Meet the Teaching Artists
VSA arts of Nevada is always looking for qualified, experienced teaching artists for our art workshops for children and adults of all abilities. A degree is not necessary, but previous teaching experience is mandatory. If interested, please send a resume and references to our Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants must be willing to undergo a background check.
VSAN teaching artists are professional artists with expertise in one or more arts disciplines and skills in working with children, youth, adults and teachers in school and community settings. In addition, VSAN teaching artists are familiar with disabilities and effective methods for adapting techniques and differentiating instruction to reach all learners. All VSAN teaching artists share one thing in common, a passion for teaching.
Elizabeth Brooks is a newer member of the Reno community, originally hailing from St. Louis, Missouri where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in K-12 Art Education and Masters in TESL. She is proud to bring her Art Education skill set to Reno where children’s art is not a part of every school week for kids. Also enjoying adult education, she has taught Visual Art Integration classes for teachers in the WCSD on how to marry visual art with science, math, social studies, and language arts to create learners who will use this integrated approach to learning to become the inventors and engineers of the future. Elizabeth is an artist who creates with drawing media, watercolor and acrylic paints, ceramics, and does custom illustration.
Jordan Cervalli is new to the VSAN but is not new to the art community. She just recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Art with an emphasis in painting and a minor in Art History. She has been painting for fifteen years and has been enthusiastic about working with children all her life. She is excited about bringing her love for art and painting to the students she works with.
Lorna Denton has taught art for 16 years in the USA and in England. She has been involved with VSA since 2001. Her teaching experience includes adults and children covering a wide range of visual arts. In Reno, she taught at the Nevada Museum of Art and Sierra Arts. In the UK, she ran an Art Department for a school, teaching 11- 16 year old students a wide and varied arts curriculum. Lorna strongly believes that the arts are an essential part of an individual’s development, as they encourage self expression, confidence, and a sense of personal achievement. These goals are reflected in her teaching approach and her emphasis on experimenting with a variety of materials.
Lorna completed a Textiles Degree at West Surrey College of Art and Design in the UK, followed by a teaching certificate. Since then she has continued her studies mainly focusing on photography and printmaking.
Tia Flores has taught for VSAN since 1989. Since accepting an art teaching position with Coral Academy, Tia still manages to teach two classes a week for adults with disabilities at the Lake Mansion, Access Art and at the Larry D. Johnson Community Center in Sparks, Leisure without Limits. Tia is also a professional gourd artist.
Tammy Franchini has been teaching art since 2003 and for VSAN since 2005. Her primary teaching interests vary; but she is recently most interested in teaching mixed media to children. Tammy previously taught for Malamalama Waldorf school in Keaau, Hawaii, where she instructed students in hand crafts. For Tammy, the most rewarding thing about teaching is the opportunity to engage and guide a student in such a creative way and in such a rich environment as the art classroom.
Lauren Gamboa was born in San Diego, CA, multimedia artist Lauren Gamboa has been a competitive figure skater, sorority sister, art instructor, gallery manager, NFL cheerleader, wood shop technician, and the personal assistant to the director of Trade at the New York Mercantile Exchange. It is this eclectic background that draws Gamboa to personal narratives, universal experiences, and the art of storytelling. She has over seven years of instructional experience in the visual arts, including two and three-dimensional foundations, multimedia, and video and stop animation at the primary through higher education level. Gamboa earned her M.F.A. in Sculpture and New Media at Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, and also studied at the Rome campus. She holds a B.A. in Art Studio from the University of California, Davis.
Erik Holland loves teaching art. He has taught art for VSAN, Rainshadow Charter High School, and Sierra Arts for most of the last decade. Erik is also a working artist, selling his work through galleries and events like NadaDada Motel and Reno Open Studios. He is the “DadaMayor De Esprawlius” of the NadaDada Motel event. Erik has lived in the Artist’s Lofts in downtown Reno since 2000, when he came to Nevada from Alaska. He shows his fine art paintings at Ryrie’s Art and Home and the Co-op Gallery in Reno, as well as Vigil’s Collection in Nevada City, and Briggs and Company in Winters, CA. Holland has also published hundreds of political cartoons in various publications and is working on a book called “Outback Cartoonist” to be published late in 2011.
Gene Hughes has taught for VSAN since 2008 moving from Chicago, Illinois where he also taught and exhibited his graphite artwork in a variety of studios and galleries. Mr. Hughes teaches high school and adult students with a variety of disabilities, and has recently started teaching homeless people involved with Project Restart, and veterans at the VA hospital. The veterans workshops are funded by David J. Drakulich Art Foundation: For Freedom of Expression.
