Arts for All Nevada
‘s Teac
hing Artists are professionals with expertise in one or more art disciplines. They have skills in working with children, youth, adults and classroom teachers in school and community settings. They are familiar and comfortable when working with various abilities and ages, including an adaptation of techniques and differentiating instruction to reach all learners.

All Arts for All teaching artists share one thing in common, a passion for teaching and the arts.

Below are some of our Teaching Artists.

Desi Barrett

Desi studied at Truckee Meadows Community College before moving on to Portland Community College and Portland State University. She has extensive experience teaching art at a variety of schools, art museums, and community arts organizations. Currently, Desi leads art projects with clients at Renown Pediatrics and ManorCare Health services.

Zoe Bray

Zoe is an artist and anthropologist. Trained as a painter and sculptor in Italy and Spain, in the tradition of realism and naturalism; her work explores the relationship between art and the environment. She first came to Reno in 2011, in the footsteps of her maternal great grandfather, a Basque sheepherder from rural France in the 1920’s. Zoe taught at the University of Nevada Reno’s Center for Basque Studies until 2015, when she was awarded a fellowship in art and research at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is now back in Reno and excited to work creatively with the community at large.

Keely Cobb

Keely Cobb has been teaching creative dance to children in Washoe County School District for over three years. She is the Choreographer/Producer for Keely Cobb Productions, producing shows in a variety of locations around Reno, as well as the Artistic Director for “Around The Stage”.  She is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, with a degree in theater and a minor in dance.

Lorna Denton

Lorna has taught art for over 16 years in the USA and in England.  She has worked with VSA/Arts for All since 2001 teaching all ages.  In the UK, she ran a school’s Art Department, teaching 11- 16 year old students a varied arts curriculum.  Lorna strongly believes that the arts are an essential part of an individual’s development encouraging self expression, confidence, and a sense of personal achievement. Lorna completed a Textiles Degree at West Surrey College of Art & Design in the UK, followed by a teaching certificate.  She has continued her studies mainly focusing on photography and printmaking.

Apollonia Donaghy

Apollonia was born in New York, where she received her BS in Art Education from Hofstra University and her MA in Studio Art from Adelphi University. She moved to the Reno-Sparks area, took a position teaching art with the Washoe County School District and a position with Nevada Connections Academy. Apollonia truly loves being a teacher and sharing her dedication to the arts with her students. She finds inspiration visiting the beautiful landscapes of the American West, which has included over 15 National Parks and every Western State.

Laronda Etheridge

La Ronda Etheridge (aka Miss Lala) has been an actor, director, and choreographer in Northern Nevada for the past 20 years. La Ronda is the education-programming assistant for Reno Little Theater. She majored in theatre at the University of Oregon and studied dance in Scottsdale Arizona where she was a dancer with the SCC Moving Company. La Ronda has performed at the NY International Fringe Festival and directed a one-woman show for the San Francisco Fringe Festival. She is also an instructor with The Loft Dance Theater Arts in Reno.

Stephanie Farias

Stephanie has taught acting for VSAN/Arts for All since 2004.  Stephanie is a 1990 graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts where she received The William B. Kenan Scholarship and The Chancellor’s Award for Artistic Excellence.  What she enjoys most about teaching is when her students are able to come out of their shells and actually take on another character. Stephanie is also a part- time drama instructor for The Davidson Academy, and the Executive Director and Founder of Theatreworks of Northern Nevada.

Carol Gilman

Carol Gilman has enjoyed teaching art classes to children and adults for over fifteen years at Arts for All Nevada and at a variety of community settings. As a practicing artist she creates artwork about the birds and trees from the fanciful place she created called Chattering Birds Garden. She uses a variety of materials in her art including watercolors, markers, and collage. Carol exhibits and sells her work on her website, at events and gallery shows and in Northern Nevada gift shops. Carol has bachelors’ degrees in Art and Interior Design from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Satabdi Hati

An aspirant printmaking artist, Satabdi has completed a BFA and MFA from Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati University, India. Her paintings filled with numerous detailed stories. She takes the essence or flavor of her past and present life to present the accumulation of a beautiful journey in her art. The paintings express inner feelings with visually acquired articles of this magical world that inspire her to create this kind of artwork. Those artworks portrayed the theme of nature and civilization intertwining its story of survival. For the last few years Satabdi was working for different schools as an Art & Craft teacher in India.

