LPIE ART INSTRUCTORS
Learn more about our wonderful LPIE Art Instructors! Hover over each box to read that instructor's bio.
Sally Dunne studied Fine Art. Then went on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion & Textile Design where she developed a broad range of design skills across print, mixed media & woven textiles. Working as part of a creative team she designed sets and made props for Nickelodeon TV in London. Sally also worked for Designers Guild a leading U.K. Interior design firm implementing latest color and style trends as design and display coordinator. While raising three children Sally set up and ran a successful home day care where art was an integral part of the program. Along with teaching art part time Sally currently runs a successful home staging business in Lafayette.
"We look at and discuss the colors and varied textures we see changing in our environment over the seasons. We talk about style and trends and how art plays a part in design from automotive interiors to fashion and architecture. To be honest I don’t need to inspire our students to create art, they are already incredibly motivated artists and designers."
I've been an LPIE Art instructor since 2013. During these crazy times, I am creating the LPIE art instruction videos for all 4th and 5th graders in Lafayette. When back at school, I'm teaching art to 5th graders at Lafayette, 4th graders at Springhill and 4th and 5th graders at Burton Valley Elementary.
For a number of years I taught art to 1st grade students and for a short time co-taught kindergarten LPIE art.
I also teach private art lessons and indoor rock climbing at Diablo Rock Gym in Concord.
I've found that making art and climbing walls are great ways to find focus, overcome obstacles and have fun. It's great to be able to share my passions with my students of all ages and abilities.
I am mom to two awesome, creative teens who inspire me and make me laugh.
I love, love, love rock-climbing AND animals AND nonsense.
“Bringing my enthusiasm for making things and providing lessons on a variety of subjects using different materials usually creates a good base for kids to find their own artistic inspiration. (A bit of knowledge of what kids are into these days helps too!)”
Kirsten has always loved art. She had drawings, paintings, jewelry and quilts shown in juried local and national exhibitions beginning in junior high school. After graduating from Campolindo HS, she studied Art and Sociology at UC Davis and has a masters in Public Administration from George Washington University in WDC. Though those subject areas may seem disparate, the creative problem solving skills Kirsten uses in her art help her find new and creative solutions to social science problems.
Currently a mom to two girls at BVE, she loves sharing with children how art can express and elicit feelings, movement, change and growth.
"As the students work on their art, I walk around the classroom. I look for things in each students art that make it unique ...a shape, color, line, texture, design, idea, etc. I comment on that aspect of their work, and ask them about it. They are often delighted to tell me about it."
Julie Lyverse is an LPIE instructor at both the elementary level and at Stanley middle school. Julie received a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and has worked extensively with children. Her art training includes classes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, France, and Traditional Arts School in Sendai, Japan. Julie previously served as director and instructor for an art appreciation program at Beechwood Elementary School in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. Julie has been with LPIE since 2003.
"Art can be an intimidating subject for students who do not have an natural inclination for it. However, I find encouraging the students is made easier by the fact that the LPIE art programs reflect the students' curriculum so they have a built in connection to it. We work closely with the teachers to make it a fun experience but still have significance to their studies. The students are accountable for their efforts but are not graded on their art which removes a great deal of inhibition and I find they are often pleasantly surprised and proud of their work. We use a variety of atypical art supplies which the students find exciting. It is so very rewarding to watch them learn about history and culture thorough art. Teaching the students art is a great pleasure."
Kathy Sobel has worked as a professional illustrator and graphic designer for many years in Chicago and Los Angeles before moving to the San Francisco area with her husband and three children. Most of her work has been centered on children - from her illustrations for educational publishers to her work with schools and day camps. She is thrilled to be sharing her passion in art with Lafayette’s elementary school children.
“Before I teach a new lesson, I research the artists and art movements, I develop the lesson, practice doing it myself, tweak it, and prep the materials. By the time I walk into the classroom, I’m so jazzed to teach it, that I think my enthusiasm rubs off on the kids. I often sense their minds opening along with a willingness to try something new.”
Susan Fuller is a sculptor who exhibits locally and nationally. She has a Bachelor's degree in education from Carnegie-Mellon and has done extensive graduate work in Child Development at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her Master of Arts in fine arts from California State University in Los Angeles. Susan is also a published poet. She believes that art is a true form of self expression and she finds the art of second graders to be very rich in imagination, reflecting their lives and vision of the world. To quote one of her students: "Art, yes!"
"Give children art materials and a chance to make art and they take off with their imaginations. Children inspire themselves."
Suzette’s background includes a few years working for an educational technology company in addition to teaching 2nd grade in Oakland Unified for 11 years. Suzette grew up in Orinda and raised her 2 children there as well; both her son and daughter graduated from Del Rey Elementary, OIS and Miramonte and are recent college graduates. She currently lives in Moraga and is thrilled to be teaching art at the Lafayette Elementary Schools.
"I always encourage them to do their best and use a sketching pencil in order to draw lightly until they know it's right!"
Beth Jonsson is an Art Educator at Stanley Middle School. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from the University of Connecticut. She has a background in photography and graphic design. She taught elementary Art for many years before relocating to California. She has been with LPIE since 2019.
"I encourage my students to bring their unique perspective to each project. I want them to enjoy the process of creating, problem solving and presenting their artwork.”
Tanya joined LPIE as a 3rd grade Art Instructor in 2018, adding 2nd grade the following year. Tanya holds a cooperative BFA in Advertising Design from University of San Francisco + Academy of Art College.
