SDAD Instructors


The San Diego Art Department is pleased to offer classes and workshops taught by an amazing collection of San Diego artists and educators. Instructors at SDAD range from accomplished artists to Ph.D. trained individuals. They offer combined teaching experiences of more than 100 years, with exhibition histories in galleries and museums around the world. We are honored to have each of them here.

The mission of the San Diego Art Department is to establish itself as a sacred place that encourages the creativity of artists of all
ages and stimulates the ongoing flow of ideas and expression. The San Diego Art Department is unique in that we are an art
school, a working studio space, and an exhibition gallery. We have state-of-the-art equipment and award- winning instructors.
Our gallery is filled with new works by our students, teachers, and members. The exhibitions are changed each month for
Ray at Night, San Diego’s largest monthly arts and cultural event.

Community is everything and it has several meanings at the San Diego Art Department. First, we are a dynamic and evolving
community within ourselves, bringing together artists of all backgrounds to create a work-play community.

It is a 3,700 square foot haven which beckons artists to work, learn, teach, exhibit, critique and commune with one another in spaces designed for painting, glass fusing & stained glass, drawing, mosaics, and other media.









Lesley J. Anderson


SDAD Director of Education.

Since 2011, Lesley has been working with the San Diego Art Institute as the Education Director. She currently manages both the education programs at the Museum of the Living Artist (MOLA) and the San Diego Art Department. Lesley came to San Diego from Wisconsin with the passion to become deeply involved in the arts and enhance the awareness of the visual arts in San Diego.

As the Director, Lesley not only manages the community art school, but she is also actively involved at SDAI coordinating and facilitating field trips with local schools, programing Professional Artist Lectures, creating and sustaining partnerships with other arts organizations, organizing youth exhibits, developing outreach programs and curriculum.

Lesley received her Bachelor's degree from the Art Institute of California, San Diego in 2008 with a focus on fine art and interior design.

Deron Cohen

SDAD Instructor:

"Painting and the Creative Process"
, Abstract Painting, Drawing, and Oil Painting to all levels.


As an artist he has exhibited extensively throughout San Diego and across the country. His group shows include
3zero6zero, Limbo Fine Arts, and Sushi Gallery, as well as a solo show at The Playa Gallery.
Voted Artist of the Month (May 2004) by
Deron is the curator of and teaches after school programs at the GETM Gallery 3060 University.

Currently, Deron is creating prints of his paintings and is doing magazine illustration work at the national level.



Misty Hawkins

SDAD Instructor: Drawing for Beginners

Misty received a Bachelor in Fine Art in Painting from San Diego State University and her MFA in Painting and Drawing from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

Misty takes an experimental approach drawing and painting with oil, various water media, pastels and charcoal to depict the human figure. The body is the central subject of her work as it evokes so many personal and cultural associations regarding our identity. Physical ideals of perfection shown in fashion photography, pornography, movies, sports, dance, and Western art stimulate her own pleasure in looking and painting personal friends—but in these portraits bodies are not idealized, exploring individual character, strengths and vulnerabilities. The figures in her paintings sometimes appear nude as a metaphor for nakedness and revelation of intimate feelings, alternating with the suggestion of mystery about parts of the self that are not revealed.

Alexis Archibald

SDAD Instructor: Jewelry Workshops, Youth Classes and Workshops.

As a child, Alexis Archibald's dream was always to be an artist. As she grew older, she gained a passion for teaching as well. Alexis received her BFA, concentrating in Metalsmithing, with a teaching certification in art, at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Alexis is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. In Pittsburgh, she participated in various art exhibitions, taught art at a city high school, along with some of volunteering and metalsmithing workshops. Alexis also had the privilege of working along side with Jan Loney in her metal studio in Pittsburgh PA. This allowed her to further my practice and knowledge in the world of metalsmithing, along with some of her tricks, and expertise.



Sally Phillips

SDAD Instructor:
"Introduction to Soft Pastel"
, Figure Drawing, Pastel Workshops, Youth Classes and Workshops.

