Teaching Artists

Kala’s Teaching Artists lead visual art classes for youth in grades K-12 throughout the East Bay. Residencies are tailored to meet the needs of each school and community space. Many of our projects are interdisciplinary and connect art making with other academic disciplines. We work with educators to develop curricula and programming that both challenges students and participants and captivates non-standard learners.

The Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High, Berkeley Arts Magnet Elementary, Cragmont Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Longfellow Middle, Malcolm X Elementary, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle, Oxford Elementary, Rosa Parks Elementary,  Sylvia Mendez. Willard Middle

Emeryville: Anna Yates Elementary, Emery Secondary School

Oakland: Chabot Elementary, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, North Oakland Community Charter School, Peralta Elementary, Thornhill Elementary

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 and teens. Artists are responsible for meeting and planning with classroom teachers, designing and conducting residencies, 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 & Past 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.

Elise Auger grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts before attending Skidmore College where she completed a BA in studio art and French. During a year abroad in France, she discovered her love of printmaking through a screen-printing class at a Parisian design school. It was at this same school that she began to hone herself as an educator, by assisting for ESL classes. After graduating from college, she moved to the Bay Area where she immediately started working with the Youth Art Program at Kala Art Institute. She has since taught at Rosa Parks Elementary School and in Kala’s after school and Summer Art Programs. Elise also works for Berkeley’s Civic Arts Program and continues to tutor French. In her spare time, she’s likely to be found exploring the beautiful mountains of California.

Beatriz Escobar is an artist and educator working primarily with participatory art projects, installation and photography. Beatriz believes that art can free our imaginations and offer inspiration for us to shape the world we want to live in. Beatriz is originally from Brazil and is now based in the Bay Area, where she received her MFA in Social Practice from California College of the Arts. She is a photography mentor to youth with First Exposures, a member of the Día de los Muertos Committee at the Oakland Museum of California, and a Program Associate at Destiny Arts Center. She is the co-founder of Emergent Landscapes, a platform for POC artists to present live work in natural landscapes. Beatriz received the CCA 2017 Impact Award for her project Amazonas Riverine Program and a 2018 Alternative Exposure Grant from Southern Exposure for Emergent Landscapes. She was a 2017-2018 Creative Dissent Fellow at YBCA and is currently an Affiliate Artist at Headlands Center for the Arts.

Erina Davidson is a printmaker and teaching artist at  Kala’s Artists-In-Schools program, Saturday Teen Studio, and the After School Studio Program. She received her BFA in Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design in 2013, where she was an undergraduate teaching assistant with a focus on intaglio and screenprinting. She was previously a printmaker in residence at Second State Press in Philadelphia, PA and has made work at the Dirt Palace in Providence, RI where she contributed a window installation in 2015. In addition to being a part of the youth art programs, she is also currently a studio assistant in Kala’s print studio.

Taro Hattori is an international installation artist, originally from Tokyo, Japan and currently lives in Richmond, CA. Hattori’s installations respond directly to both the built and intangible elements of a specific environment through “installing” his work or and setting up dynamic situations. With backgrounds in theater set design and music, Hattori creates installations telling stories that are activated by the tension between objects, specific city of site and viewers. He was awarded residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts; Vermont Studio Center, Can Serrat, Barcelona, to name a few.; and a recipient of such awards as the West Prize, Center for Cultural Innovation, The Nomura Cultural Foundation and The Leah Middlebrook & Norio Sugano Fellowship. He has an MFA in Time Arts/Video from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and BA in Clinical Psychology from Sophia University, Tokyo.  He is represented by Swarm Gallery (Oakland), West Collection (Philadelphia), Black Square Gallery (Miami) and Peter Miller Gallery (Chicago). Hattori is an educator with over 20 years of teaching young people and adults at various institutions in California and Illinois. He currently teaches at California College of the Arts.

