Our Instructors

Liz Schiff

Liz Schiff is a Bay Area watercolor artist, printmaker and instructor. Her work has been in multiple group and solo shows over the last twenty years. She has taught adult classes for over twenty-five years and has a solid background in how to convey a variety of subject matter to a wide range of learners with humor, patience and organization. Liz is a member of the California Society of Printmakers and holds an M.A. in Communication and a B.A. in French.

Cera Deibel

Cera Deibel is a jeweler and artist from Texas who has made San Francisco home since 2014. Throughout her experience as an artist, her work has been linked by her appreciation of process and craft. Her pursuits have taken her through an interdisciplinary practice of painting, photography, and ceramics that eventually led to silversmithing. Her work focuses on process rather than result, believing that the act of creating is at least as important as the final product.
After graduating from San Francisco Art Institute with a degree in the History and Theory of Contemporary Art, Cera has worked as a full time production jeweler for a number of Bay Area designers.

Jacqueline Hofmann

Jacqueline Hofmann was raised to be an artist in any way she desired. At age 5, that meant sketching costumes. At age 8, that meant making jewelry. At age 21, that meant painting. There were, of course, a multitude of other artistic pursuits in between age 8 and 21, but painting had become her main quarantine buddy when the pandemic hit. During this time, Jacqueline also graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major in Media Studies and French, and a minor in Journalism.

Throughout her life, she has had an affinity for capturing the faces of all creatures. Whether it be her dog and muse, Bailey, or her friends, she finds great satisfaction in preserving the feelings and complexities of an individual’s face. Her main inspirations include Agnes Grochulska and Emilio Villalba. She will always be married to painting as it allows for the artist to be either accurate or abstract or both. Nonetheless, she continues to experiment with new mediums, since creating, in any shape or form, is what gives her the deepest sense of fulfillment.

Constance Flannery

In 1970, Constance took her first stained glass class at the Sharon Art Studio and was taught by Fred Reed. With 50 plus years of glass art experience, Constance is still doing glass as a qualified craft instructor.

Lynn Wood

Lynn Wood, The texture queen, has had clay as a joy in her life since early childhood. The ability to play and explore the endless possibilities with this medium, furthers her  creative pleasure. http://potterytexturequeen.com/

Jacqueline Ruben

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. http://www.jacquelineartworks.com

Elizabeth (Liz) Liu

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.

Erik James

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." http://www.flickr.com/photos/erikjamessculpture

Carlo Grunfeld

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.

Alison Burek

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.

Christopher Parris

Born into a family of artists, Christopher was placed into to the arts at a very early age. Growing up on Cape Cod with its high concentration of potters, there were many opportunities for learning about clay. Chris' training includes a degree in Mechanical Engineering, studies at Kansas City Art Institute and Pendland School of Craft. Apprenticeships and employment include Dimitri Hadzi, Castle Hill Center for the Arts, and Parris Works Pottery. The rich history of ceramics and the decorative arts as well as Cape Cod's beaches, ocean, and sea life, continue to strongly influence his art work.
instagram: @parris_works

Michelle Champlin

Michelle Champlin is a professional visual artist, educator, intuitive, and creative mentor living in Oakland CA. She has been teaching art classes and curating student exhibitions for over 9 years and has been a professional artist for over 15.

Primarily a painter, her work ranges from representational to intuitive abstract and tends to explore emotion, human perspective, healing, spirituality, and consciousness.

Michelle has always loved creating art. She began taking private art lessons at the age of 12, just after losing her Mom to cancer. The arts became and continue to be a profound vehicle for creative expression and healing for her.

Earning her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts with a Visual Arts focus at the California Institute of Integral Studies provided her time, space, and resources to delve deeply into her own truth, perspective, and process, both as an individual and as an artist–an experience that informs her work every day.

Her background includes working with a variety of populations including, but not limited to; children, adults, professional women, LGBTQ youth, and adults and youth who experience developmental disabilities. She is passionate about bringing opportunities for education, creative growth, and self-expression to the community–as well as creating space for folks to contemplate and honor their own experience.

Her belief that art gives us an opportunity to see in a new way, a vehicle to learn, and the power to convey is at the heart of her love of teaching. http://www.wickedpainty.com/

Vincent Cheung

Vincent Cheung got an Art Degree from San Francisco State University. He was a product designer in China, a visual art teacher at a nonprofit organization in Hong Kong. Now, he teaches ceramic in San Francisco Unified schools and Sharon Art Studios. Vincent enjoys ceramic, photography, and stamp carving.