Sally Phillips just recently moved back to San Diego from Hawaii. Currently, her pastel drawings from her Kauai life are focused on the great sky above us. Sally's skycapes bring the viewer's eye to the clear, deep, lavender hued blues of the heavens and the billowing clouds parading in vast space. The relationship of the sky to the land is her subject matter. These pieces feature a wild landscape, silhouetted against the sweeping sky. Perhaps a mountainside is highlighted by the sunlight or a curtain of rain falls in the distance catching the light, but these vistas are unpeopled and unmarred by rooftops or dwelling. Even in the slices of land that include a road, a fence or some other suggestion of civilization, the mood is one of a windswept walk alone in the wilderness of a high promontory. Meditation is a word that comes to mind when looking at Sally's pastels.
- Text By Elelyn deBuhr


Marvin and Bonnie Dull

SDAD Instructors:

Stained Glass
& Fused Glass

Marvin and Bonnie Dull bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Art Department. They have been teaching stained glass/glass fusing locally for over 30 years. They have participated in numerous shows throughout Southern California.

Ari Kate Ashton

SDAD Instructor: "Acrylic Painting" & Painting Open Studio.

Kate Ashton lives in the Blue Lantern studio and creates art, her home is her studio. Ashton’s art is exhibited in over a hundred homes in southern California alone. Her work has appeared in California Homes Magazine as well as on NBC news and has been exhibited at the Museum of the Living Artist in San Diego. Her work has been exhibited in dozens of art shows throughout California including the prestigious gallery shows at the Riverside Art Museum. Kate taught at a local community college for many years.


"Art is a calling. It is difficult NOT to paint. The creative spirit is restless and I find myself heading for the easel...the way some people come home. It is the most authentic career I could choose.

Glazing is an important part of my technique. I create layer upon layer of color to give a sense of depth and mystery. The glazing creates unpredicatable colors through the use of light rather than pigment alone. The lustre of the glaze tends to give the acrylics the rich look of oils.

Color is the foundation of all of my work. It carries spiritual as well as deep emotional impact. Nothing communicates visually as fast as color. From the pulsing, in-your-face, adrenline- ridden red, to the enduring, reassuring ancient solidarity of neutrals."



Igor Koutsenko


SDAD Instructor: Intermediate Drawing

Igor Koutsenko was born in Evpatoria, a resort city on the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea. His father brought Igor to the Children's Art School in his hometown after his son demonstrated artistic ability at a young age. At age eleven, Koutsenko was accepted to the adult art studio directed by the acclaimed artist Zvyagintesev who encouraged his talent. Later Igor was educated at the Penza School of Art (class of E. Iodynis) and received rigorous training in the old traditions of Russian realist art. While living in Moscow, he successfully used the Moscow art market to sell his works to Russian and foreign collectors. His experience in Moscow allowed him to fully realize himself as an independent artist.Koutsenko immigrated to the United States in 1992 settling in Oklahoma City where he taught fine art at the University of Central Oklahoma. In 1995, he was granted permanent United States residentship as an alien of extraordinary abilities.

In his private studio in the Paseo Art District of Oklahoma City, he continued to produce his own works and participated in a number of exhibits throughout the United States. Koutsenko was featured in numerous articles, newspapers, and magazines. He also appeared in "Artbreak" on the Bravo channel. Numerous of Igor's works are in distinguished private collections throughout the United States.In 1998 Koutsenko visited Southern California and was attracted by its beautiful scenery and climate that reminded him of his boyhood surroundings in Crimea. Since moving to Southern California, he continues to produce original work at his private studio in Fallbrook.

Artist Website:

Chris Brown

SDAD Instructor: Mosaics

Holding a BFA from San Diego State University, and his Masters in Ceramics from the University of Hawaii, Chris Brown has been perusing a career in ceramics since 1988.  He has spread his knowledge and skill through teaching at schools such as University of Denver and the San Diego Art Department. Currently, Chris runs his own school and production studio in San Diego. Exposed to many cultural aspects of making art, his inspiration comes from the natural world and its beauty.

Cindy Dunlevy

SDAD Instructor:
Wood Collage Workshop

Cindy’s goal in teaching art workshops is to make art accessible to everyone, even people who think they are “not artistic.” She creates an environment in which participants are encouraged to discover their unique creativity and in doing so create beautiful and meaningful art.
Cindy grew up in a small town in Michigan. She attended Michigan State University and San Diego State where she earned her teaching credential. Though not formally trained as an artist, she has studied art throughout the US and Europe and has been teaching art to children and adults for over 15 years. She specializes in book arts, collage, and mixed media.



