Faculty

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.

Robin Bott has created projects for and taught children’s art in several area schools through Angels Gate Cultural Center and LA’s Best After School Arts Enrichment Program. Her work, including sculptures, mosaics and puppets, has been a part of numerous exhibitions, particularly in the Harbor area. She is also a puppeteer with a flamboyant variety of puppet characters who often participate in her arts workshops. She is co-manager and co-curator of Gallery Eleven Seven in Long Beach's East Village Arts District. Her children’s classes and camps often feature whimsical three-dimensional constructions, ranging from giant foam masks to complete puppet theaters.

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. www.facebook.com/PaulBraytonGlassDesigns.com

Gerard Dislaire

A graduate of the Studio Berçot, Paris, France, Gerard has worked in the fashion industry for 30 years in Paris, Brussels, New York and Los Angeles. In France, he worked for Chantal Thomass as a designer, creating apparel and accessories, sourcing exclusive fabrics and prints, and styling fashion shows. In Brussels and New York, he was responsible for the creation and marketing of denim fabrics through innovative weaving and dyeing techniques. For the following 10 years, he worked at Juicy Couture in Los Angeles, establishing, leading and coordinating various creative and product development teams.

Gerard currently teaches fashion at Woodbury University. He also curates vintage clothing events such as A Current Affair and the Manhattan Vintage, going back to his roots of working with high-fashion designers. 

Jennifer Fabos Patton and the Gallery Girls have been doing amazing workshops filled with fun and inspiration for over 8 years. www.gallerygirls.org

Bernard Fallon (BA, Liverpool College of Art; Leicester University School of Photography) has traveled around the world to create pictures. His work is in collections both in the U.S. and abroad, and he has taught many pastel and watercolor workshops. A member of the California Art Club, he often paints “en plein air” and says: “I’m not copying nature, I’m translating its effect into patches of color. Isn’t it the artist’s calling to declare the beauties of nature?”
     At the Palos Verdes Art Center, he teaches oil and pastel painting classes for all levels and teaches photography. His photography career began at the BBC in London in 1973 and his book, Bernard Fallon's Liverpool, may be purchased on Amazon.co.uk.
www.bernardfallon.com

Karen Graff (BA, art education, Millersville University) has taught art for over 20 years in a variety of settings from traditional art studios, fine arts museums to a campsite on a Shenandoah mountainside. www.karengraff.com

Robert Wiliam Guyker Jr. (BFA, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.; MA, Mythological Studies Pacifica Graduate Institute) Mythologist, artist and researcher into the role of the imagination in cultural history.

Don Holmes (BA, Cal State, and Los Angeles) Computer Graphics Teacher-Platt College Los Angeles / Newport Beach CA (1996 - 2001): Instructor - Desktop Publishing (Quark, Pagemaker, Indesign), Systems Paint (Adobe Photoshop), Illustration (Macromedia Freehand & Adobe Illustrator). ArtCenter College of Design: "Saturday High Program" and Special Needs Program - (Adobe Photoshop). Culver City Adult Schools Evening Program: Instructor (Adobe Photoshop Intro & Intermediate classes). Giantsteps Training Program: Teacher- Life skills for adults using computers (all Microsoft and social networking applications in the community and lab time). Guest speaking engagements and video documentaries plus one-on-one Tutoring & Portfolio direction. Palos Verdes Art Center: Evening Program - Instructor (Adobe Photoshop Intro & Intermediate classes). Have traveled the earth and have worked with people from all walks and cultures of life. Lots of experience in Auto-Racing Photography - NASCAR/FORMULA1/INDYCAR/ALMS/NHRA/SCCA/VINTAGE VARA (1973-Present).

