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Teaching Artists

At the Museum of Children's Art, our Teaching Artists are central to our mission of bringing arts education programs to Bay Area schools and communities. MOCHA’s Teaching Artists have residencies in public and private schools, in libraries, in our community partnership, and at our Oakland based studio and gallery.

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Alex Fatemi

Bio coming soon

Allison Swan

Bio coming soon

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Ariel Goldman, M.F.A.

Ariel Goldman, she/her, Walnut Creek, California home. Her arts education includes a Bachelor’s degree in painting and drawing from California College of Arts and a Master’s degree in animation from the Academy of Art University. When Ariel practices art, she focuses on painting and drawing, sewing and textiles, and illustration. She prefers painting with oils because she loves the creamy texture of oil paint and the way the paint can create layers that glow from within. She often paints portraits and so Frida Kahlo is one of her favorite artists as Kahlo’s portraits are honest, lovely, and powerful. When teaching art, one of Ariel’s favorite projects is drawing to music; It’s wonderful to see students connecting with music in a visual way that they wouldn’t have expected.

Bailey Jones

Bio coming soon

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Dalar Alahveradi, M.F.A.

Dalar Alahverdi, she/her, was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Visual Art (painting) and two Master's degrees in Visual Art from Yerevan State University, Armenia and a Master of Arts with a minor in Art Education from California State University of Long Beach. Dalar is an active visual artist with participation in numerous exhibitions, both within and outside the United States. Currently, she is actively engaged in showcasing her artwork in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of Dalar’s favorite artists is Vermeer. She likes his works for their visual richness, spatial representation, and compelling narratives.

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Danielle Zorn

Danielle Zorn, she/her, was born in and raised in Norwalk, CT. She graduated with a B.A. in Art History and a B.A. in Studio Art from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. Danielle has been a working artist and teacher for 20+ years, with the last 10 years at MOCHA. Her favorite medium to work with is clay. She loves being able to build and sculpt functional art with clay, and sharing that experience with students.There are so many interesting artists out there to draw inspiration from. Right now, Danielle is very into the colors, patterns and textures that Bisa Butler used to create her quilted portraits.

Eileen Perez-Iglesias

Bio coming soon

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Erin Winarto

Erin Winarto, they/them, is an interdisciplinary artist and maker whose work contemplates existential meaning through fantasy settings and symbolism. Born to Chinese-Indonesian immigrants in Los Angeles, California, their multicultural upbringing has undoubtedly shaped their understanding of the world and their interest in global art history. In 2023, Erin received their B.F.A. in Individualized Studies at California College of the Arts, focusing on printmaking, textiles, and mixed media work. They currently work at MOCHA as a Teaching Artist who hopes to encourage younger artists to follow their passions. One of Erin's favorite artists is Yoshitomo Nara, whose whimsical and subtly powerful work inspires them to connect with their own inner child.

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Gregory Duggan

Gregory Duggan, he/him/they, is a graphic designer & collage artist. He was born in Harlow, England and grew up in California. He has two A.A.'s in Visual Communications and Liberal Arts with plans to return to school to gain a Bachelor’s degree. He is a self-admitted music nerd and finds it to be an essential source of inspiration when creating. Greg is currently working as a full-time Teaching Artist at MOCHA. His favorite artist currently is a mixed media artist named Jesse Draxler. His art practice involves stark, large black and white portraits of people which he distorts by cutting and rearranging their forms. Here's a link to a timelapse of his process:

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Faith Padgett, M.F.A.

Faith Henley Padgett (she/her) was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. Before teaching for MOCHA, Faith advised at La Jolla Country Day School, and she has taught workshops for Poetry in America, The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, Milk Press of the Poetry Society of New York, and Sea Level. Her written work has appeared in The Journal at OSU, The Western Humanities Review, Hanging Loose, Permafrost, and Red Cedar Review, among others. After earning her M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, Faith has relocated to San Francisco, unceded to the Muwekma, Ohlone, & Ramaytush people, where she gets inky pursuing her love of letterpresses and fiddling with type. Faith currently works as a Teaching Artist, and she finds herself returning to the artworks of Louise Bourgeois, Leonora Carrington, Cecilia Vicuña, and Georgia O'keefe, among many others. She is also inspired by zine culture, the history of the book as an art object, and the crossover between printed text and artistic expression.

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Jill McLennan, M.F.A.

Jill McLennan (she/her) grew up in Providence, RI, and Chilmark, MA, where she developed a love for the urban and the natural. She attended Hampshire College in MA, with a focus on Painting, Drawing, Art History and Natural Science. After college, She went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her Master’s in Art Education and Teacher Certification. McLennan's art practice explores the environment through drawing, painting, and linoleum block prints. Currently, she is inspired by exhibitions of work by Kehinde Wiley, Wangechi Mutu and Jaune Quick-to-see Smith. Her art lessons teach technique while emphasizing curiosity and are inspired by living artists from cultures around the world. As both an artist and a teacher, she is deeply invested in protecting urban nature, inspiring our youth, and spreading hope and joy in the world.