George Lofland

SDAD Founder:

The San Diego Art Department is the heartchild of George Lofland, whose vision of a dynamic atmosphere brimming with creative play came to fruition in July of 2003. It is with his love and dedication for creating a special place for artists and art lovers to commune and learn from each other that has kept SDAD thriving and growing.

George has always been passionate about the visual and performing arts.

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Brian Shepherd

SDAD Instructor: "Watercolor Painting"

Attended the Inverness Royal Academy and the Aberdeen College of Art

Brian Shepherd created his first work of art when he painted a little bird as a six-year old. As a child growing up in England & Scotland, he was exposed to heather covered hills & lively seascapes all around the coast of Great Britain. Using oils on large canvases, he excelled at conveying the beauty of the British countryside, in the style of Constable and Turner. He attended art classes at Inverness Royal Academy and the Aberdeen College of Art.
Moving to California was a big change – new landscapes, new colors & new techniques. Brian decided to learn the art of watercolor painting & took classes in Escondido and in El Cajon under Marie Wardell. Mastering new techniques has added a lot of excitement and brilliance to his work, whether he is painting a traditional seascape or an abstract vision of color. He exhibits frequently locally, and won first prize, watercolor medium, at the East County Art Society Show.
Brian has a gift for bringing art alive for children and adults. He brings a supportive and ever-encouraging attitude to teaching.
Honors First Place Watercolor Medium, San Diego East County Art Society Show.

Thia Nevius

SDAD Instructor:
"Exploring the World of Watercolor" & Youth classes

M.F.A. from Colorado State University

She has been published widely and teaches locally at the Bishop’s School, UCSD. She is a member of the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild, the Museum of Contemporary Art, COVA, the San Diego Watercolor Society, and Young Audiences. Her work has been shown extensively here and abroad and she has participated in many one-person and group juried exhibitions.


“My work comes from the experience side of my life such as that of living in a foreign country and traveling, my work as a set painter for the Santa Fe Opera and relationships I’ve had with others. The process of creating has been the glue that has held me together as the journey of life unfolds.”


Kris Finch



Kris was born and raised in San Diego's east county. When Kris was younger he took several art classes. After high school he attended classes at the local community colleges. Soon he found out about the Watts Atelier in Encinitas. At the atelier is where he really progressed with the instruction of artists. He learned classical style of portrait drawing. Kris stayed there for 4 years and began to take classes at SDAD, where instructor Andre Rushing quickly noticed his talents. Kris now works with the Carlsbad Art Farm during the summer teaching children (ages 8 - 12 ) how to paint from live models. Since 2010, Kris began teaching the Painting in Oils Class and workshops at The San Diego Art Department.

ARTIST'S You Tube Video:

Josie Rodriguez

SDAD Instructor:
The Art of Encaustic Painting

Josie Rodriguez attended San Diego State University and the University of San Diego where she received her M.A. She is an encaustic and mixed media collage artist who believes that art in many forms is universal in it’s ability to heal the spirit.  She saw this most vividly in her work as a clinical chaplain at San Diego Hospice. She says, “I no longer sit at the bedside of patients but rather at my art table doing my own art work or nurturing others in their magnificent creativity.” A skillful and popular teacher Josie recently returned from an encaustic intensive workshop held in Cortona, Italy.  Her classes will reflect new encaustic techniques learned there. Josie has shown her work in San Diego, Los Angeles and Marin County.

Nadine Spier

 SDAD Instructor:

Basket Weaving Workshop

Nadine Spier is an award-winning fiber artist and instructor. Her elaborately woven vessels and sculptures are displayed internationally in solo, invitational and juried shows. Using nature as inspiration, Nadine lovingly transforms fallen plant materials into beautiful and unique shapes. She considers basket weaving to be an important environmental art that nourishes the spirit and provides an intimate connection with nature. Nadine is committed to preserving this endangered art form and breaking new ground in contemporary basketry. She has an impressive record of exhibitions, commissions, and awards including the Handweavers’ Guild of America Award of Excellence, many First Places, Best of Show and Juror’s Choice. She lectures and teaches basketry throughout the U.S. and Canada. Her work has been published in numerous periodicals and in “500 Baskets: A Celebration of the Basketmaker’s Art” by Lark Books (2006). In 2002 Nadine was featured on the Discovery Channel. Nadine has also produced 3 basketry instructional DVD’s. She is a member of the professional juried groups Fiber Artists Collective, California Fiber Artists, and Designing Weavers.

