Palos Verdes Art Center instructors are highly-qualified and have a wealth of experience. Many also teach at local colleges, and all are artists in their own right. They focus on the individual needs and interests of their students. In addition, children’s teachers (rather than relying on formulas that stress strict rules and copying) have special experience in bringing out children’s unique creativity.

Nancy Backes a certified Zentangle teacher, has been a member of the Artists Studio for 9 years, and has worked as an architectural draftsperson and renderer for various architectural firms in Honolulu. She also enjoys sketching historical sites and has had many commissions in Palos Verdes and Arizona.

Robin Bott has taught children’s art in several area schools and been included in numerous exhibitions.

Paul Brayton (BFA, Pitzer College), owns and operates Brayton Glass Designs, producing high quality glass works that are displayed in galleries and private collections worldwide. He also teaches glass blowing at both Palos Verdes and Peninsula High Schools.  

Annie Clavel (MS, Universite Paris, France) formerly a mathematics teacher, now gallery director and abstract painter, teaches drawing and painting in Long Beach.

Bernard Fallon (BA, Liverpool College of Art; Leicester University School of Photography)  is a member of the California Art Club and founding member of the Pastel Society of Southern California, teaches oil, plein air landscape painting and photography.

Jeffrey Fan (BFA, illustration, Rhode Island School of Design) specializes in teaching drawing and painting from observation. He has exhibited in Los Angeles and Providence, RI, and has work in international collections.

Kim Kei (BFA, San Francisco Art Institute) is an artist whose personal work exists somewhere between representation and abstraction, but is fundamentally about the body. Studying the figure and working life has remained a constant feature in her practice as an artist. 

Young Kim a largely self-taught artist, likes the flexibility and spontaneity of silk painting.

Laurel Koss (BA Temple University) is a freelance artist who teaches adults and children throughout the Los Angeles area.

Roy Kunisake (CSU, Long Beach) is influenced by nature and the pottery styles of his native Japan.

Carolyn LaLiberte (BFA, ceramics, CSU, Long Beach) is a ceramic artist who focuses mainly on the human figure.  She has traveled extensively taking workshops and teaching and has received numerous awards for her work.  

Frank Minuto (Chouinard Institute of Art; Otis Institute of Art; University of London) has work in numerous private and corporate collections. He has also worked in illustration, art restoration and stage design.

Mario Mirkovich Classically educated in Europe, brings together traditional art skills, superb draftsmanship and expert use of color.

Jim Murray (MFA, painting, Art Center College of Design) is an artist, educator and former gallery director. 

Jan Napolitan who has studied with some of the best ceramists in the country, has been a studio potter for more than 35 years. 

Kjersti Onderdonk  Registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance, has been practicing yoga for over ten years.  She appreciates the simple postures most and enjoys the stillness cultivated within these poses.

Dael Patton (BA, art education, MA, painting, CSU, Los Angeles) has taught at LaVerne University and the Los Angeles school districts.

Lerri Peterson teaches art to adults and focuses her own painting on animals and nature. She is a member of The Artists’ Studio.

Lance Richlin  is instructor of classical figure painting at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art.

Adrian Sandstrom (BA, Buena Vista University) teaches ceramics, works as a gallery assistant, has supervised a large-scale production studio and exhibits throughout California.

Anna Sapenuk (USC, dual MA in Art History and Museum Studies) is an art historian and a museum educator with ten years of experience working in Los Angeles area museums.   She is currently engaged with Artmuse

Steve Shriver is a professional artist who specializes in large-scale paintings and ornamental panels. He recently completed a public mural in Hermosa Beach and a large painting for the San Pedro Brewing Company.

Jennifer Siegal (Otis College of Art and Design; Florence Academy of Art) has been sculpting, painting and teaching for over 10 years. 

Karen Silton has been a full-time professional ceramicist, fine arts mosaicist and educator for 20 years.

Rena Small (MFA, California Institute of the Arts) has had numerous exhibitions in L.A. and N.Y. and is the recipient of many awards.  She has taught at Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Dominquez Hills and Marymount College.


Jeff Stellges is Head of the Ceramics Department and has been involved at the Art Center for over 17 years, involved in ceramics for 30 years. 

Jennifer Stillwell (BFA, California Institute of the Arts) has taught animation and storyboards at CalArts and Mt. San Antonio College and has worked on numerous projects including "Super Mario Brothers" and "Zelda." 

Julie Szamborski has studied art all over the world and has been making jewelry for about fifteen years using fabrication, beading, found object assemblage and PMC.

Dewey Tafoya (BA, UCLA) conducts youth and adult screen printing workshops throughout L.A. has been the artist in residence at Self-Help Graphics and recently exhibited at LACMA as part of the exhibition, Futbol: The Beautiful Game.

Bill Ungar (BS Industrial Design, CSU, Long Beach) is a career industrial designer and design instructor, with over 25 years experience designing and developing scuba diving equipment, sporting goods, medical equipment, and hand held devices. He is a strong advocate of project based design curriculum to engage students, teach problem solving, and foster creativity.

Arlene Weinstock (BFA, Boston University) is a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America and has been in juried shows throughout the country.

James Wisnowski (American Academy of Art) has taught his philosophy of painting at national and international workshops.

Virginia Wyper, a member of Women Painters West, Los Angeles Printmaking Society and South Bay Watercolor Society, has won many awards for her prints.

Suzanne Young has had numerous one woman shows in San Francisco.  Originally a traditional watercolorist, she moved into representational work and now specializes in abstract art.



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