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Jocelyn Jones

Jocelyn Jones, she/her, born and raised in Berkeley, California. Jocelyn accomplished two Bachelors in Arts, for Cinema Production and Studio Art Practices, emphasizing in painting and drawing, from San Francisco State University in 2009. She has been teaching art in schools and art centers, from Richmond to Oakland, for the last 7 years. Currently, she is a Teaching Artist with MOCHA, teaching K-5th grade at Chabot Elementary School in Oakland, California. Jocelyn's favorite artist is Frida Kahlo. She carries great admiration for Kahlo's vulnerability in processing and depicting her physical ailments and her determination to use her voice as an artist even when bound to her bed. Kahlo inspires Jocelyn to find the means to create art even when limited in resources or ability.

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Karen Merriott

Karen Merriott, she/they, was born in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. Karen received her B.F.A. from San Francisco Arts Institute. She has been teaching art on and off since a teenager and has worked 20 years in technology as a Graphic User Interface Designer, Information Architect and User Experience Designer for an international corporation. She returned to teaching art full time 4 years ago and loves every moment. Karen’s favorite project she’s worked on was her installation projects she got to do with her daughter where they turned an entire room into outer space. As visitors entered the room they felt like the floor and walls disappeared causing some to lose balance. Karen enjoys creating art that is stimulating in a fun way that can not be taken in quickly and makes you want to engage mentally. Her favorite art medium, currently, is pastels. She loves the diversity in use, depth of color. They are the perfect medium to use with her signal whips to paint with. Her favorite artist is Frida Kahlo because of her strength, drive and versatility in telling a story through imagery. Karen is a huge, huge fan of the women of the surrealist movement.

Kiran Melnyk

Bio coming soon

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Lena Lee

Lena Lee, She/Her, was born in Korea. She graduated art middle & high school as a painting major. Lena has B.A. for Fine Art Painting from Academy of Art University. She has been an artist. Her favorite artist is Claude Monet. She loves Monet because of his captivating Impressionist style, characterized by the use of rich, soft but vibrant colors along with dynamic and strong brushstrokes. His remarkable skill in capturing interplay of light and darkness, breathtaking landscape paintings that transport her to serenity and inner peace.

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Lisa Krones-Whalen

Lisa Krones-Whalen, she/her, was born in Oakland and grew up in El Cerrito where she was encouraged at an early age artistically by her grandfather, who made his living as an oil painter and commercial artist. Her family moved to Berkeley for her high school years where she took a ceramics class that inspired her to see that art could come in many different forms. Lisa continued her education and received a B.A. in Psychology from SF State University. Creating art has always been Lisa’s driving passion, so through the years she has explored many different techniques and mediums. One pivotal point in her career was the opportunity to work as an art assistant at Sierra Elementary School where she discovered she loved working with children. While raising her daughter with her husband Bob she volunteered every week doing art projects in her daughter’s classrooms, which eventually led her to Rosa Parks Elementary School where she worked for many years teaching art. She was very excited for the opportunity to join with MOCHA and to be able to again share her passion for art to children and their parents in the library program. Lisa has experienced firsthand the impact arts education has on children. In third grade she did a report about Vincent Van Gogh, which made such an impression that he is still one of her favorite artists

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London Padgett

London Padgett (she/her) from Hayward, California is currently a student at Chabot College. As a child, she was very fortunate to have both an art teacher mom and grandma. London started as a MOCHA kid and has now become a MOCHA Teaching Artist. When it comes to creativity, her grandma has never shut down an idea and that has influenced her art because now she is a mixed media and abstract painting artist. London loves all forms of art, but enjoys teaching mixed media because MOCHA students always surprise her with their amazing creativity. She teaches at MOCHA because she want to give kids the experience with art that she had and to give them a safe place to create and express themselves.

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Mary Lawrence

Mary Evelyn Lawrence, she/her, born and raised in Vacaville California. She attended the Art Institute SF - CA. Mary creates Fire Art, using alcohol-based ink activated with fire to create abstract art on various materials. She travels around the U.S. showing, selling, and educating people about her unique science-based technique. Currently for MOCHA, Mary works as an Art Educator at Sankofa United in Oakland CA, where she teaches TK-5th grade inspiring the next generation to create. Mary’s favorite artist is Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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Michelle Bonilla Garcia, M.F.A.