Hsiao-Yun Chu

Hsiao-Yun Chu is an industrial designer and design educator teaching at San Francisco State University. In addition to over 15 years’ experience teaching at the university level, she has taught youth jewelry and arts and crafts classes at the YMCA-SF, San Francisco Unified schools, and at Sharon Art Studios. https://sites.google.com/view/hsiao-yun-chu-jewelry/

Alan Tarbell

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

Mara Ramirez

Mara Ramirez is a nonbinary artist, educator, and caregiver making comics in the Bay Area, California. Their comics are mainly autobiographical and somewhat experimental, and concern matters of intimacy, trauma, and healing. They play with abstraction and the action of mark making as a means of distorting (and in doing so, clarifying) their own experiences through the filter of emotion and memory. These stories range in content: existentialism, gender, and childcare are some of the topics that have emphasis. https://planetmars.earth/about

Karen Koltonow

Karen Koltonow (KK) 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.”

Jeannie Ichimura

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. http://www.claywrangler.com

Dolores R. Gray

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.

Karen Bash

Karen has been drawing and painting since she was a young girl. Her maternal grandfather, Axel Rasmussen, was a successful graphic artist in the days of pen and ink, and she still uses some of his equipment today. She has a degree in Studio Art from SFSU, but her creative interests have led to a wide range of experiences. Karen also worked for many years as a scenic artist for university and community theatre and spent time working on a loom as a weaver. But her metier is drawing and painting. Predominantly a plein air landscape painter and urban sketcher she works mostly in pencil, ink, and watercolor, either separately or in combination. And she has over 20 years experience as an art instructor for both children and adults, working in the SF Bay Area for universities, non-profits, NPS and SFSUD. She began teaching at Sharon Art Studio in 2015 and has taught studio, plein air, museum and online classes in a variety of mediums. http://www.karenbash.com

Rebecca Rippon

Rebecca Rippon is a San Francisco artist working in printmaking and illustration. She creates themes and images in her work that celebrate the natural world. Rebecca received her M.F.A. from San Francisco Art Institute and was awarded the Cadogan Contemporary Art Award by The San Francisco Foundation. She teaches printmaking and digital art at multiple studios in the Bay Area.
instagram: @rebecca_prints

Richelle Soper

Richelle Soper (b.1991) is a sculptor working in mixed media. She focuses on the essence of a material and the relationship of their uses in both industrial and domestic contexts. Her work has been exhibited widely up and down the east coast. She earned her BFA from State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 2013 and her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2016. She has been recognized for scholastic and artistic achievement and has appeared as a guest artist and lecturer at various institutions and universities around the country. She currently is living and working in San Francisco, CA. http://richellesoper.com/

Elizabeth Murray

Elizabeth Murray began attending figure drawing classes at Sharon Art Studio under Virginia Banta. She became Virginia’s studio assistant after attending classes for several years and developing a true passion for figures. During that time, she studied drawing and painting with Bob Gerbracht until he retired. Her background is in theater, primarily lighting and costumes. She worked in New York professionally for nine years and moved to the Bay Area. She managed the soft goods department for the San Francisco Opera. She returned to school at San Francisco State to study animation, focusing on environments. She wanted to learn to figure draw so she could create characters for her animations. She discovered that she loved drawing figures and painting far more than spending hours on the computer.

Debbie Wu

Debbie Wu is 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. http://www.debbieartsandcrafts.wordpress.com

Yuko Sato

Yuko Sato, began studying pottery at art college in Tokyo. Since moving to San Francisco in 1996, she has continued working with clay, both hand-building and on the wheel. http://nama-ya.com/

Katina Price

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

Olga Kleytman

Olga Kleytman is a versatile artist; she's fluent in painting, drawing, and printmaking. With subject matter varied from figure to still life, Olga’s artworks reflect on her surroundings and are autobiographical. Born and raised in Ukraine, Olga moved to the USA in 2005, where she was happy to resume her artistic practice. https://www.olgakleytman.com/

Danielle Hoang

Danielle Hoang believes that art dares us to dream and can fuel confidence in self expression. It helps us develop and understand new ideas, and can be an essential ingredient for social change. Danielle is a San Francisco native and as a child, attending Art in the Park Camp at Sharon Art Studio solidified her love for visual expression and to pursue her artistic endeavors in college. She studied at San Francisco State University, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, received her Early Childhood Education Certificate from CCSF and in 2008 she earned her BA in Studio Art with an emphasis in both photography and ceramics from California State University Chico. She has taught ceramics and 3D Art at Mercy High School SF, worked as a Ceramics Lab Technician at the City College of San Francisco and at Ruby’s Clay Studio and continues to teach mixed media art for local non-profit organizations. Outside of the classroom, she continues her ceramics practice, is a metal smith and has a small successful jewelry business. She stays immersed in the art world and values the exploration of new materials, ideas and forms of expression. Follow her jewelry/ceramics instagram page at @brokenpebble_studio!

Susan Gold

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.

Virginia Banta

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 storytelling 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.