasurer and President of the Board of Directors of Moreland Courts Condominium Association.
Rota Sackerlotzky, Board Member, has been on the AAWR board since 2008. During her undergraduate years, Rota studied art and graduated summa cum laude from the College of New Jersey; she also received her M.A. in Art History from Case Western Reserve University. She was the director of the Cleveland Artists Foundation in the early 1990’s and continued there for several years as its curator. Throughout her career, Rota has had many of her writings published for such notable arts organizations as the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Artists Foundation (now ArtNeo). Currently, Rota is a freelance art historian, writer, and curator.
John A. Sargent III, Board Member, joined the AAWR board in 2013. National institutions such as The Supreme Court of the United States have collected John A. Sargent III’s paintings. His work has been exhibited in the Ohio Governor’s Mansion. He has completed many private and public commissions: The Ronald McDonald House, and the Lillian and Betty Ratner School among them. He has had his work published on the cover of nationally distributed Reviews and had the privilege of having a small work in the 2013 Venice Biennale. John regularly works with galleries in Ohio, New York, and Florida and participates in numerous national juried shows. His work can be found in corporate and private collections around the United Sates including Progressive Insurance, The Cleveland Clinic, The Weatherhead School of Management, Pfizer, as well as collections internationally. John serves as Chair of the Exhibition Committee.
Patricia Triggs, Board Member, joined the AAWR board in 2021. Patricia Triggs is a native Clevelander who was educated in the Cleveland School System(CMSD). She holds a Bachelors’ and Masters’ degree in Education from Cleveland State University (CSU) and Baldwin Wallace University (formally Baldwin Wallace College) respectively. Mrs. Triggs was an educator for the CMSD with a career spanning instruction from K-12. She also spent two years at CSU as a Visiting Instructor where she taught courses in Education and helped develop the guidelines for student teachers. Mrs. Triggs has been a member of the Urban League of Greater Cleveland for fifteen years and recently completed a six year term as President of the Urban League Guild, the volunteer arm of the organization. She currently sits on the Urban League Board. Mrs. Triggs is a charter member of the Friends of African and African American Art (FA4) at the Cleveland Museum Art and is currently on the Board and serves as the Events Coordinator. In 2019, she sat on the SeenUnseen Steering Committee of the exhibition at the Artist Archives of the Western Reserve. Mrs. Triggs has also written and directed murder mysteries, is also a former restaurateur, world traveler, and enthusiastic art collector.
Contact AAWR for additional information or call us at 216/721-9020.