You can see her work at

Rachelle Farber


SDAD Instructor: Personalized Watercolor Journal Workshop & Watercolor Greeting Card Creation Workshop

Rachelle Farber is a unique artist who creates art which allows the viewer to think and experience visual arts. She received her Bachelors of Art at California State University, Northridge where she cultivated her skills & techniques in fine art. Through the years, her watercolor and photography skills have grown in depth and scope generating a unique style and perspective in visual arts.

Rachelle Farber's passion in life is sharing her vision of creativity with others in the world. Each image involves the notion of change integrated with vivid colors and movement. Images composed in her art reflect universal themes that burst with emotion allowing the viewers to interpret their own individual meanings to the images.

Rachelle Farber's passion for the arts extends to the world of watercolor instruction. She finds it fulfilling to give back to the community by assisting students in developing their own specific artistic skills. She teaches watercolor seminars to creative art students of all ages.

Rachelle Farber proudly exhibits her watercolor images & photography in local coffee houses, businesses, galleries & museums in California. These exciting images can be purchased in larger formats suitable for framing & greeting cards.

You can find Rachelle Farber working on a new piece of art at her studio in San Diego, California.


Susan Osborn

SDAD Instructor: Intro to Drawing & Painting

Susan Osborn lives in Bonita, CA and teaches at The Bishops School in La Jolla. She received her Master of Arts degree from Cal State University, San Diego and has held exhibitions and won numerous prizes throughout California.  Her experience in teaching dates from 1973 and covers a wide range of art subjects, including computer graphics, educational technology, photography and printmaking at both the high-school and university level. Further afield, her work has appeared at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York and at the Museo Internacional de Electrografia, Universidad de Castila-La Mancha in Cueca, Spain.
Her work reflects her view that we live on various levels of reality, only stepping out on rare occasions for a glimpse of the connectivity between our level and others around us. At any time, many different things are happening and her work combines these different "realities", joining an illogical reality to point out truths.

Jan Janas

SDAD Instructor: Silk Painting

Jan received her Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Northern Illinois University. She continued her educational studies at several Universities throughout the United States including, The Art Institute of Chicago, Northern Mighigan University, and the University of New Mexico. Jan's extensive teaching background begin in the 1990's instructing workshops and classes for Miami University, OH; Fiber Art Center, NM; Harwood Museum, NM; Decart, Inc.; and Savoir-Faire among many other organizations and institutions. From 1998 until 2004 she served as the Education Coordinator for Silk Painters International Inc.

Jan has co-authored numerous books on silk painting and fiber arts including, "The Best of Silk Painting," Creative Silk Painting" and "The Complete Book of Silk Painting".

Jan recently relocated to San Diego from Truchas, NM.


Tom Shjarback

SDAD Instructor: Basic Photography

Tom began taking photographs in the 60s with a hand-me-down 35mm camera.  He would load his own 35mm canisters with black and white film.  He would then develop and print his images in the family bathroom/darkroom.  His love for photography has been taken to a new level with the advent of the digital world. Purchasing his first digital camera in the late 90s has opened up a whole new world.  Tom has also traveled to Peru, Brazil, Switzerland, Mexico and Central Europe pursuing his love of photography.  He has studied photography under Michel Seewald, Leland Forrester, Donna Cosentino, and Renee Weissenburger.   

You may see some of his work at

Cecie McCaffery


Cecie McCaffery is a Canadian born, award winning artist well known for 24 years as a greeting card and gift product designer.  She has a Master’s degree in Painting and Drawing and is a Certified Zentangle Teacher (Zentangle is the meditative art of using repetitive patterns to create beautiful art). Cecie’s art has been donated to raise funds for many charities such as The Starlight Foundation, UNICEF, the March for the Animals and Grey 2K.  She has been called a gifted and brilliant artist and teacher. Cecie’s philosophy is that everyone who desires to become an artist CAN be taught.  Her gentle, confidence building approach has helped many students realize their dream of becoming an artist and pursing their creativity through painting, drawing, Zentangle and more. Her students have ranged in age from 2 to 82 and come from a multitude of cultures and ethnicities.

















San Diego Art Department 3830 Ray Street San Diego, CA 92104 | Phone 299-4art | FAX 295-4art | ©2003 San Diego Art Dept