Tearing Walls Apart is seeking professional artists and/or art educators
to volunteer their time (2+ hours) to mentor student artists during the creation of their work.
The commitment of only two hours is minimal but the impact on our student artists will be great! Not only will you be on site to answer questions and guide their work if they request it, but you will be an inspiration to these students to continue pursuing and appreciating art, either as a hobby or as a profession, into their adulthood.
OUR 2018 ARTISTIC MENTORS
AIZIK BROWN, MURALIST AND PAINTER
I am Aizik “Aik” Brown, a Muralist and Painter from Sacramento, CA. Since I was a child I have always had a passion for art. Creating has always been my way of self expression and being able to use my voice visually. At a young age I had a strong influence in Graffiti art. Seeing Graffiti in my hometown or whenever I would travel to big cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco, I would be amazed by the art I was viewing and soon started creating my own art. As I progressed in my artistry, I wanted to go to college to better my skills and techniques as an artist. I went on to attend Humboldt State University where I received my Bachelor’s in Studio Art with an emphasis in painting. Now I have created over 30 murals, and was recently a featured artist in the Wide Open Walls mural festival.
Learn more About Aik
DELGRETA BROWN, VISUAL ART/PAINTING
Delgreta served as Youth Artist for the Sacramento County Children and Families Commission (1999-2000). She completed her undergraduate degree at Xavier University of Louisiana in 2005. The emerging artist’s work has appeared in gallery and museum exhibitions and include her participation in the “Mud Cloth Madness” group exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Ca. (2010), and the subsequent exhibition at the African-American Museum and Library at Oakland, Ca. (2012). “KOSMOSIS”, her first solo exhibition was held December 3, 2011. The dynamic Contemporary and Afrofuturism artist completed her second solo exhibition “KOSMOSIS: RELOADED” December 15, 2012. In February 2013, Delgreta was in the group exhibition “The 8” at the Pan-African Film & Art Festival (PAFF) held in Los Angeles. Then, in May 2013, she opened Amariginal Art Studio to concentrate on developing another exceptional body of work. The artist was nominated for The 2013 Preludes Arts & Business Award. In 2015 Delgreta accomplished her landmark solo exhibition “(N)EON: The New Eon” at the Union Gallery of California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). In her quest for exploring new horizons of expression, during October 2016, she debuted abstract and portrait works in the remarkably intimate and evocative exhibition “PLUM.” In August 2017, Delgreta was selected to participate in the curated art exhibit “Nightlight Multimedia Festival” hosted by SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco, CA. It was there where she shared her experimental luminous works titled “The Nightshade Series.” The series–a black light installation–was a stunning visual success. In October 2017, she realized her desire to paint on a larger “canvas” and participated in the Wide Open Walls “Street Art Jam.” In the mural festival she created her first mural “Keys To The Waverider.” During January 2018, the artist celebrated her nomination for “Emerging Artist” in the Sacramento Region Arts Awards. In May 2018, Delgreta accepted an Eco-art project from Sacramento First Festival. The project required the creation of an art installation which would represent cultural diversity and use recyclable materials. At the two-day music festival she displayed a unique interactive optical, sculptural and luminous installation titled, “The Ocularium.” The commissioned installation was a milestone in her body of work. Currently, the artist has completed her fifth solo exhibition “Immortal Hues” in July 2018. Delgreta actively pursues a career as an artist and continues pushing boundaries of expression in her artistry.
Learn More About Delgreta
DANIEL CARDENAS, ART EDUCATOR (painting and photography)
Daniel is an art educator at McNair High School in Stockton.
MICHAEL H. COOK, JR., VISUAL ARTS (Painting, Drawing, Sculpture)
I am a History teacher at Grant High and work with our partnership academy students. We have academies that focus on the environment (GEO) , arts, criminal justice, and sports health. I try to find ways to use my art and building interests with my students and to create art around the school.