Professionally, Tanya is an Advertising Creative & Branding Development Director with over two decades across tech, sports, education, film and wine. She shares her family food adventures as a contributing writer of an Asian American newspaper. Tanya also devotes time to regional non-profits benefitting girls in leadership and sports.
Tanya firmly believes art exploration and creative expression are important for the development of a thoughtful, aware, young person that can think outside of the box. During class, she especially loves nurturing the process of discovery. Once the little artist has their “Aha!” moment, sky’s the limit. Whenever possible, Tanya makes a point of connecting where the technique or type of art is applied in different industries. Even in today’s digital world, a creative project still starts as a sketch.
“Art exploration and creative expression are important for the development of a thoughtful, aware, young person that can think outside of the box.”
Katie Stein is a Lafayette mom of 3 (Happy Valley and Stanley), and an experienced educator of young children. With a BA from Williams College and a Masters of Elementary Ed. from Lesley University in Boston, Katie spent much of her pre-parenthood years as a licensed classroom teacher in both Oregon and Massachusetts. As a 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade teacher, Katie passionately incorporated art into all aspects of her curriculum. Teaching children – whether it be as an LPIE Art Instructor, LMYA coach, or Cub Scout Den Leader – is one of the great sources of joy in her life. Katie has been thrilled to be part of the kindergarten LPIE art team for the past 3 years.
"As art teachers, we provide students the tools and the time to wonder, imagine, create. My favorite moment in teaching is when a vibrant, quiet energy takes over the room... when students are lost in the joy of the process, and their own imaginations."
Andrea started teaching for LPIE in 2017 and Kindergarten at Lafayette Elementary & Happy Valley. Andrea worked as a Designer and Producer of Children’s software and Interactive Toys for more than 15 years. Her work includes titles for Disney, Dreamworks, Lucas (Starwars), LeapFrog and Pixar. She has an undergraduate degree in Studio Art from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Design from CalArts. She lives in Lafayette with her husband and children.
"Kindergarteners bring unbridled enthusiasm and natural curiosity to each project. The key to inspiring them is to give them a well-structured project and to keep the process positive. Each class starts with a key art concept tied into the curriculum (line, shape, color, etc) and a project based on a source of inspiration in the form of famous artwork, an illustration, music, or something from nature. This gives children a structure to learn and explore. Students are encouraged to look at other artists for inspiration, be it their friends, children's book illustrators, or famous artists."
Tim Hancock is an artist based in the Bay Area, California creating illustrations, paintings, children's books, and poetry inspired by the natural and imaginative worlds. Tim studied Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, graduating with a BFA, and has been working as a successful freelance illustrator, painter, and art educator with command of a wide range of styles, mediums, techniques, truly loving the creative process and driven to inspire others. Tim has made his living as a teaching artist for over a decade working in several public school, community programs, and has been recognized with his work with high-risk teens. Tim is a provincial artist heavily influenced by the California landscape and exhibits his work locally and is continually inspired by the rich and vibrant diversity of the Bay Area, which is reflected in his paintings, illustrations, and cartoons.
"My enthusiasm and passion for the creative process inspires my students to have fun and enjoy themselves while learning new techniques and making art that they didn't realize they were capable of making, which is very empowering. Art has always been very therapeutic for me, and I think it's valuable to instill that outlet in them. It's like a superpower.”
Linda teaches Second and Fifth Grade Art. With a BAS degree in Graphic Design from Expression College in Emeryville, and a BS degree in Advertising from Syracuse University, Linda has been involved in commercial art for a while. But her true love is being around kids. She developed and implemented the school-wide art curriculum at Sequoia Elementary in Pleasant Hill, which is still in place today. She taught after-school art appreciation classes for the four years at St. Perpetua School, here in Lafayette, and continued on to be Extended Care Director and develop a program called Panther Cubs, where she put together art, cooking and science curriculum for TK and Kindergarten students as enrichment to their regular school day. She also runs summer art camps for elementary age students based off of the illustrator Eric Carle. She says, "My soul is filled with incredible joy when I teach art, since it combines my love of art with a child’s enthusiasm. Nothing can be better!”
"I remind my art students that THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO BE AN ARTIST. An artist is just anyone who creates art, no matter what it looks like. We all can do that!"
Corey teaches TK and First Grade Art. She comes to us with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Fine Art from Gonzaga University. Corey is passionate about teaching children the creative process of moving ideas and observations from inside their hearts and minds, to outside of themselves. She fosters this process by teaching them they are all artists and there is no wrong in art. Corey adores spending time with her husband Will and their three children Blake, Brady and Campbell.
“Every child is an artist. Their work is their own, there is no “wrong” way to do it. I encourage them to hold onto that creative freedom and play with it.”
Growing up my favorite place to be was at the art desk my dad built for me, painting, practicing calligraphy, sewing or any craft project I could come up with. I attended Immaculate Heart High School to focus on art and USC for Art History before switching gears and receiving a Bachelor of Science in Food & Nutrition from UC Davis in 1988. But, I kept the creative process going as I worked at Kikkoman International for 7 years developing recipes and new products in their test kitchens. I received my teaching credential from St. Mary’s College in 1997 to teach high school Home Economics. I have been a Stanley LPIE instructor since 2014, teaching art and art history to 6th grade and special education classes. Being an LPIE art instructor is my dream job! I love working with students and encouraging them to try new techniques and materials.