Our Instructors

Vir­ginia Banta has a B.A.in Fine Arts, a Sec­ondary Teach­ing Cre­den­tial and taught for sev­eral years in the San Francisco Unified School District. She has child­hood mem­o­ries of going to the Sharon Build­ing for story telling and pup­pet shows. Vir­ginia is a long time instruc­tor at the Studio and teaches Leaded Glass, Glass Fus­ing, Every­one Can Draw I & II, and Life Draw­ing. She has inspired many stu­dents to begin the prac­tice of fine art.

Karen Bash has been drawing and painting since she was a child, inspired by her maternal grandfather who was an artist and  successful commercial illustrator. She has a degree in Studio Art from SFSU and has shown work throughout the SF Bay Area and Northern California, been published in an art anthology and has contributed to public art displays. She is predominately a watercolor landscape painter who loves to work plein air (French: in the open air). Other mediums she enjoys working in are acrylic paint, ink & watercolor, and graphite pencil. Karen has been an art instructor for both children and adults for over 25 years, working for SFUSD, universities, and non-profits. She began teaching at Sharon Art Studio in January, 2015. Karen's thoughts on being an art instructor: “Introducing my students to the joys of artistic creation inspires not only my teaching, but also motivates my own work as an artist.”  http://www.karenbash.com

Alison Burek has an MFA in multidisciplinary arts from New College of California, where she employed her love of music, creative writing and visual arts to create a performance for her master’s thesis. Her work in the visual arts includes such diverse media as collage, painting, and stained glass. Her unshakable belief that participation in the arts is an essential human right has led her to career as an arts educator that spans 20-years.

Matt Burns resides in San Francisco, and commutes to the world from the right side of the brain. He is a native of Watertown, New York and began as an aspiring caricaturist. He describes his first creative romance as a crush with pen and ink. He holds a Master of Fine Art from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, a Bachelor of Elementary Education from the State University of New York, College at Oswego and an Associate of Liberal Arts from Jefferson Community College. He is a professional artist and educator, specializing in watercolor/oil painting and drawing. Matt’s work is based on the commitment to reach students of all ages to build technical confidence, self-expression and creative connections to the larger world. 

Ene­d­ina Com­pe­tente to her admir­ing stu­dents, has been part of the Sharon Art Stu­dio com­mu­nity since 1978. Dina started tak­ing stained glass in 1978; then moved to ceram­ics and china paint­ing in the early ‘80s. After retir­ing from Bank of Amer­ica in 2002 Dina returned to the Studio tak­ing China Paint­ing and Metal Arts, soon after to Ceram­ics–and loves it. In 2006, Dina became the China Paint­ing instruc­tor and enjoys teach­ing classes at the Studio.

Olivia Com­pe­tente is a jew­eler and native San Fran­ciscan, with a love of all things jew­elry. She is well-versed in metal arts and her first love, beads. Olivia started as a jew­elry stu­dent at the Studio in 2002, became a stu­dio assis­tant shortly after, and is cur­rently the Jew­elry Man­ager. She began teach­ing PMC (pre­cious metal clay) work­shops in 2005, and now teaches Basic Jew­elry/Metal Arts, Enam­el­ing, and Fused Glass Jew­elry, as well as many var­i­ous Metal Clay­ Work­shops. She loves the Sharon Art Stu­dio com­mu­nity. www.jewelsbyolivia.com.

Susan Gold became interested in wheel thrown Ceramics in college and attended the summer program at Alfred University where she studied with Daniel Rhodes and Val Cushing. She received a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Visual Arts in 1978 and a MA in Creative Arts Education in 1987 from San Francisco State University. Since then, she has been teaching art both in the schools and the community. She has been a ceramics studio assistant at Sharon Arts since 2005 and has taught youth Ceramics classes since 2011. She shows her work at the San Francisco Woman’s Art Gallery.

Dolores R. Gray received her MFA in Pho­tog­ra­phy and Print­mak­ing from the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan. She has her pho­tog­ra­phy and mixed media art in numer­ous exhi­bi­tions nation­ally and inter­na­tion­ally. Dolores has worked as an art edu­ca­tor for over 20 years in the Bay Area teach­ing a wide range of art classes in stained glass, book arts, pho­tog­ra­phy, print­mak­ing, paper­mak­ing, col­lage, and mixed media. She’s a work­ing artist with a stu­dio in the Hunter’s Point Ship­yard in San Francisco.

