Who We Are


Founding Partner

Carol May

Carol May is the founder and principal of May & Watkins Design. Over a five decade professional arts career she has been at the forefront of functional public art creation, children’s museum design, and playground innovation. Working with a small team of dedicated in-house artisans and engineers in our dedicated facility in the Hudson Valley of New York she is dedicated to bringing fine art to the public in an approachable and integrated manner.

“I want the audience to have a ‘Wow! This is amazing!’ experience, so I will push the boundaries until we have achieved an exceptional, stunning solution. I love creating exhibits and public art, because true synergy with a committed museum or public art development team, brings richness, depth, and significance to the final work.”

Under her guidance May + Watkins has completed projects of all scales and budgets. From private arts commissions and play spaces to municipal-level permanent public sculptural installations (Add links to relevant projects) Carol and her team strive to deliver work of superior quality and one of a kind design.

John Franzen

John Franzen is the Senior Fabricator and Designer at May + Watkins. He is the crucial interface between the design studio and the fabrication floor.  A consummate craftsman and accomplished artist, John is able to seamlessly translate Carol’s designs into reality. With almost two decades at M+W, John has had the opportunity to grow and learn with the company and has been a cornerstone member of the teams that delivered some of our most celebrated projects. (Add links to relevant projects)

Additionally, John’s strong construction and design knowledge allows him to effectively communicate with general contractors, architects, and engineers, to ensure a safe and harmonious installation process. 

John’s training includes a multi-year traditional apprenticeship with master fabricator and artist Tim Watkins as well as continuing training and education in computer-aided drafting, metallurgy, industrial design, and arts theory.

Chris Janikowski

Chris Janikowski is a multi-material design fabricator and artist and part of the core design and fabrication team at May+Watkins. His multi-role competency finds him equally at home painting in the studio, sculpting steel in the shop, or meeting with clients and vendors in the field. Chris is a firm believer in a “job well done” and excels at melding a keen attention to detail and proven techniques with novel designs and crowd-pleasing effects. A showman and host at heart, Chris is driven to provide a memorable, accessible, and above all, moving experience to those that participate in the work.

Chris’ training includes a three-year apprenticeship with master fabricator and artist Tim Watkins and an ongoing arts apprenticeship with Carol May. 

James Bouler

James Bouler, RA, AIA, is an award-winning architect and specialist in renewable design and construction. Founding partner of Bouler Pflueger Architects, James provides invaluable insight and strategy in all aspects of the creation process. James is a key member of our team, focusing on structural and foundation design as well as production fabrication and installation. From deep roots in modern fine arts sculpture and furniture design, he brings a fresh, contemporary sensibility to every project.

James is a graduate of Auburn University where he obtained his BArch degree, and he received his MFA from Stony Brook University with a concentration on sculpture.

Sara Pruiksma

“Being a part of this creative, ambitious team is invaluable to me personally and professionally. I love that I make art for a living.”

Sara joined the May+Watkins Design team in early 2014. She is an Associate Designer, and works closely with Carol assisting with research, design and models.

Sara received her BFA from Alfred University School of Art and Design and her MFA from the State University of New York, at Albany. She has exhibited her mixed media, two and three dimensional paintings throughout New York. In 2019 she received an Individual Artist’s Grant through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) for her “Our Town” project. For more information about Sara visit sarapruiksma.com.


Tim Watkins

“I have always believed in the magic of the full environmental experience. As a kid I built worlds for my toys. As an adult, I build worlds for other kids.”

Tim was a multifaceted sculptor and designer, and a founding partner in May + Watkins Design. We will miss his talent and imagination, his can-do spirit, inventiveness, ingenuity, whimsy, and off-the-wall nonsense.

Tim is survived by his creative partner and wife, Carol May, John Franzen his long-time fabrication collaborator, and May+Watkins Design, LLC, a thriving teams of creatives, who working together, design and build unique artworks.

Tim left much joy and beauty in the world.

What We Do