Yorktown Artist Builds Business out of Showing Others to Paint

Kathy Pasquale teaches a class at the senior center in Yorktown on Monday mornings. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
A portion of Kathy Pasquale’s mural at the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center Credits: Gabrielle Bilik

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Whether it is a paintbrush, computer mouse or a hammer, local artist Kathy Pasquale is never emptyhanded.

“Because I do work for myself, I really am always working,” she said.  “If I’m not teaching class I’m looking for new ideas online, crafting projects for kids, painting techniques—you name it.”

Pasquale runs a business teaching art classes at senior and community centers throughout Westchester. In addition to teaching a senior painting class Monday mornings in the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center, she recently finished up a year-long effort to beautify the hallways of the senior center.

Sign Up for E-News

Although she calls it one mural, it is spread out among different spots throughout the center’s downstairs corridors. Because she completed the task on a volunteer basis, the project took almost a year to finish. Some of her other murals can be seen at the Jefferson Valley Mall.

When she isn’t working, she spends time with her three children, Alec, R.J. and Stephanie, and her boyfriend. Otherwise, she chips away at the never-ending to-do list that accompanied the Yorktown home she purchased five years ago when she moved there from Rye.

Because she runs her own business, it is sometimes impossible not to bring her work home with her. Recently, she and her boyfriend constructed 45 easels for one of her painting classes in one day. Not that she’s complaining. She said she loves where her career has ended up and said enjoys doing such projects.

Pasquale said she’s made art as soon as she could hold a paintbrush. However, she was discouraged from making a career of it when she was young because of the “starving artist” stereotype. And although there are times she admittedly considers taking less-than-glamorous work in times of financial stress, Pasquale said, she finds her work to be very rewarding.

In addition to sharing her passion for art with those she teaches, Pasquale said artistic flair runs in her family. While just a few have pursued careers in creative fields, she said, her oldest son is an artist as well. She also enjoys the connection she has through her career to her late grandfather, a painter and professor who, once he was retired, taught art classes to seniors in the basement of his local senior center as well.

“I always laugh because he would get such a kick out of that,” she said.

Pasquale’s journey as a working artist began more than 30 years ago. After she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art from The College of New Rochelle, she worked as an illustrator and layout artist for Knowledge Industry Publications, eventually advancing to manager of the art department.

Wanting a more flexible schedule once she became a mother, she set out on her own in 1989. She painted murals and other commissioned works while her children were young, and when they were older she taught private and group lessons. She has been teaching art classes throughout Westchester for almost two decades, offering programs to senior citizens, preschool-aged children and everyone in between.

In addition to teaching in Yorktown, she teaches at the Rye Recreation Center, Rye Brook Senior Center, Clinton Street Center in Pleasantville, Jefferson Village in Jefferson Valley, and Port Chester Senior Center. She works numerous community events at the Jefferson Valley Mall. She has also taught at My Second Home, a senior day care facility in Mount Kisco.

She also taught pottery classes at Orienta Beach Club Day Camp and Beach Point Day Camp in Mamaroneck. Additionally, she illustrated a line of greeting cards and continues to create commissioned works including pet portraits and murals.

For the last two years, she has offered “paint with me” classes in community centers and private parties, where she demonstrates a step-by-step approach to painting something easy. The events are often accompanied with wine and snacks.

“I do it like a fundraiser,” she said. “Whatever they bring in they get to subsidize some of the senior programming.”

She sometimes does up to three “paint with me” events a week, she said. She credits the event’s no pressure, social quality to its success.

“People who aren’t really sure they have any talent are really happy with what they come out with because you walk them through it,” Pasquale said. “I’ve had people come to me the next day and be like, ‘I didn’t think I liked it until I woke up this morning and thought, ‘Wow, this is really good.’”

Yorktown resident Bob Rohr has been taking Pasquale’s classes at the community center for two years. Rohr is a photographer trying his hand at painting for the first time. While his photography skills are advanced enough that his classmates use his photos as inspiration for their own paintings, he said, he couldn’t paint anything more than a stick figure when he first joined Pasquale’s class.

The challenge, he said, is in creating something from scratch versus framing and taking an existing shot.