Dr. Jill Kiefer (BAFA, art & art history, University of New Mexico; MA & PhD, art history, Warnborough University) is a published author, editor, artist and illustrator. She has taught art and art history classes for more than 20 years.
    Utilizing her various skills, she teaches numerous classes at the Palos Verdes Art Center, but is perhaps best known for her coordinated art history/art making classes. She complements lectures on a topic in art history with classes in which students sample mediums and techniques used by the artists discussed in the lectures. Students can take either or both classes. Other art history classes focus on a current Los Angeles-area exhibition and include museum visits. She also teaches drawing and painting, giving special encouragement to beginners. Finally, she teaches digital art classes ranging from the very basic to creating art with the computer.
whataboutart.org

Young Kim a largely self-taught artist, likes the flexibility and spontaneity of silk painting. Her vibrant realistic and abstract designs grace wall hangings and pillows as well as kimonos and scarves. She says: “I like the spontaneity of dye on silk, watching the dye spread itself in unique patterns. I am continuously fascinated by the interaction of the dyes with the silk. I feel like I am watching magic at work.”

 She promises that even beginners with no art training can find success in her classes and create pieces they will be proud to wear and share.

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

Roy Kunisake (Cal State, Long Beach) describes his wheel-thrown porcelain vessels as “fine crafted pottery inspired by nature, cycles of aquatic ecosystems, Japanese ethnicity and California life style.” A native of Japan, he has lived in California most of his life.  He says: “When I go to Japan to visit my family, I go to the pottery villages to absorb what the potters are creating. And usually I bring back small pieces and tons of ideas for my future projects, taking small steps toward crossing bridges of ceramic art.”
    At the Palos Verdes Art Center, he teaches both hand-building and wheel-thrown ceramics to adults and wheel-throwing to youth, ages 10 and up.
www.artawakening.com/roy/

Linda R. Lo (Shih Chien University, Taipei, Taiwan degree in fine arts commercial & interior design) is an artist, florist, designer, and entrepreneur who has won numerous awards for the Western and Ikenobo Ikebana floral designs.  lindarlo@yahoo.com

Terry Madison (BA fine arts, MA, art education UCLA) has been an art educator for PVPUSD for 48 years.

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.
His painting classes fill extremely rapidly, because, as one student wrote on an evaluation: “Frank has a wonderful ability to communicate with his students. He is able to quickly assess the problem and give wonderful ways of attacking it. He is easy to talk to and very knowledgeable about all areas of art.” www.frankcharlesdanteminuto.com

Mario Mirkovich Classically educated in Europe, marries traditional art skills, superb draftsmanship and expert use of color. His paintings, characterized by robust and sculptural brushstrokes, hang in collections throughout the world. He says: “My favorite thing about living in Southern California, which I use as subject matter in many of my paintings, is the resemblance it has to my homeland on the Adriatic coast of Croatia….Feeling that the light of natural scenery is its most attractive aspect, I strive to accentuate that light in my painting technique.”
    He teaches landscape, portrait and still life painting, primarily in oils. Students often work from photographs that Mario has taken.
www.mariomirkovichfineart.com

Colleen Mulligan (BFA Pratt Institute) has exhibited her work in the U.S. and Europe and was awarded for her painting in the 2005 Florence Biennale. In 2007 her solo show at Bergamot Station featured works of folding flesh based on the human figure that critics compared to the likes of Georgia O’Keefe.    

Jim Murray (BFA, illustration, & MFA, painting, Art Center College of Design) is an artist, educator and former gallery director. He taught art and directed the gallery at Mount St. Mary’s College. He has had numerous exhibitions.
    In his gallery visitation class, he shares his unique viewpoint, providing an artist’s opinion and historical perspective to the exhibitions the class tours and leading discussions of contemporary art issues.

Jan Napolitan who has studied with some of the best ceramists in the country, has been a studio potter for more than 35 years. Her pieces range from elegantly classic to abstract, from sculptural to functional, from large stoneware to small porcelain. She says: “Taking a lump of clay, with an idea in mind, through the process of forming, decorating, glazing and firing is demanding and rewarding.”
    Her classes (for intermediate and advanced students) focus on the functional ceramic forms used in everyday life and on how to produce a consistent product. One student said: “Jan’s knowledge is encyclopedic, and she really cares about the students.”