Plinio Hernandez was born in El Salvador and immigrated with his family to the U.S when he was five years old. Growing up in a fusion of both cultures, and the hardships that were imposed on him and his family’s life due to it, are the foundation and the main source of inspiration for his current artistic practice. Plinio’s work is centered on questions of identity as well as emigration, deportation, integration and nostalgia. His performance-based work accentuates vulnerability, confusion and ambiguity, all part of growing up displaced to a foreign environment, trying to make sense of the experience. Hernandez received his BFA from Otis University in Los Angeles and MFA from UC Berkeley, concentrating mainly on documentary photography. He became disillusioned with documentary photography once he realized that it could easily be manipulated, which could make its informative aspect deceptive. Plinio moved away from pure documentation and began experimenting with photomontage, reflecting on the idea that humans have a tendency to recreate and piece together their identity and experience to suit their agenda. Currently he examines the ways in which immigrants from El Salvador portray themselves and their homeland in forums such as YouTube. Finding those video depictions inspiring in their tragic yet comic and overly nostalgic style, Plinio is in the process of creating a one- man musical inspired by them.

Rei Jackler is an Oakland arts educator, design teacher, writer, and maker nerd. She holds a Masters in Teaching from Stanford University, where she also trained in Design Thinking at the D.School. In Oakland, she is currently Makerspace Manager for the La Escuelita Elementary School Makerspace, and has also taught design with Chapter 510. Rei loves making of all kinds: knitting multi-colored scarves, writing fantastical short stories, and baking with a lot of chocolate. She can’t wait to enliven the maker spirit at Camp Kala!

Jocelyn V. Jones is a Bay Area native from Berkeley, California.  She studied fine art at San Francisco State University, graduating in 2009 with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in art studio practice and cinema production.  She is a multi-disciplinary artist, working primarily in painting and drawing figurative work. She teaches art to youth of all ages throughout the Bay Area.

Claire Kessler-Bradner is a second-generation San Francisco printmaker. Growing up in the culture of the print shop, she developed a love of process and problem-solving, materials, equipment and tools, and the collaborative camaraderie of making together. Her work in printmaking, painting, drawing, book arts, and sculpture addresses the narrative intersection of place and memory. After earning her MFA at California College of the Arts, Claire returned to teaching fine art at the middle and high school level. She has been an artist in residence at Kala since 2010, and her work in book arts is carried by Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley.

Beth Krebs works as an artist and educator who moved to the Bay Area from Brooklyn, New York this year. Beth has worked with K-12 students teaching visual arts for the past nine years, with the Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York and with the de Young Museum, LEAP, and Young Audiences here in the Bay Area. She believes deeply in art making as a way for all kinds of learners to solve problems and share what they care about.

Yael Levy is a visual artist storyteller and teacher based in Berkeley, CA. Born and raised in Israel, she first moved to New York City in 2002 to attend the Art Students League of New York, and later completed a BFA of Illustration from Parsons the New School for Design (2011). She moved to California to pursue an MFA in Comics at California College of the Arts (2017). She is a Teaching Artist in Kala’s Artists in Schools program and was an Artist In Residence at Kala. She also teaches Mural Painting for the Richmond Art Center and various art classes for the JCC of the East Bay.

Jen Lorang is a passionate and dedicated artist, teacher, and community organizer. After graduating from The Evergreen State College with a BA in book arts and printing, she worked as a freelance printer and illustrator for over 7 years in Olympia, WA, becoming a trusted and recognizable artist in the community before setting down roots in the Bay Area in 2011. She currently lives in Oakland, CA where she continues to teach and make art. As a self-described artist, queer, feminist, post-punk and healer, Jen is dedicated to making art that supports the radical undercurrent by visually weaving stories of ideas and communities hidden and oppressed in our society. Her artistic focus runs the gamut of drawing, bookbinding, letterpress printing, screen printing, and botanical illustration to leather working, lace-making, sewing, scrimshaw, and basket making.

Kari Marboe holds an MFA from the University of California, Berkeley and a BFA from California College of the Arts. Marboe’s practice plays with water, clay, rectangles and writing to discuss the storage of individual and public memories. She is a Lecturer in the Ceramics and First Year Programs at California College of the Arts. Marboe’s site-specific works have been placed in Latham Square, Oakland, CA; the Museum of Northern California Art, Chico, CA; the Bancroft Street entrance of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA; and the Waffle Shop Billboard, Pittsburgh, PA.

