Teaching Artists

Kala’s Teaching Artists represent a broad range of cultural backgrounds and artistic approaches. Teaching Artists are chosen by Kala for their professional skill, engagement with the art community, and experience teaching children, teens, and adults. Depending on the program, class or workshop, artists are responsible for meeting and planning with classroom teachers/staff, designing and conducting residencies/workshops, mounting exhibitions, writing project and progress reports and helping evaluate the programs. As active professional artists who care deeply about urban youth, instructors inspire a great deal of respect in students as they pass on their technical expertise and passion for creating art.

Current and Recent Teaching Artists

Etty Alberto is a visual artist and educator from Saint Paul, Minnesota. She teaches in Kala’s AIS and Camp Kala programs, and Attitudinal Healing Connection in Oakland. Etty is the Founder of Más Arte, a free summer camp currently providing art kits and lesson plans to families in San Antonio, Chicago, Saint Paul, and Minneapolis. She teaches art at several schools in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. Etty aims to inspire our youth to explore meditation in fine art, artistic activism, and sustainable multidisciplinary art practices. She is a graduate of the 2019 New York Foundation of Arts Immigrant mentorship program in Oakland. In addition to teaching art, Etty creates artwork influenced by self-discovery as a transnational artist.

champoy is an interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and educator who weaves historical and personal narratives through film, installation, and performance. Born and raised in the highlands of Bukidnon, a landlocked province on the island of Mindanao, they have an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts – Major In Advertising Arts from the University Of San Carlos in the island of Cebu and an MFA in Art Practice from UC Berkeley. Their work stems from inquiries that are rooted in locating self, culture, history, and power and the way these things are dismantled and reimagined through unconventional forms and materiality. They are a recipient of the Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize For Excellence In Creative Practice, the Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Award, a Nancy Sayavong Materials Grant, the East Bay Fund for Individuals in the Arts, The Alternative Art School Fellowship, and the Headlands Center for the Arts Graduate Fellowship

Cristina Delgado (She/They) was born in Autlán, Jalisco Mexico raised in Tongva land (Los Angeles, CA), and is currently based in Ohlone land (Oakland, CA). She is a first-generation graduate from UC Berkeley with a BA in film and media studies and a minor in education.  As an undergraduate, Cristina participated in C.R.E.A.T.E (Creative Residencies for Emerging Artists Teaching Empowerment) where she taught some classes in visual arts, creative writing, and art therapy to local schools and community organizations. Post graduation she has worked at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts as their bookings and volunteers coordinator, Attitudinal Healing Connection, and Kala Art Institute. Cristina is passionate about cultural art and arts education and believes in the power of storytelling.

Gideon Egbuchulam, also known as Ivorycurlz, is a Nigerian visual artist based in California who practices sequential arts, character design, and animation. He studied at San Jose State University with a focus on illustration. He is part of several art collectives such as FAMEpresents and The BAYlies as an active creative in the Bay Area. Gideon is currently working on his first book,  ** Quasar **, which is a love letter to pulp sci-fi and the perils of growing up with spectacular gifts. Gideon enjoys sharing their love of comics, illustration, and drawing with young people and has worked with art spaces such as Kala Art Institute and Youth Arts Exchange. Website: www.gideonegbuchulam.com

Lee Oscar Gomez immigrated from Mexico to the Greater Los Angeles area at an early age, where they developed a subtle awareness of the cultural differences of a new place, and a strong embodiment of record keeping to capture their experiences in a foreign land. Through documentary photography,  Gomez operates and manipulates their fascination with light to demonstrate political  visual images that address topics of gender, sexuality, belonging and self identity. These images include street photography and constructed studio shots. Using analog film processes, Gomez also captures warmth and sensitivity to these topics as a form of radical archiving. Gomez holds a BFA  from San José State University in 2019. They have exhibited their artwork  at Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americano, Gallery 1202, and the Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport. They worked at MACLA, PabLove Shutterbugs, and most recently at Camp Kala, Kala’s Youth Summer Program. With the hope of inspiring young artists, Gomez strives to communicate the importance of light and its ability to radiate clarity and truth.