MICAH CRANDALL-BEAR, PAINTING
Micah Crandall-Bear is a Sacramento native and one of the city’s leading contemporary artists. He established his artistic roots locally and continues to promote the growth of his community. Micah is the co-founder of Groundswell, Sacramento’s newest art gallery that is run by artists, for artists. He volunteers for art programs that encourage youth to find their creative voice through painting, such as Visions Unlimited. He actively donates to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Make A Wish Foundation, St. John’s Shelter Program, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and more.
After back to back sold-out shows at Sacramento’s Elliott Fouts Gallery, Micah has launched into international success with gallery exhibitions in Switzerland, France, Singapore, and Jakarta. In 2017, his work was procured for the permanent collection of the Crocker Art Museum. His paintings are collected by Facebook, Visa, Intel, and the Resnick Foundation. He has been featured in American Art Collector Magazine, ArtSlant, Art Maze Mag, and Forbes.
Learn More About Micah
DR. SEUMAS RAIBEART COUTTS, INSTALLATION, MEDIA, PERFORMANCE, PAINTING.
Seumas Raibéart Coutts Ph.D. is a curator, artist, educator, theorist, and writer whose work moves between the poetic and the thought.
Largely operating in the form of an act or a proposition.
Coutts received his Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, his other academic pursuits include degrees in preservation and archive studies at the Getty, Los Angeles, Art History and Knowledge Transmission from the European Graduate School (EGS) and completed his PhDs at the European Graduate School / Humboldt University Berlin. Coutts has operated as a critic, curator, dramaturge, performer, producer, and professor of art and media studies, photography and art history. He can wiggle his ears.
Learn More About Seumas
ANDREW CUNNINGHAM, PAINTING & DRAWING
Andy Cunningham was born in New York and lives and teaches art in Sacramento, Ca. He is a graduate of Hunter College,NYC where he received an MFA in combined media.
Learn More About Andrew
LIN FEI FEI, OIL PAINTER
Lin Fei Fei is a professional artist from Shenyang, China. She moved to America after completing her Master’s degree in Oil Painting at Luxun Academy of Fine Arts. She has experience working and painting in over a dozen countries and has participated in exhibitions in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
Her work has also been collected by Luxun Academy of Fine Arts, Oslo National Art Academy, Blue Roof Art Museum, Wang Shi Kuo Foundation, Eland Foundation, Laforet Summer Vacation Project in Italy, and many more. In 2016, she was chosen as one of the ten “Contemporary Chinese Artists of the Future” by the Wang Shi Kuo Art Foundation in Beijing, China.
The themes of Fei’s art revolve around freedom and the mixture between emotions and the real world. Many of her pieces combine abstract techniques and realism to explore the energy of life and the varying atmospheres that people live in.
Fei also as a part time curator, organizing many international art shows including most recently the “East Meets West Exhibition “and “The 2nd Annual of Borderless Contemporary Art Exhibition”, ” Put it above the Table”. Whether by painting or curating, Fei’s goal is to bring art and cultures together to spur further inspiration and the growth of international art.
Learn More About Lin
CLAIRE FRAGA, TEACHER
Claire is a second year teacher at Inderkum High School in the Natomas Unified School District. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Art Education and Teaching Credential through Sacramento State. She feels that this opportunity for students to participate in a public art space is exciting, and she is so happy to be apart of mentoring her art students throughout this journey.
M. JANE HASTINGS, VISUAL ARTS, GRAPHIC DESIGN, THEATER/BAND PERFORMER
M. Jane Hastings
“Art is not separate from my life, it sits beside me everyday”
Full Time Woman, Mother, Artist, Wife, Performer, Educator and
I have been an artist my entire life but it is only within the past 15 years that I began working as a teaching artist. In many ways I have found this educational experience to be as fulfilling and satisfying as making art. Like a journey to a foreign land I have a map (a lesson plan) but some of my most exciting classes have been off the beaten path. I enjoy daily the challenges, adventures and the growth that comes from being an artist and a teaching artist. You are never to old to learn! Art can embrace change, reflect our interior world, challenge ideas and look forward while valuing the past. It is this journey of discovery and growth that keeps my creative suitcases packed to overflowing.