“Here, I have to build it from the ground up a piece at a time. This will be my second class here with Kathy. She’s brought me a long way,” he said. “Now I’ve got a couple of trees, I invented some flowers. It’s fun. I love it.”

Pasquale said seniors often face challenges such as health issues or the loss of loved ones. She shared the story of a 90-year-old woman who had recently suffered a stroke. She said the woman lost her fine motor skills in her hands and visited Pasquale’s classroom out of curiosity to see what Pasquale was doing there. Despite the woman’s doubts, Pasquale persuaded her into joining the class.

They spent the first few classes just focused on holding the brush. Pasquale coached the woman to paint a straight line and eventually built from there.

“By the end of the two months, between that and her physical therapy, she started being able to do [more] stuff. Two years later she was doing paintings for her grandkids,” Pasquale said. “She told me she loved the class so much, she said, ‘I’m not just alive anymore, I’m living.’ That’s the whole thing. That’s why I do this with the seniors.”

To see more of Pasquale’s work, to attend a class or book her for a “paint with me” class, call 914-525-4403 or email

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Cuomo Shores Up His Left Flank (at Our Expense)

We keep hearing how the Republicans are bought and paid for by the NRA. I recently explained to you the truth about this myth. The reality is the Democrats are the ones who are bought and paid for. Not by the NRA, but the environmentalists.

You thought I was going to say public sector unions, didn’t you? Well, they own both parties in New York. However, the environmentalists pull the ...

Appreciating Two Amazing Role Models

As difficult as this winter has been with the power outages and stormy weather, it pales in comparison to my overwhelming sense of dread as I prepared for the 20th anniversary of my mother’s passing on March 20. On that day, I know my mind will inevitably flash back to her last painful hours, when she valiantly struggled just to stay alive. Yet, I’m equally certain I will remember the ...

To Harrison, L'Chaim!

At long last, the smile of spring approaches, as an angry winter recedes into good riddance. Our spirit is ready to be re-charged. Damn the power outages, full speed ahead!

For my wife, Elyse, daughter, Elissa, and me, this otherwise exuberant time of year brings a confusion of mixed emotions. In 2003, on the opening day of spring, March 20, which happens to be my birthday, our 15-year-old son ...

Storm Aftermath and Update

March 22, 2018

During my travels throughout the storm and its aftermath, I had the opportunity of seeing firsthand how hard our town employees worked on behalf of the residents of Yorktown, whether riding with the Highway Department while they were plowing the roads, assisting at the YCCC warming facility, working with the staff at the Town Emergency Operations Center, bringing food to residents at Beaver Ridge ...

A Half-Baked Column

“I think it’s time we retired this oven,” I said to my husband as I displayed a sheet of blackened sweet potato fries. “Even the dog won’t eat these.”

“Sure he will,” he said, tossing some fries on the floor. The dog immediately sucked them down.

“Not my point,” I said.

We had known that our oven was on its last burners for ...

Read Across America With Dr. Seuss

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’m a school librarian and I wanted to remind your readers that March 2 was “Read Across America Day.”  Teachers, librarians and others who read with children encourage schools, libraries and parents to celebrate this day with their children. This special date was chosen because it is the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the adored children’s author. That ...

Thanks for All You Do

March 22, 2018

To the editor,

I am writing to tell you how much we enjoy receiving the weekly Yorktown News. It is a consistent source of local news, new business, opinions and sports.

We recently had no power for seven days due to the storms, and regularly monitored Yorktown News’ Twitter page for town updates. Your team demonstrated its dedication by issuing an edition despite the lack of power ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sat, March 24, 12:00 PM

Club Fit, Jefferson Valley

Yoga for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Sat, March 24, 7:00 PM

Vittoria’Z, Jefferson Valley

Totally Awesome ’80s Night


Seton Holds First Social Fundraiser

March 14, 2018

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton school, 1375 East Main St., Shrub Oak will be hosting it's first ever Social Fundraiser on Friday, May 4th, 2018 in the Seton school gym.  Seton extends it's invitation to all to join in a night of food, fun, and dozens of raffles and silent auctions.  Entry tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets purchased by April 6th will be $35 per person; ...