Judit Navratil’s practice is multivalent, engaging performance, social practices, drawing, as well as video and extended realities. Her projects are as much affective mappings of what it means to continuously oscillate between analog and digital, past and present; an immigrant’s attempt to construct a “home.” Navratil uses her body device to keep balance through her compass-meditation: the Long Distance Somersault career. Rolling as far as she can helps her seek higher alternatives and to gaze in the Eye of the Hurricane.Navratil earned an MFA in Painting at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2008 and an MFA at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco in 2019. She has been exhibiting in Hungary, Canada, France, Korea, and the Bay Area. Her work has been recognized through awards including the Cadogan Art Award, a residency at Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), and the Parent Award of Kala Art Institute. She is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, an affiliate artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts and an Alternative Exposure grantee as the founder-mother of VR Art Camp. Art Camp is a social VR art residency program that is part of Judit’s ongoing project, a VR plattenbau called the Szívküldi Lakótelep, which is the base of her research, growing since 2018.

Yael Levy is a mixed media artist, storyteller, printmaker, and art teacher based in Berkeley, CA. She draws, paints, collages, and writes. She often self publishes her work, and sometimes prints and binds it by hand. She loves playing with forms and format and mixing digital and tactile techniques. Most of Yael’s work is based on her own experience as a brown, bi-racial, bilingual, and bisexual woman. She also enjoys telling others’ stories, making up imaginary creatures, and just painting images of beautiful nature. She believes the creative process to be its own reward and the act of making an incredible tool for healing and growing. Born and raised in Israel, Yael first moved to New York City in 2002 to attend the Art Students League of New York, later completing a BFA of Illustration from Parsons The New School for Design(2011). After four years doing design and illustrations for The Unemployed Philosophers Guild, she moved to California to pursue an MFA in Comics at CCA (2017). In recent years she’s been a Teaching Artist with Kala Art Institute, Richmond Art Center, and JCC of the East Bay and ran workshops for various Zine Fests. Her work has been published by The Nib (2018), Birdy Magazine(2019), Forward Comix(2017 & 2020), The Baylies(2021) and SAW(2021).

Josie Licavol is a multimedia artist and educator from the Bay Area, who explores diverse cultural identities, drawing from her mixed-race heritage. Inspired by San Francisco, the California coast, and various art forms such as music and literature, her work delves into human experiences, merging personal introspection with collective knowledge. Josie’s art bridges private and public realms, inviting viewers to engage with the rich tapestry of Filipino and American culture, fostering connection and dialogue. Josie received her BA in 2022 in Studio Art (painting) and Art Education from Cal Poly Humboldt. She is also the current Filipinx Teaching Fellow at Root Division. Her teaching philosophy is centered on community, experimentation, and student-led projects.

Jennifer Mazzucco is an artist and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford and Masters degree in teaching from Pace University. Jennifer is also a  freelance illustrator focusing primarily on children’s books and editorials, and co-founder of two arts-related non-profit organizations. Her watercolor illustrations have been published in the Society of Illustrators, Psychology Today, Family Circle among many other publications. She illustrated children’s books for both Gibb’s Smith and AugustHouse Publishers including The Pig Who Went Home on Sunday, an Appalachian Folktale by Donald Davis. Her paintings, mixed media work, and handmade books have been exhibited at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Silvermine Guild Arts Center, Ridgefield Dance Conservatory, Joseloff Galleries, Enchanted Garden Studios, and more. Her large-scale work has been commissioned by private clients, yoga studios, and retreat centers. When Jennifer is not in her studio making art or teaching it, she is immersed in nature with her tripawd rescue pup Jyoti and filming snails in the courtyard for inspiration. The body of work she is presently working on contains a prolific series of color wheels, geometric mandala-inspired art, flora, fauna, and beyond.

Jill McLennan is a professional oil painter and teaching artist living in the bay area for over 18 years. She organizes community projects with her neighborhood, Jingletown and creates public art that reflects the local history of a place.  McLennan draws, paints, prints, makes oil paintings, mixed media built pieces, wax encaustics, and ceramics that explore industry, history, urban nature and our outlook towards a future of human and natural cooperation.  Jill teaches art in various cultural spaces in the Bay Area including Kala Art Institute, de Young Museum, and Museum of Children’s Art.

