President (Interim)
Mel Ahlborn

The Rev. Robert Tate

Members of the Board
Deborah Cantwell
Jerrold Hames
Erin McGee-Ferrell

Mel Ahlborn

Mel Ahlborn serves as Interim President of ECVA. Mel was a member of the Founding Committee of ECVA in 2000, and joined the newly formed ECVA, Inc. Board of Directors in 2004. She has also served as ECVA Executive Director.

Robert Tate

The Rev. Robert L. Tate is the Treasurer of Episcopal Church and Visual Arts, Inc. Bob serves as part-time Priest Associate at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, where he coordinates the Cathedral Visual Arts Program. He also works as a part-time parish ministry consultant. From 1995 to 2009 Bob was the Rector of the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.

Bob is a graduate of Princeton University '72 and Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University, '76. He was ordained priest in the Diocese of CT in 1980.

Bob and his wife, Ann Greene, who is an administrator and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, live in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, and spend as much time as possible in their "camp" in Saranac Lake, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains.

Deborah Cantwell

“I believe that art is a universal language that when free to be expressed can give voice to the common spark of both humanity and Divinity in all of us, capable of breaking down barriers and creating understanding. Art appears to be as basic an instinct as any, telling the stories of life since cave men told visual stories of great hunts.”

Coming to that understanding took an odd journey in Deborah Cantwell’s life — an exciting journey that started with a choice between a partial scholarship to the Cincinnati Art Academy or being one of the first two women to be awarded engineering apprenticeships at General Electric Large Jet Engine division with a full scholarship to the University of Cincinnati engineering college. The choice to take the opportunity with G.E. was a solid decision that shaped her successful career in industry and teaching engineering at the college level.

But the drive of her artistic side never went away. Mid-career, Deborah took a year off to produce a body of work for a one-woman show. She found that some works come from the soul and a deeper understanding of the world and events around us. As profound as that understanding was, she chose to continue to be a practicing artist, but felt her greatest service would too support the wider art community. So, she researched locations, moved to a different state, and opened a successful retail gallery that connected artists and their work with residential and corporate collectors.

After she and her husband moved to California, they opened Cantwell Productions, a company that blended their combined business acumen, technical and artistic skills. Their company survived the recession by changing with the needs of the marketplace, from supporting established companies to working with consultants, start-ups, and non-profits. Cantwell Productions provides services and management support to allow individuals and organizations to focus on their products and customers.

As a graduate of Claremont Graduate School, the Drucker School of Management, and Sotheby’s Art Institute, Los Angeles, Deborah’s specialty is Arts Administration with a concentration in organizations and business development of non-profit institutions. Since 2014 she narrowed her focus to support institutional and private collections. She remains a committed practicing artist and a passionate advocate.

Jerry Hames

Jerry Hames’ life-long career in journalism began as editor of the University of Windsor’s weekly publication in that Canadian city situated across the river from Detroit, Mich. After working at two daily newspapers, he took up residence in Toronto to edit the national publication of the Anglican Church of Canada for almost 20 years. In 1990 he moved to New York as editor of Episcopal Life, successor to The Episcopalian, and worked with members of ECVA’s board throughout the ‘90s to raise the visibility of Episcopal artists throughout the church. He retired in 2007 and when the national church curtailed print publications and closed Episcopal Life three years later, he left retirement to become the founding editor of Episcopal Journal, an independent national monthly publication. Since his second retirement in 2014 he has volunteered as a contributing writer for the Journal’s Faith & the Arts pages. Early in his career he received a Luxton Award for his work with the St. Leonard’s Society of Canada that promoted exhibitions of art created by incarcerated men and women. Not an artist himself, he remains committed to “telling the story” of artists and promoting their work through various media.

Erin McGee-Ferrell
“I am a fearless and passionate explorer of materials, seeking to alter environments and evoke transformation.”

Classically trained as an oil painter, Erin McGee Ferrell, continues to build upon twenty-five years of her profession as a residential and corporate artist. Always having maintained an interest in the merging of science and art, Erin incorporates her Maine surroundings literally into the layers of her contemporary works.

McGee Ferrell’s Petri Dish Series, has evolved over four years of mixed media exploration; micro biotic inspired paintings of land, sea, flora, and human cells. Bio luminescent Series: Ocean is interactive with florescent compounds altering the textures and compositions of the surface at night.

“Life shows us a level of complexity and beauty in science that isn’t often translated to visual expression through the arts.” - Erin McGee-Ferrell

Erin is a recipient of a Maine Arts Commission Grant 2017, “Art and Chemotherapy,” and a member of The National Organization for Arts in Health. Nationally recognized, McGee Ferrell’s paintings are collected by Private and Commercial institutions, including TD Ameritrade, AtlantiCare New Jersey, Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, INC. Philadelphia, The Episcopal Diocese of Boston, the CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, professional hockey player Kimmo Timonen, and America’s Cup Winner- Robert James Gale. Her Maine Oil paintings can be purchased through Venn and Maker Gallery, Portland, Maine. Her work has been highlighted at the Arnot Museum, NY and The Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, WI. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and University of the Arts Philadelphia. McGee Ferrell has also studied at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, University of Louisville in Italy, School for International Training in Nigeria, and Maine College of Art.

Contact us:

About ECVA