Heide Miller is an art educator with degrees in Studio Art and Cultural Anthropology.  She began her career working as a classroom teacher and later focused on art and art education for students in a museum setting.  Currently, she develops art curricula and programming at the deYoung Museum and the UC Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, as well as maintaining her own art practice.

Ava Morton is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator from Houston, Texas. Morton’s writing and artistic practices are entwined and often focus on (re)contextualization, subversion, and affect. Her most recent research takes a particular interest in linguistics, sound, and the boundaries of the body. Her studio practice employs the tactics of drawing in space, to build loosely figurative sculptures and videos. She has taught art to young people at SFMOMA, Art4Life, and Art Mix Creative Learning Center. Morton received her BFA and BA in Biological-Anthropology from UC-Santa Barbara, and an MFA and MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the California College of the Arts.

Oree Originol was born on September 11 1984 in Los Angeles, Ca. His art practice began as a child but it wasn’t until 2009 when he moved to The Bay Area where he began to show his artwork in galleries and develop an art career. He began primarily as a painter but has since established himself in printing and digital media. In 2012 he joined forces with Bay Area artist, Favianna Rodriguez and her artist network, Culturestrike.net, and began to get involved in social justice art projects. Since then, Oree has remained dedicated to activism and in 2014 he decided to start “Justice For Our Lives” a social art project dedicated to promoting justice for people who have been killed by police. Oree continues to balance his art and activism by sharing his skills with the Bay Area community and beyond.

Leyla Rzayeva is an artist living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Leyla examines symbols and craft of West Asia, and continued contribution of Persian thinkers in contemporary art to make connections with local and global audiences. Her work has been shown in Philadelphia PA, Washington D.C., Baltimore MD, Rehoboth DE, Berkeley CA and Joshua Tree CA. Rzayeva received her BFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art (’08) and holds a Professional Printer Certificate from Tamarind Institute, University of New Mexico (’09). Her additional projects include collaborating with over 20 regional artists in Baltimore, Maryland to hand-print and publish fine art limited edition lithographs at Clubhouse Lithography Workshop.

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.

Scout Sheys is a printmaker, teaching artist, and plant nerd who has been involved with Kala for several years. Scout has worked in art programs across the country, including Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Maryland, and Zea Mays Printmaking, a nontoxic studio in Massachusetts. Scout graduated from Smith College, where she majored in Studio Art and minored in the Study of Women and Gender. A Maryland native, she currently lives in Oakland with her partner, various housemates, and two magical cats. When she isn’t busy printmaking, drawing zines, or writing letters, Scout can be found exploring the East Bay by bicycle and collecting old books. She is also an avid knitter and bread baker and fluent in Spanish.

Brooke Toczylowski is an Integrated Learning Specialist and Instructional Coach with the Oakland Unified School District. She works with the Agency By Design Oakland Team to infuse public schools with maker centered learning opportunities. Agency by Design is an action research project with Project Zero, an initiative of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Brooke also teaches in Alameda County’s Integration Learning Specialist Program where she teaches Project Zero’s teaching and thinking frameworks, including Teaching for Understanding, Studio Habits of Mind, and Making Learning Visible.

Eduardo Valadez Arenas is a Mexican-American artist and educator from Mexico City by way of the Coachella Valley. He currently lives and works in the Bay Area. His artworks echo the diaspora, his Mexican-American heritage, and influences of California pop culture. His mixed-media works on paper and handmade panels contain elements of cartoon illustrations, sign painting, traditional printmaking techniques, and street art. Eduardo works in arts education, youth empowerment, public art, and community collaborations. He has taught at various arts institutions including the Mexican Museum SF, Riverside Museum of Photography, Museum of Children’s Art, Kala Art Institute, and Arise Youth Center. Eduardo received his BFA in Arts Education/Community Arts from the California College of the Arts.

Contact: youtharts@kala.org