Our team does everything from teaching classes to the upkeep of the Art Studio.
Suzanne C. Schmidt is a parent, professor, substitute teacher and overall creative person. She learned how to sew from her mom, who learned from her own mother. Over the past twenty years, she has taught machine and hand sewing to students, family and friends from age 2 to adult in after-school programs; elementary, middle school and college classrooms; and in drop-in sewing and ESL workshops. She teaches at Saint Mary’s College of California in the program of Justice, Community & Leadership and has worked with the Social Justice Sewing Academy. Suzanne researches and writes about craft narratives in fiction and elsewhere. When she teaches sewing, she does so as a pathway to sustainability, self-expression, community-building and feminist praxis.
Nathan is a potter with a special interest in the Northern California coastline, kayak fishing, and history. His pottery is inspired by his curiosity of the natural world, past pottery traditions, and his deep appreciation for the understated beauty of Japanese tea ware. While pursuing his love of form and function, Nathan has simultaneously explored traditional Japanese glazes, with a focus on Oribe and Shino. He has worked with different atmospheric firings and desires to make building and operating wood and soda kilns a focus of his future work. Nathan studied at Cosummes River College with Yoshio Taylor and finished his BFA in Ceramics at the California College of the Arts.
You can contact Nathan at email@example.com.
Hue was born in Taiwan and has lived in America for most of her adult life. Since she was young she has had a love for color and form. She came to California in 1996 to pursue her education in art, eventually focusing on ceramics and pottery. Hue enjoys the artistic social connections gained through teaching as well as maintaining her own artistic practice.
Rebecca Rippon is a San Francisco based artist working in printmaking, taking its unique capabilities as an invitation to experiment. She received her M.F.A. from San Francisco Art Institute and was awarded the Murphy Cadogan Contemporary Art Award. Rebecca takes inspiration from nature in city spaces in her work, and finds plenty by frequently cycling the Bay Area’s fantastic bike paths.
Narges Poursadeqi is a conceptual artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work investigates culture, memory, and narrative, and how they’re tied together. Poursadeqi’s practice is driven by politics, culture, and religion. Her works come to life through archived photos, videos, and texts, and the process of finding the appropriate vessel to re-narrate their stories.
Her work has been shown at SOMAArt cultural center, Salesforce tower, Hubbell Street Galleries, Worth Ryder Gallery, Mimesis Gallery, Belmont Village gallery, Mesa Art Gallery, Kala Art gallery, etc. She is one of the current Artist Residence Awardees at Kala art institute and simultaneously working on her new project at Alumnx Residency, California College of the Arts.
Xochitlquetzal (cho-chi-ket-zaal), they/them pronouns, is an educator and behavioral health care provider who finds beauty, through the capture of light and shadow on film, in both expected and unexpected places. Inspired by and trained in journalism photography with low manipulation aesthetics, they capture the moment as it is, leaving the interpretation to the viewer. Like many photographers of the pre-digital era they also worked as an event, on site photoshoots, and headshot-photographer. Currently Xochitlquetzal uses the practice of photography to cultivate a space of intention and centering in a world that is so often geared to depersonalization.
You can contact Xochitlquetzal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larissa Mellor works within drawing in the expanded sense creating drawings, installations, videos, and objects. She received her BFA from Maine College of Art and MFA from The Ohio State University. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including Ortega y Gasset Projects, Marshall University, Moscow Museum of Modern Art and Maine Center for Contemporary Art. Among other awards, she was a 2010 Fulbright Fellow to Germany in Painting and Printmaking. She has taught art, design and interdisciplinary courses at The Ohio State University and Columbus College of Art and Design and presented on interdisciplinary art education at Foundations in Art: Theory and Education.
You can contact Larissa at email@example.com.
Neil Freese is a designer, artist, problem solver, coffee obsessive, and world traveler. As Creative Lead for the Marketing and Art Programs of the ASUC Student Union, Neil manages the design and production processes and mentors student design apprentices. Neil has worked as a designer in both higher education and for startups, and has exhibited his artwork throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in solo shows and as a member of the Champagne and Nettles art collective.
You can contact Neil at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kristin Grahn Kyono is an Oakland artist who specializes in combining painting with printmaking. Using her own photographs as a springboard, she meditates on the beauty of urban neighborhoods, whether it be the juxtaposition of engineered and natural forms, or the poetic collision of sign verbiage and architecture. Her work has been featured by Saatchi Online’s “Art We Love This Week” and American Art Collector, and exhibited in galleries in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City. She produces large-scale commissions for businesses and hotels from San Francisco and Houston to London and Dubai. Kyono earned an M.F.A. from Academy of Art University in San Francisco and a B.A. in both Studio Art and Sociology from Whitman College.
You can contact Kristin at email@example.com.
Yasmeen Abedifard (b. 1996) is an Iranian-American, queer artist born in the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently based in Oakland, CA, USA. She holds an MFA from Cornell University, where she received the Charles Baskerville Painting Award. Her work is centered around storytelling mediums, including comics, illustrations, and animation. She is currently teaching in the Comics BFA program at The California College of the Arts (CCA). Her work has been featured in various spaces, such as the SF Art Book Fair, 2727 California, Rubenstein Arts Center, Jack Hanley Gallery, and Soft Screen, and has received various accolades, including the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Minicomic for Death Bloom in 2023. She has taught comic workshops at Kala Art Institute, Sequential Artists Workshop, and Black Mountain Institute. She has created several published comics, such as Anar (pub. Silver Sprocket, upcoming), Death Bloom (pub. Lucky Pocket), and Burnt (pub. Wiggle Bird Mailing Club). She is also part of a comics collective called D.R.Y. with her peers, Daniel Zhou and Raul Higuera, aimed at fostering community and highlighting the Bay Area comics scene.