Carlo Grun­feld was born and raised in San Francisco and tended towards graphic arts as a youth. He studied the interaction of color at Yale University with Richard Lytle, apprentice to the Bauhaus founder Josef Albers, and concentrated his studies in Graphic Design, thus grounding sense his sense of color and composition. After graduating from Yale, Carlo worked for a few years in the commercial art field, and then became more interested in painting. At that time I also began teaching in the San Francisco public schools. He has led volunteers on a community mural project, done pro bono design and illustration for non-profits, and has taught summer art classes for teenagers. He began teaching adults at the Studio a couple years ago. For the past fifteen years Carlo has been focused on the figure, and for the past five he formally studied portraiture. Carlo’s preferred media is watercolor, pastel, and oil pastel, and has recently added oil paint to his repertoire. www.artspan.org/artist/carlo-grunfeld.

Jeannie Ichimura is a self-proclaimed “clay wrangler”. She took a ceramics class while living in Osaka, Japan in 1995 and never looked back. After years of making functional pottery, Jeannie shifted her focus to ceramic sculpture in 2015. Ideals about femininity, set standards of normalcy, and social awkwardness inform her current work. She is inspired by her friends and students in the dynamic Bay Area clay community. Jeannie received her MFA from San Francisco State University, and her work has been exhibited in CA, NY, MI, and OH. She currently divides her time between teaching ceramics at SFSU and SF Recreation and Parks and working in her studio. www.claywrangler.com, www.instagram.com/claywrangler 

Rebecca (Becky) Jack­son was born in Europe and grew up in Kailua, Hawaii. She became inter­ested in art through her mother, Bar­bara Jack­son, who also taught at the Studio. She received a BFA in Paint­ing from the Acad­emy of Art Uni­ver­sity where she enjoyed abstract fig­u­ra­tive paint­ing. Becky has been teach­ing the Studio Youth Pro­gram since 2004, and is an inspi­ra­tion to the chil­dren with her gen­tle and patient man­ner. Her "children's" art work con­tin­u­ally amazes adults with their orig­i­nal­ity. She is also an accred­ited, multi sub­ject, class­room teacher, and teaches sec­ond grade in Marin County.

Erik James studied Fine Art at the Academy of Art University and freqents the metal arts group at CellSpace to keep up with his skills and inspire his peers. he lives by the quote, "I sculpt therefore I am." www.flickr.com/photos/erikjamessculpture

Karen Koltonow discovered the Sharon Art Studio in 1985, and has been teaching since 1990. With a degree in Painting and Ceramics, she has been painting and making art and spreading the wonderment and mysteries of clay (with a special fondness for Raku firing) her whole life. Karen’s state­ment about her art: “My life is my art, my art is my life, and I live it every day and it goes beyond the clay.” 

Noriko Kuwabara joined Sharon Art Studio as a ceramic student in 1998 and became an assistant in 2002. She is a youth ceramics instructor at the studio and an artist who works in ceramics, mixed media, and textiles. sushiclock.com

Joy-Lily worked as a graphic designer and illustrator in New York for 16 years. She brings her design sensibility to her work as a fiber artist in silk painting, felting, shibori, batik, natural dyeing, quilting and fabric collage. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Santa Fe, Hanover Germany and Beijing. She recently had a very successful solo show of her art quilts in San Francisco. She has taught fiber media at art centers, fiber art groups, quilt guilds, community centers and for adult education districts since 1989. Her teaching style is informal and supportive, insuring that students exploring a new medium will create art they love on their first try.  

Eliz­a­beth (Liz) Liu has a BFA in Ceram­ics from San Francisco State University. She has been play­ing with clay at the Stu­dio since 1992, and has stud­ied under many Stu­dio instruc­tors, con­tin­uing to learn from them and her stu­dents on the daily. She teaches Ceram­ics and is a vital resource for Open Stu­dio; she enjoys the clay chores and all the potlucks that the ceram­ics depart­ment is famous for.