Michelle Bonilla Garcia, she/her, hailing from Quito, Ecuador. Michelle received her M.F.A. in Textiles in 2019, as well as her B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing in 2016. Michelle has been drawn to education since childhood, with both her maternal grandparents serving as educators when she was growing up. Michelle started teaching Art and Literacy in college and hasn't stopped teaching since. Her favorite artists a

Michelle Cuevas

Bio coming soon

Octavio Hernandez

Bio coming soon

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Raine Robichaud

Raine Robichaud (she/her) is an artist and art educator originally from Minneapolis, MN. She holds a B.A. in Urban Studies & Spanish from UC Berkeley. Raine is passionate about creating fun and accessible art spaces and has been a Teaching Artist for the past 8 years. She has worked with art programs including Creative Growth Art Center, Rock Paper Scissors Collective and in community spaces around the East Bay. Raine recently wrote and illustrated Crumpled Paper Crafts, an activity book designed for children of all ages. Her favorite art project right now is making stamps from random household objects because of the endless possibilities for materials.

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Saoirse Alesandro

Saoirse Alesandro, she/her/hers, born and raised in San Jose, CA. Saoirse earned a B.F.A. in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Her art practice ranges from comics, painting, animation, and playing guitar in a power pop band! Saoirse’s favorite artists are: photographer Nan Goldin, artist Bill Traylor, and painter Howard Finster.

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Siu Ming Leung Garber

Siu Ming Leung Garber (they/she) is an experienced Fine Arts painter, printmaker, animator, and designer of multimedia projects. Siu Ming lives in Oakland, though her trajectory as an artist began with a six-year apprenticeship to M.W. Cheung at Atelier 341 in Hong Kong. Siu Ming then moved to Paris where they studied Linguistics at La Sorbonne Nouvelle, while learning engraving with the world-renowned printmaker, Stanley William Hayter, at his Atelier 17 in Paris, France. Shortly after moving to the East Bay from San Francisco in 2002, Siu Ming completed a Multimedia Video Arts Certification at Berkeley City College. Ming brings years of experience teaching (Oakland Fine Art Summer School, Haiao Chinese Academy, Atelier 341 and others). They have spearheaded many Creative Arts/Life Enrichment programs around the Bay Area serving healthy seniors as well as those living with physical and psychiatric disabilities, like Alzheimer's and dementia.
Their favorite artist today is Georgia O’Keeffe, for her paintings’ ability to purely reflect her admiration of our world’s beauty with the awesome simplicity of nature's forms, colors, and lines.

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Toby Simon, M.A.

Toby Simon, she/her, was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA but moved to San Francisco after college where she now lives with her husband and three kids. She received her B.F.A. in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University and recently received her M.A. in Art Education from Academy of Art University. Her artwork explores rhythm in line which often takes the form of Mandalas and she has published a workbook that instructs people how to draw their own radial patterns. Before becoming a Teaching Artist at MOCHA, she spent a few years teaching mindful drawing techniques (like Mandalas) to adults experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. Toby's favorite artist is Norman Lewis, among other Abstract Expressionists. Lewis' paintings vary in line weight and use of brushstrokes, but every painting is dynamic, rhythmic, and full of energy.

Teaching Assistants

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Angelica Pereira

Angelica Pereira, she/her, was born in Los Banos, CA and grew up in Hollister, CA. Angelica is currently working on obtaining her degree in Child Psychology from Merritt College. She is also in Cosmetology School, in hopes of getting her cosmetology license. Angelica loves art and believes that it is a great way to express yourself. All throughout high school, she took every art class she could. She really enjoys painting, ceramics, and makeup artistry.

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Syn Panh

Syn Panh, they/them, born and raised in Oakland, CA. Syn is a Skyline High School graduate of 2022, and is currently attending Berkeley City College studying multimedia art. Syn has been a hobbyist of different art mediums such as traditional paper and pencil, digital, and jewelry making. Currently, Syn works at MOCHA as a Teaching Artist and assistant to support the wellbeing of young people. Syn’s favorite artist is Jim Henson. They love the whimsical nature of Henson’s most famous creations, The Muppets and Sesame Street, and are constantly inspired to be a symbol of care because of his work and passion.

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Syrus Rojas

Syrus Rojas, they/them, born in Vallejo, CA, and raised in Oakland, California. They joined MOCHA through the Community Futures School program pilot in 2020. They are currently aiming for their Art Associate’s degree to transfer to SFSU. Their next goals are to achieve making a digital webcomic and pursue a job in the video game industry. Currently, they work as MOCHA's Community Futures School onsite assistant Teaching Artist. Syrus’s favorite artist is Willow Woods. They draw great inspiration from their use of color composition, line weight, and storytelling. They use this to influence their current works of art.

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