Visual Arts Specialist
Danny Neece has been around the illustration art world for the past decade. Danny graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the California College of the Arts. Danny is originally from Monterey, CA where where much of the inspiration for his imagery comes from. He has freelanced for Shambhala Sun magazine, Hyphen Magazine, Intel Developers Forum, 14 Hills Literary Journal, Trader Joe’s, Buddha Dharma: Practitioners Quarterly, and Saint Mary’s College. Danny has been teaching illustration, drawing, and painting classes with the Berkeley Art Studio for several years.
You can contact Danny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alan Tarbell has an MFA from the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he spent four years as a bilingual professor. His mixed media paintings and installations stem from a deep connection to the natural environment and our vital human relationships. Alan has exhibited in galleries throughout Mexico and California. World travels and concurrent work as a travel guidebook author and illustrator for Lonely Planet Publications, publishing titles on: México (2006), Hawaii, the Big Island (2005), Indonesia (2003), and Ecuador (2001), have further inspired his work. Alan has taught with the Berkeley Art Studio for several years as well as at the Richmond Art Center and the Sharon Art Studio.
You can contact Alan at email@example.com.
Amber Fawn Keig
Amber Fawn Keig makes works on paper in various media. Invoking tension and ambiguity through her images, she examines silence as a condition and a strategy for survival. Originally from the east coast, Amber completed her MFA at California College of the Arts, where she was the Yozo Hamaguchi Printmaking Scholar, as well as a recipient of the Murphy Cadogan Contemporary Art Award. Her work has been shown in New York, Los Angeles, Beijing, Vancouver, and San Francisco. She has taught printmaking and drawing at the Napa Valley College, Sonoma State University, and the San Francisco Art Institute, and is on the full time faculty at the California State Summer School for the Arts.
Amber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cesar Cueva is an artist, animator and creative professional. He has studied Art and American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington and Animation at Animation Mentor. He has worked in video games and television, but most of his experience comes from the museum field, starting with Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum, then with the Exploratorium, and most recently at the Oakland Museum of California. You can contact Cesar at email@example.com.
Jop Baylon is a freelance photographer based in San Jose, California. His work revolves mostly on his family capturing the beautiful, the bold, the playful and sometimes the gritty part of life. He goes mostly on assignments shoots and in the process document various projects along the way. He likes to tell stories by showing it in a different light or recreate new realities and surreal images.
You can reach Joffrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kate Godfrey is a fine art embroiderer specializing in portrait and social commentary. She has taught workshops for Social Justice Sewing Academy at St. Mary’s College and Girls’ Garage in which students focused on the power of stitch to elevate the personal to the powerful. Kate lives and stitches in the Lake Merritt community of Oakland.
Gianna Benetti is an artist and potter currently living and working in Berkeley Ca. She received her BFA in Studio Art with a ceramic emphasis from California State University, Chico in 2018. Before studying at CSU Chico she was a student at Diablo Valley College where she found her passion for the ceramic medium. Today she is a Manager at Brushstrokes Studio and works as an Artist Assistant for Mary Law. She produces her work out of a humble little studio in Northwest Berkeley.
Devon Bogdan is a creative professional with over 15 years of experience in art direction, graphic design and illustration. Her strengths include story telling, generating creative concepts, print-pattern, and trend direction. She is a motivational and relationship-focused team leader with practical and direct communication. She relies on collaboration, cross-functional partnership, and continued strategy building to solve problems effectively.
Devon is extremely passionate about her work and executes projects with positive energy and good vibes. She lives in Oakland with her husband, son and two cats. Her website is www.designbydevon.com
Ben Belknap is an artist and teacher who lives and works in Oakland, CA. His art work consists primarily of small scale, richly glazed ceramic sculpture. In 2003 he received his bachelor’s degree from The California College of Arts and Crafts and has since had art shows at various galleries around the Bay Area and elsewhere. Through his work as the Glaze Production Manager at Leslie Ceramic Supply in Berkeley, CA, Ben developed a keen understanding of ceramic materials and glazes. In addition to using many glazes that he developed for his own use, he has taught workshops and classes about glaze technology since 2010 and makes custom glazes for clients in his home studio.
After taking a ceramics class 16 years ago Christina knew it was her passion. She graduated with an BA in Art with a focus in Ceramics from UC Berkeley in 2011. She interned at the Berkeley Art Studio and now is a technician and teaches there as well. She grew up in the Bay Area and is excited to work at the studio and with the community.
Mary Campbell received her MFA from California College of the Arts and her BFA in Printmaking from the University of Oregon. Her work was featured in SF Camerawork’s FORECAST exhibition in Spring of 2023. She has exhibited at Bass & Reiner, Voss Gallery, Incline Gallery, Borderline Art Collective, Littman Gallery, and NAHP Paper Triennial Exhibition, among others. Her work has been featured by Bay Area’s collective On/Offsite, and Deanna Evans’ Curated Studio Visit program in New York. Mary has attended residencies at Kala Art Institute, Wassaic Project Residency, Stelo Papermaking Residency, Open Windows, and Vermont Studio Center.
Lead Ceramics Specialist
Ken Becker is a potter living in Berkeley, California. He currently teaches wheel throwing at the Walnut Creek Center for Community Arts and has worked in contemporary art museums since 1997. He has a Masters in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts and a BA from Bennington College. In his spare time he makes quilts and fixes bicycles.