Learn more About Jane
LINDA HARDY, SCULPTURE, WATERCOLOR, ANIMATION AND MUSICAL COMPOSITION
Linda is a sculpture artist working out of Brickhouse Art Gallery in Oak Park and a teaching artist-in-schools, busy doing arts enrichment activities or teaching recorders to kindergarten through fifth grade .
She is influenced by surrealism ,impressionist , and post modernism in her sculpture, follows many directions and enjoys the process of creating!
Learn more About Linda
CHRISTOPHER HOLT, WATERCOLOR
Artist’s Statement: Creativity and Art have always been the lenses I see the world through. My career in Architecture provides me with a constant source of challenge and inspiration. Primary to my practice in art and architecture is a desire to continuously learn and hone my craft. Discipline is very important in my practice, I am a firm believer that sketching/painting every day is the a key to my continued growth; and is a key lesson for anybody aspiring to be an artist to learn.
Learn More About Christopher
BRIAN LEFHOLZ, PEN AND INK WITH WATERCOLOR
Brian and his work originate just east of the urban sprawl of St. Louis and just west of the endless rolling fields of Middle America. He is a rural modernist equally comfortable in the chaos of the city or the solitude of the open prairie. Although he is professionally trained as an architect from Kansas State University, he finds the practice of art much more intoxicating. His work blends the detailed hand of an architect with the compositional eye of a photographer, and he voices it with the passion of a poet. He creates from inspiration in the everyday; each piece represents the spirit of a moment with a specific time and context. His work strives to distill the form and feeling from these experiences – revealing through diagrammatic interpretation the essence of simplicity.
Learn More About Brian
GRACE LOESCHER, SPOKEN WORD, MUSIC, MIXED MEDIA, 3D INSTALLATION ART
Grace Loescher is a practicing artist, published poet, professional advocate for homeless youth, part time emcee/host, and full time activist. She is also a failed gardener and semi-professional tinkerer.
Grace holds a BA in Studio Art and has exhibited works in a variety of locations including an interactive installation of a life size confessional booth in the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Orlando FL.
Grace is the co-founder and host of Speak Out Sacramento, local open mic and breeding ground for creatives. She works with Waking the Village, a local non-profit working to better the lives of Sacramento’s homeless youth. Grace also dreamt up and now currently runs Waking the Village’s artistic leadership program, the Creation District, a safe haven for creation, discovery, activism, daring, and dream-making for Sacramento’s youth and young adults.
She partners with local charter schools to teach social justice through the arts as well as with the national non-profit, College Track, to teach art, theatre, and writing to high school students from underserved communities.
In conjunction with singer/songwriter, Jordan Moore, Grace just released her first full-length spoken word album, Some Call It Holy, on April 15 2017.
Her work can be found at www.gracemakesstuff.com
The artist would like it to be known that bios inherently sound narcissistic and an entire page of flaws can be found on her website as well.
Learn More About Grace
NICOLE MATTHEWS, THEATER & DANCE
Nicole Matthews started her artistic career in a beginning ballet class at community college, with the sole intention of improving her posture and becoming less clumsy. With a Bachelors degree in Theatre and an MFA in Dance later, she can proudly say she has mastered the ability to trip and fall gracefully onto her face.
Last year she was the director of the local production “Darkside” by Tom Stoppard, and this year she is launching the LLC Impossible Thing Productions, which is committed to bringing more performance art to public spaces. She was also recently accepted as an Artist in Residence for the the Any Given Child program and expects to begin guest teaching at local schools in the near future.
