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.

Caryl Christian Levy   (BFA, University of Iowa/University of Nebraska, MPAS, USC Roski School of Fine Arts) taught and directed programs in studio fine arts and public art. She maintains a working fine art studio in historic Los Angeles Chinatown concentrating on printmaking and painting. Her monotypes and paintings have been exhibited internationally including in the new artist-residency in large format monotypes in Venice, Italy and solo shows in Los Angeles this year. Her website highlights recent exhibitions.

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

Gerard Dislaire   (Studio Berçot, Paris, France) has worked in the fashion industry for over 30 years. 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, most recently as VP of Design Operations, leading various creative teams, and establishing internal processes related to design. Gerard currently teaches fashion design at Woodbury University in Burbank, Ca.

Bernard Fallon   (BA, Liverpool College of Art; Leicester University School of Photography) 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 and has work in private 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, 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.

Carolyn LaLiberte   (BFA Ceramics, Cal State, 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.

Lauren Clapp  

Loren Clapp, (AB, painting, sculpture, & graphic arts, UCLA; MFA, painting, Pratt Institute, NY) is a local artist and member of the California Art Club and former CEO Graphic Arts Coordinator for L.A. County. He has drawn from the figure for over 43 years.

Frank Minuto   (Chouinard Institute of Art; Otis Institute of Art; University of London) has work in numerous collections and also does art restoration.

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

Martina Mirkovich   (MA in art history CSULA) is an art historian and gallery owner based in San Pedro, California. She has recently taught courses at both CSULA and El Camino College.

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

Jan Napolitan   who has studied through classes and workshops with some of the best ceramicists in the country, has been a studio potter for over 35 years.

Warren Neil  

Warden Neil is a celebrity costume designer with 8 Emmy award nominations.  He has worked with Robert Zemekis, Joel Silver, Richard Donner, Walter Hill, William Freidkin, John Frankenheimer and Tom Hanks. 

Shoran Ohba   (BA, Irvine Valley College, SUNY Plattsburgh; academy credential Japan Calligraphy Academy (Nippon Shodo Geijutuin) in Tokyo) was born in Japan, but educated in Australia and the U.S. She studied under the supervision of renowned calligraphy master Chise Ohishi, and opened a calligraphy school in Shizuoka. Shoran is currently visiting California with the Cultural Exchange Artist program.

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, MA, Painting, Cal State, Los Angeles) has taught at LaVerne University and in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She has won awards and exhibited in many juried shows and private collections.

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.

Rodolfo Rivedemar   To date Rodolfo Rivademar has taken part in over sixty exhibitions, including many one-man shows, and has been the recipient of several prestigious awards. His paintings form part of many collections both here and abroad, and have been reproduced in Southwest Art Magazine, American Art Review, Art and Antiques Magazine, as well as in numerous catalogs. His work has also been pictured in the Los Angeles Times, The Daily Breeze, Orange County Register, ArtTalk and many other publications.

Christopher Rowland   (MFA, Otis College of Art & Design) is an exhibiting fine artist and filmmaker, currently teaching painting and video production at Otis. He is the 2009 PVAC Trustees Award winner and 2003 Artist Residency in Skopje, Macedonia.

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

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 Fine Art) has been sculpting, painting and teaching for over 10 years.

Karen Silton   has been a full-time professional ceramist, fine art mosaicist and educator for the last twenty years.

Edgar Silva   (BFA, Art Center College of Design) is a fine art painter who exhibits his work throughout Los Angeles and currently teaches at Art Center College of Design, Laguna College of Art & Design, Gnomon School of Visual Effects and 3Kickstudio.


Jeff Stellges   head of the ceramics department at the Art Center for over 17 years, has been involved in ceramics for over 30 years.

Jennifer Stillwell   (BFA, California Institute of the Arts) has taught animation and storyboards at Cal Arts and Mt. San Antonio College and has worked on numerous projects.

Vicki 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.

Mark Tahbo   is known as one of the finest Hopi potters today. Born and raised on the Hopi Reservation, First Mesa, Mark learned the art from his great grandmother, Grace Chapella. Mark’s distinctive pots have been exhibited worldwide in museums and galleries. Among the many top awards he has earned at the Santa Fe Indian Market, is the prestigious, Helen Naha Memorial Award for Excellence in Hopi Pottery, which he earned three consecutive years. Mark has been profiled in various publications including Native Peoples Magazine, and is included in numerous books and articles on Pueblo pottery.

Barbara Teller Ornelas   is best known for her Navajo “tapestry” weavings (95–120 weft threads per inch). She has set several records with her weavings: she has won Best of Show at the Santa Fe Indian Market twice; she established a new record in 1987 by selling a weaving for $60,000 that she and her sister Rosann Lee made; and she has woven the largest tapestry-style Navajo weaving on record. Barbara is a fifth generation weaver who was raised near Two Grey Hills on the Navajo Reservation where her father was a trader. She has been featured in National Geographic, Business Week, Americana and Native Peoples Magazines, as well as numerous books. She has won dozens of awards, and has demonstrated and lectured at museums and institutions across the country and recently did a cultural exchange with the Peruvian weavers in Peru at the request of the US State Department.

Lynda Teller Pete   began weaving at age 6 and won her first major award at age 12 at the Gallup Ceremonial. She has gone on to win numerous awards for her weaving; recently winning the Best of Classification for Textiles at the prestigious 2011 Santa Fe Indian Market. Lynda collaborates with museums, schools and other art venues in Colorado and around the country to teach the public about Navajo weaving. She is also known as an accomplished beadwork artist and has won many awards for this work as well.

Stephanie Trueman  

Stephanie Trueman (Santa Monica College) is the owner/designer of her own high-end jewelry line.

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.



Arlene Weinstock  

Arlene Weinstock (BFA, Boston University) holds Signature (CPSA) and Experimental Signature (CPX) status in 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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