Dot­tie Low grad­u­ated from San Francisco State University with a major in Ceram­ics. She has been teaching wheel-throw­ing and hand-build­ing in the Ceram­ics Depart­ment since 1994, and encour­ages stu­dents to refine their skills and expand their imag­i­na­tions on a daily basis. She had a one woman ceram­ics exhi­bi­tion, “Break­ing The Mold”, at the Chi­nese Cul­ture Cen­ter, pre­sent­ing four decades of ceramic art. Dot­tie designed and led a group of volunteers for the Ceramic Tile Project, the Ceramic Steps in the Children’s Play­ground, in Golden Gate Park. She con­tin­ues to travel to study ceram­ics from dif­fer­ent cultures and is the proud grandmother of her newborn grandaughter.  

Katina Price has been teaching at the Studio for more than a decade in the Ceramics department, working with youth, teens, and adults. 

Jacque­line Ruben attended the San Fran­cisco Art Insti­tute and received her Ed.M. from the Har­vard Grad­u­ate School of Edu­ca­tion. Her mixed media draw­ings and paint­ings explore eco­log­i­cal and spir­i­tual con­cerns of under­ground streams, rivers turn­ing into free­ways and moun­tain­top removal–unlike the tra­di­tional pris­tine land­scape images. www.jacquelineartworks.com.

Rhonda Rungsitiyakorn started at the studio 6 years ago and teaches knitting classes.  This creative, down to earth kindred spirit is also a retired nurse, who is very nurturing with her students, which is reflected in her class instruction.   She also teaches handwork at the Golden Bridges School, San Francisco’s first urban farm school, an ecology-infused, holistic education that nourishes children and families’ heads, hearts and hands.

Jeff Sutton began as a studio assistant both the Glass and Metal Arts department a couple years ago; he now teaches in both departments, as the leaded glass and youth enameling instructor. 

Alan Tarbell is a mixed media painter who is aesthetically inspired by nature’s infinite combination of form, light, texture, atmosphere and rhythm. Exposure through travel and exploration into diverse physical and cultural environments formulate his conceptual approach. His work has been widely reviewed in Mexico where he lived from 2002-2008.He currently lives and works from his studio in Oakland, CA. Alan also teaches painting and drawing at the Richmond Art Center, the ASUC Berkeley and the Sharon Art Studio in San Francisco. His work is held by numerous private collectors in Mexico and the US. http://www.alantarbell.com

Andrea Taylor first learned to twist, pound, and solder metals into jewelry from her grandmother. This mentorship inspired Andrea to continue studying art in college. She received her BA in art with a focus on photography, jewelry making and theater from San Francisco State University, then continued to explore and study jewelry crafting with local artists in the Bay Area and while living and traveling in Indonesia.  Andrea’s artworks has included puppetry fabrication and performance, mask making, jewelry fabrication, and a new found interest in sculpture with steel.  You may see her in the Sharon Arts Jewelry studio or wearing protective welding goggles with the Sharon Art’s welding class Andrea also holds an MA in teaching English and transfers her interactive teaching approach into jewelry/metal arts courses at the studio including Taste of Jewelry, Intro to Rings, and Adventures in Forging

Tami Sloan Tsark is a San Francisco painter, who works in a variety of media including sculpture and mixed media. Her work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. She received her BA from UCLA in Film/TV, where she specialized in animation and minored in English. She attributes the movement in her paintings (and as a model) to her background as a figure skater. Thematically, she loves to incorporate reclaimed objects & complex surfaces in her work. She loves to teach art and has been teaching at SAS since 2017. She has worked as a model for FOSAS since 2002.*
Her classes include Everyone Can Paint (Painting for Everyone), Abstract Ink Painting, Finding the Movement in the Model, Figurative Collage, Figurative Sculpture among other classes. https://www.instagram.com/tsarkart/
https://tsarkart.wordpress.com/

Debbie Wu A resident of San Francisco and Bay Area native, Debbie has a passion for making arts & crafts.  She is an Art Educator who has been teaching students at various elementary schools and community organization in the Bay Area for more than 10 years.  Debbie enjoys working with young people helping them explore their creativity.  She has an MBA from Santa Clara University and a BA in Economics from U.C. Davis. In her own art practice, Debbie works with a variety of media including fused glass, clay, mosaic, mixed media, and jewelry. Her website address is www.debbieartsandcrafts.wordpress.com.

Sharon Art Studio

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Phone: 415-753-7006

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