Natalie Palms is a multidisciplinary artist, working primarily in textiles. She studied Art and Social Behavioral Studies in her hometown of Los Angeles before moving to Oakland. She received her BFA in Individualized Studies at California College of the Arts in 2015.  Upon graduating, she began teaching K-8th art in numerous schools throughout the Bay Area. As a multiracial woman, creating a classroom environment focused on social-emotional learning, anti-racism, and sharing culturally diverse artists is important to her. She has recently launched her own business creating accessories she hand-dyes and prints while curating and leading textile-focused workshops for children and adults throughout the Bay Area. Natalie currently teaches at Kala’s After School Studio program. www.nataliepalms.com / natalierose_textiles

Joseph (Joey) Rose Avalos-Pangilinan is a Mexican American artist and educator currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Pulling inspiration from queer navigation, transformation, and community as a collective, his work aims to immortalize personal narrative and familial histories. Joey’s work promotes space as a form of catharsis, in hopes of healing those who connect with his subjects by unpacking broader conversations on themes such as trauma, familial/cultural connection and vulnerability. In 2021, Joey graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Studio Art and a Minor in Education, and received the 2021 Martin Wong Scholarship for Painting/Drawing. This past year, Joey has been an artist in residence at local elementary schools throughout the Bay Area, supplying colorful & vibrant pedagogy that supports the development of our young, future artists. Joey teaches onsite and offsite at the Junior Center for Art & Science and Kala Art Institute.

Eric Sanchez is a Bay Area-based artist working in photography, digital printing, sculpture, installation, and currently drawing. Sanchez’s work has exhibited in local venues such as the Kala Art Institute, SFMOMA Artists Gallery, Chico State University and many other local grassroots galleries including Lobot, Rock Paper Scissors, Balazo Gallery, Blankspace, and The Compound. Sanchez has also exhibited in shows in Wisconsin and Washington D.C. Sanchez’s artwork is informed by science, biology, and pop culture. Previous pieces have incorporated content collected from Chiron labs, SFSU biology labs, the Academy of Sciences, growing bioluminescent bacteria, and collecting insects in the field. Sanchez’s current series reflects on the discourse surrounding biotechnology and how society will utilize this technology. Eric Sanchez received his Masters in Fine Art from San Francisco State University, California. He previously received his Bachelor’s in Fine Art with a minor in Art History from California State University, Hayward. Sanchez serves as faculty at Contra Costa College, College of San Mateo, Kala Institute, and the ASUC Art Studio in Berkeley.

Ali Vaughan is a multidisciplinary artist based in the Bay Area who works between sculpture and drawing. Her work investigates the confluence of geology and the body, and the complicated intersections of memory and family history. She has exhibited work at the de Young Museum, the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, the Coulter Gallery, West Magazine, and the Stanford Art Gallery. She was a metal arts resident at the Steel Yard in Providence, RI, and most recently a resident at Radio28 Creative Studios in Mexico City.  Ali received a dual major and received her BA in Art Practice (with honors) and Art History at Stanford University.  In her teaching, she believes that artmaking can foster resilience, focus, investigation, and self-reflection, and is interested in allowing students to explore various mediums as means of self-expression, including drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture. As an educator and artist, she works with students to understand the different possibilities and challenges of different mediums, and feel that they have the freedom and confidence to move between them to express personally meaningful narratives.

Krista Wright is an artist and educator based in the Bay Area. She has been an educator and an administrator for youth art programs for the past 3 years, including the Pre-College and Young Artist Programs at San Francisco Art Institute, the Community Youth Center After School Programs (SFUSD), and Kala Art Institute. Her work centers on re-imagining imaginary friends from the past and placing them in the present. In her printmaking work, she creates the lore for her creatures; with sculptural work, she brings them into the 3rd dimension; and in her paintings, she places these creatures in everyday scenarios.

Contact: youtharts@kala.org