Kjersti Onderdonk , a 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, Cal State, Los Angeles) has been a painter and art instructor for over 30 years. She also has taught at LaVerne University, Idyllwild Arts Academy and the Los Angeles and Bonita school districts. She has been a featured artist at The Tang Gallery in Brisbee, Arizona, as well as with The Artists' Studio at the Palos Verdes Art Center and the Courtyard and Songolo galleries in Idyllwild. She says of her work: “This mixed media process is both challenging and exciting for me. My goal is to achieve an interesting painting surface.”   She teaches an abstract painting class.
www.daelpatton.com

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




Lance Richlin

has been an instructor of classical figure painting at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art, Art Center Pasadena and Otis Institute.

www.lancerichlin.com






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

Jennifer Siegal (BA, studio art, UC Santa Barbara; Florence Academy of Art) has been sculpting, painting and teaching for over 10 years. She says: “Drawing from life is a wonderful artistic inspiration, and capturing the ‘look’ of the sitter is something you can’t plan, but which is revealed in the time spent with the model. It is most fun when it all comes together in the end….my initial training of working from figures from life prepares me as an artist to paint anything—a still life or landscape—with the  same bravura and keen observation.”
    Her diverse background has helped her teach a number of adult courses from figure painting and sculpting to painting impressionistic still lifes. She also teaches figure drawing for teens and children’s drawing, painting and cartooning classes as well as imaginative camp sessions. www.siegalstudio.com

Sara Smelt (PhD, University of London) a former scientist has always seen art in science and science in art. But when wool roving transforms into felt fabric; that, she says, is art, science and a little magic.  www.feltevolution.com

Jeff Stellges  is the Head of the Ceramics Department and has been at the Art Center for over 17 years, both teaching and managing the ceramics studio during that time. He has been involved in Ceramics for over 30 years, teaching, building kilns, firing kilns, developing glazes, tools and equipment all with the goal of helping his students have a better ceramic experience. Jeff is very hands on and continues to learn new techniques to pass on to his students.

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

Bo Struye (University of Brussels) born and raised in Europe, has been working as a photographer and a special effects motion picture artist for more than 30 years.www.bostruyephotos.com

Samantha Sullivan (MBA, National American University), owns and instructs at Karenza Movement in Long Beach.  As a gymnast, dancer, aerialist, acrobat, and avid yogi, she is passionate about bringing movement into the lives of adults and children.    

Bill Ungar

(BS Industrial Design, CSU, Long Beach) 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, is a strong advocate of project based design curriculum to engage students, teach problem solving, and foster creativity.   www.billungardesign.com

Arlene Weinstock (BFA, Boston University) earned her Signature and Experimental Signature from the Colored Pencil Society of America. She is a leading proponent of the loose colored pencil style. She shows her work locally and nationally. www.arlenew.com

James Wisnowski (American Academy of Art) is a signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America and a member of Oil Painters of America, California Art Club, Laguna Plein Air Painters of America, Chicago Artists Association and the Palette and Chisel Fine Art Academy. He says: “I am a realist painter who paints my environment as I see it….My focus is on outdoor landscape, which includes city scenes, seascapes and rural countryside. The beauty of the four seasons allows me to become a colorist, frequently changing my palette of colors when interpreting my subject.”
    His watercolor classes, for intermediate and advanced students, include the use of simple classical concepts as the bases for successful paintings. One student called him “the best instructor I ever had at PVAC.”
www.jameswisnowski.com

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.

Lawrence Yun (Professor, California State University, Fullerton) Professor Yun holds a Master of Fine Arts in Drawing/Painting and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from California State University, Long Beach.  In addition to numerous exhibitions at prestigious art venues, his work can also be seen in the television programs, including Luck (HBO), The Guardian (CBS), Eli Stone (ABC), Monk (HBO), and Knight Rider (NBC) and movies including Daddy Day Care (Columbia Pictures), Meet the Fockers (Universal Pictures), and Transformers (DreamWorks).