Karen Hayes

Karen earned an Advanced Placement Art Scholarship and received her B.A. and M.A. in the metropolitan Los Angeles area. She taught K12 through University-level Fine Arts classes. She enjoys recreational painting instruction, creating custom graphics, and especially unique projects like Trompe L’oeil murals.

Carol Johnson

Carol has been a practicing artist for many years. She has branched out to watercolor-collage using papers including oriental, metallic and handmade.  Carol, a third generation native Nevadan, loves the West which is evident in her work with big skies, wide open spaces and mountains featured in almost all her landscape pieces. She is part of the Dusty Roads Group at St. Mary’s Art Center, the Sierra Watercolor Society, and annually in the Brown Bag Lady Show in Jackson, WY, the yART (Yard + Art) Sale during Artown and the autumn Annual Open Studio Show.

Amy Lawrence

Amy Lawrence is a professional potter and sculptor who has painted multiple murals in the Reno area. She is passionate about bringing different art forms to as many local children as possible. She founded Throwing Mud, which was a pottery program partnered with the Washoe county school district to bring ceramic arts into low income schools. Amy believes that every child is creative and should have the opportunity to find the right outlet for their creativity to flourish.

Vera Lowdermilk

Vera Gordeev Lowdermilk is a well-known artist with many large scale murals in both the Bay Area and San Francisco. She enjoys encouraging creativity in classes for children, adults, and seniors. Her classes use many different mediums, including clay, collage, acrylic, and watercolor. Her love of art began at an early age, influenced by the many beautiful paintings of her father, who was an award-winning artist. Travels influence her art to Europe and many exotic locations, and her studies in Art History. She loves her home and studio in Nevada and finds inspiration in the rugged mountains and desert terrain.

Jennifer Mirich

Jennifer studied fashion design at California College of the Arts in San Franscisco as well as fine arts at Truckee Meadows Community College. An artist herself, Jennifer has extensive experience volunteering with arts organizations and teaching art to students age 5 – 100. Additionally, she is trained therapeutic massage, aromatherapy, and eastern energy work modalities.

Chris Newhard

Christopher Newhard is a realist painter of landscapes, figures and portraits. Traditionally trained in figure drawing and a self taught plein air landscape painter, he brings those skills to his creative works which involve figurative narrative paintings.  Newhard rarely works from photo references, preferring to make studies from life and to use memory and imagination to complete his paintings. Subtle humor, social commentary and human sentiment are hallmarks of the artists narrative and serve as his primary inspiration.

Vivian Olds

Vivian has a BA in Theater and a Masters in Arts in Education and holds a NV Teaching Credential. Vivian is an advocate for the arts, incorporating the arts in to all curricular activities.  She loves bringing painting, poetry, and story telling into the classroom inspiring a students’ creative spirit. She was a runner-up two years in a row for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science, NV Social Studies Teacher of the Year, and a Fulbright recipient, which allowed her to travel to Japan to study the education system. She is the owner of a gallery, Desert Light Arts, which is housed in a yurt in Wadsworth, NV.

Robin Robinson

Robin has been a Teaching Artist as well as a Performing Artist for thirty years. After studying Art and Dance at the University of Nevada, Reno, she performed extensively with several modern and folk dance companies throughout Nevada and California. She has taught many therapeutic movement courses for diverse populations, and has been an AFAA certified fitness professional. Robin is able to combine both visual arts activities with creative movement and music in her lessons, adding to her flexibility.