Diedre Hopkins Burke has been teaching art for 20 years, specializing in Oil and Acrylic Classes. A professional artist herself, her personal style is “Realistic Impressionism” and her paintings are in collections throughout the United States, ranging from Columbia University’s Lou Gehrig Medical Center, NYC to Habitat for Humanity’s Los Angeles Center to President Clinton’s personal art collection, to private collections. Her paintings of Princess Diana were published in the book Diana in Art, London, 2007. To see samples of her art, visit her website: www.artclassesrenoburke.com
Carol Johnson has been a practicing artist for many years and has now branched out to watercolor-collage using lots of new papers such as oriental, metallic and handmade. She uses photographs and recycles old watercolors to draw inspiration for new pieces. She enjoys visualizing and then creating, watching textures, color, and lines come together in her work. Her florals, abstracts and landscapes use a lot of color and the design is generally bold and free – just like she loves her life to be.
Carol a third generation native Nevadan and her love and pride of the West is very evident in her work with big skies, wide open spaces, and mountains featured in almost all landscape pieces. She is pleased to be a part of the Dusty Roads Group at St. Mary’s Art Center. Her work can be seen with the Sierra Watercolor Society and at St. Mary’s Art Center in Virginia City, as well as annually in the Brown Bag Lady Show in Jackson, Wyoming. Additionally, her work is featured at the Yart Sale during Artown and the Annual Open Studio Show every autumn.
Suellen Johnson is a practicing artist who has taught art to children and adults for 30 years in Oregon and Nevada. She came to Reno and began teaching a variety of courses for VSAN in 2008. She particularly enjoys helping individuals see their creative potential. She also teaches Drawing & Foundations at TMCC and Relief Printmaking at Oxbow Press. Her artwork is exhibited within the region, as well as nationally. Suellen has a BFA from PNCA in Portland Oregon and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Ashley Marie Peck draws from her Inupiaq Eskimo heritage, blending an animistic spirituality with her own globe trotting, self discoveries of human relationship and awareness. Her traditional mediums and stylistic approach is said to achieve “a knowing intention, juxtaposed against unguarded intimacy.”
Peck completed her B.A. in Art from the University of Nevada Reno, holds a Certificate of Completion for graduate studies from Hellenic International Studies in the Arts, Greece and a Master in Education from UNR. Peck’s group exhibitions include Art Slaves, Art @ The Studio, Like, Love, Lust: A Secret Show at the Nevada Museum of Art and Art from the Underworld at Holland Tunnel in Parikia, Greece. She holds awards from The National Arts Program, the CIRI Foundation and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Lambda Theta honor societies.
Peck is currently an art teacher at North Valleys High School, VSA Nevada and a yoga instructor at The Studio, Reno, NV. Peck loves spending time with her husband, family and friends and traveling this beautiful world that we live in!
Jacy Robinson has been teaching art since 2004 and teaching for the VSA since 2006. Jacy’s main teaching interest is in ceramics, and he shares this interest with all ages wanting to learn something in that medium. Jacy wants to share with others what he knows so that they can enjoy clay as much as he does.
Robin’s Creative Movement/Music workshop
Robin Robinson has been a teaching/performing artist for thirty years. After studying Art and Dance at the University of Nevada in Reno, she performed extensively with several modern and folk dance companies throughout Nevada and California. Robin had a private practice as a massage therapist for over 15 years and also studied yoga at the Iyengar Institute. She has taught many therapeutic movement courses for diverse populations and has been an AFAA certified fitness professional. Robin has always loved singing, playing guitar, and percussion instruments, and she currently enjoys combining music and dance in Creative Movement classes for children and adults.
Paula Robison is a visual arts teacher and illustrator. Additionally, she’s a volunteer with the David J. Drakulich Foundation’s Veterans’ Art Project, Story Time storyteller at Sundance Books and Music every first Friday, and proud mom of Rosemary, Elsa and Ethan. She lives with her family in Reno.
Stephanie Richardson has taught acting for eight years for VSAN since 2004. Ms. Richardson’s primary teaching interest is both adults and children. Stephanie is a 1990 graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts where she received The William B. Kenan Scholarship and The Chancellor’s Award for Artistic Excellence. What she enjoys most about teaching is when her students are able to come out of their shells and actually take on another character. Stephanie is also a part- time drama instructor for The Davidson Academy, and the Executive Director and Founder of Theatreworks of Northern Nevada.
Elaine Slikkerveer has been an educator for over 16 years. She was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and became interested in art education when she started working at a kindergarten called Instituto de Educacão do Rio de Janeiro, an experimental school created to prepare teachers. Ms. Slikkerveer graduated with a degree in Elementary School and Early Childhood Education and School Administration and Supervision at Universidade Federal Fluminense. Elaine also worked in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, and was an administrator at Sociedade Pestalozzi do Brazil Rio de Janeiro. She moved to America and has worked as an Art Instructor for VSA Nevada since 2008.
Katie Steenberg was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. Katie received her bachelors degree in Liberal Arts at the University of Nevada Reno with a concentration in painting and a minor in psychology. She teaches at numerous artistic venues around Reno and has just recently joined VSA Nevada to teach some of the kids classes this fall. Katie loves teaching children because, like Pablo Picasso, she believes that every child is an artist.