Sheila de Salvo

Shelia de Salvo attended Washoe Co. public schools and as a young adult, audited ceramic classes at the University of Nevada, Reno. She taught ceramics for a number of years at Washoe Co. Senior Center and at ceramics shops. Sheila has always had a passion for working with seniors, children and people with disabilities. As director of Storey Co. Senior Center, she organized and participated in weekly art classes. Sheila is an accomplished water colorist. Since retiring, Sheila shares her passion for the arts through Arts for All Nevada, teaching people with mental health issues, as well as those with disabilities.

Maria Segura

Maria has been teaching visual art to children since 2007. She began teaching a variety of classes at the YMCA in Madison, WI including kid’s food-science classes, Arts & Crafts, and Spanish classes for preschool to second grade.  Maria has also instructed Art and Spanish to children at the Center for Visual Arts,  at Montessori Charter School and at various schools in Wisconsin.  Maria earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Roosevelt University in Chicago and enjoys writing, painting and spending time with friends and family.

Penelope (Penny) Siig

Penny is a forensic sculptor and archaeological illustrator with a background in anthropology, archaeology and the arts. She received her training and certification in artifact illustration at the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London, UK, and through practical experience during archaeological fieldwork with the Dept. of Anthropology, UNR. Penny has pursued her interests in archaeology, anthropology and the arts throughout her professional life. She realized a 20-year career as a professional dancer, teacher, and as a performing arts manager and science administrator in Reno, San Francisco and Berkeley.

Elaine Slikkerveer

Elaine has been an educator for 20 years working with AFAN since 2008.  She was born/raised in Rio de Janeiro. Elaine graduated with a degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education and School Administration/Supervision from the Universidade Federal Fluminense. She has worked in elementary and early childhood education and was an Administrator at the Sociedade Pestalozzi in Rio de Janeiro. After moving to the U.S., she taught art, science and math at a Montessori school before focusing on teaching students of all ages and abilities emphasizing art throughout the curriculum.

Kelsey Sweet

Kelsey has a background in psychology, applied behavior analysis, neurology, consciousness and leadership. She studied at the Art Institute of California, University of Nevada Reno, and California Institute of Integral Studies. Professionally, she strives towards the cultivation of consciousness in creative persons and communities as a process of growth and healing. A multi-media artist herself, Kelsey teaches art to patients at Renown Pediatrics, is director of marketing at Potentialist Workshop, is an independent Transformative Coach, and facilitates mindfulness and art workshops with UNR School of Medicine.

Kim Trotter

For the past ten years, Kim has taught improvisational drama techniques to children at a community theatre in Jacksonville beach, Florida! Having recently moved to Reno, Kim is a faculty member at Truckee Meadows Community College teaching College Reading Strategies and English Composition.  Theatre has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember, and she is equally passionate working behind the curtain as she is in front of it.  With an MA in English Literature and Rhetoric, Kim combines her love of literature and drama and infuses it into the teaching of improvisation. 

Mark Tyler

Art has always been an important interest to Mark and has been an active part of his life. Mark took classes in high school, college, and as an adult. His main focus is watercolor, but he has worked with several other mediums. Mark’s career in teaching has given him a good background and knowledge that the arts are important to children’s development. He believes our students need to be given other means of expressing themselves; art is certainly a good way, as well as a legitimate excuse for messiness.

Jason Williams

Born and raised in Nashua NH, Jason spent 14 years in Montana and is a new transplant into Reno. He is the father to two grown boys and a 7 year old. Jason is a professional Illustrator and graphic designer with over 25 years of experience. He has illustrated for companies such as TOPPS trading cards, Star Wars brand characters, as well as t-shirts for national parks. Jason has worked with companies from McDonald’s, Chic-fil-A to International Hotel Group and more. He is passionate about cartooning, comic strips and the influence they have, and all things art.

If you would like to Apply to join our qualified Teaching Artist team, please do so by emailing your resume and references to:

Eva Lerud (school-based programs) eva@artsforallnevada.org 

(open-to-the-public/other classes) programming@artsforallnevada.org

Previous teaching experience and a love for teaching and the arts is mandatory.  Year-round, AFAN conducts a wide range of classes/camps for all ages and all abilities. Applicants must be willing to undergo a background check.