MOLLIE MORRISON, WATERCOLOR COLLAGE
Mollie Morrison has been teaching art for 18 years at various locations including Crocker Art Museum, and Leonardo Da Vinci School. Currently, she can be found at CK McClatchy High School Coordinating the Visual and Performing Arts Program. She finds joy in the many discoveries that student artists make as they explore techniques and art history to apply to their artwork. Mollie studied Fashion and Art at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. Fabric, texture, pattern and vivid colors are what drive her personal artwork. She constructs her watercolor collages as a puzzle, she waits for each piece of art to find itself and tries not to push it along. Making time for her artwork is what keeps her centered. Watching her students create art is what keeps her inspired.
Learn More About Mollie
NICK SHEPARD, PHOTOGRAPHY
Nick Shepard is a photographer based in Sacramento, CA where he is a member of Axis Gallery and a resident artist at Verge Center for the Arts. He attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN, and then the School of Visual Arts in NYC. He teaches at Sacramento State University where he is an Assistant Professor of Photography.
Learn More About Mollie
JASON A. SILVA, SCULPTURAL INSTALLATIONS/PAVILIONS
Described as having “an ability to make coherent thought out of chaos”, architect & spatial artist Jason A. Silva is challenging the community to broaden its vision. A leader in communication and environmental design, he envisions a world that can engage in discussion leading toward a “reality that is greater than perception”.
Since 2011, Silva has been experimenting with experiential spaces in public environments. Recent work teamed with artist and colleague Ginger S. Thompson, “Section”, comprised a 1,200 square foot suspended and illuminated sculpture that became the centerpiece of ArtStreet, a temporary art exhibition in Sacramento, CA. Their work with the LAUNCH and TBD Festivals has introduced thousands to the concept of the pavilion – which provokes inquiry and introspection by all who navigate the immense structures.
Jason A. Silva is partner and design principal with Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture in Sacramento, California, where he focuses on civic, higher education and arts-related projects. He is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and attended Virginia Tech’s Washington Alexandria Architecture Consortium. While an artist himself, he supports other artists as a consultant and is Chair of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.
Learn More About Jason and Dreyfuss Blackford
or his current Portfolio with Ginger Thompson
GINGER THOMPSON, SCULPTURE/PAINTING/INSTALLATION
Through texture, color and balance, Ginger Thompson’s work processes how to visualize the emotional complexities of being human. Sadness with hope and anger, or desire with softness and edge; feelings that inspire action and words. She is fascinated with the raw emotion, before it becomes filtered into a response, and works to capture the wildness and flow of what a moment’s stream may look like.
A child of the eighties, Ginger’s pre-internet youth was filled with drawing, painting and the process of creation. This exploration continued through high school and into her twenties, where painting became an expressive emotional outlet as a young mom. Her breadth of work expanded after meeting her mentor, artist and curator Robert Jean Ray, who walked her through her first gallery shows, and encouraged her to test additional mediums and sizes.
A shift in her lifestyle at thirty forced a re-examination and Ginger refocused her efforts into following a career path in architecture. Volunteering for a large scale pavilion installation in 2012 she was introduced to Jason Silva, a partner at the award-winning firm Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture, together they have since created over 15 public art installations, combining architecture with art and a focus on an evocative experience.
Learn More About Ginger
or her current Portfolio with Jason Silva
CASEY TOSTA, TEACHER (drawing/painting, ceramics/sculpture, photography/graphic design)
Casey Tosta grew up in the Sacramento area and studied visual art and architecture before ultimately receiving his BA in Studio Art with an emphasis on art education from CSU, Sacramento. Mr. Tosta immediately began teaching high school art directly out of college and is now in his 20th year teaching visual arts to high school students. As an instructor, Mr. Tosta has worked with all levels of student-artist in a variety of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and graphic design. Currently, Mr. Tosta teaches beginning and advanced level art courses at Pleasant Grove high school in the Elk Grove Unified School District. As an artist, Tosta identifies mostly with paint but the influences of building and form often interject themselves as actual sculpture or components within his two dimensional work. Tosta’s work relies heavily on taking risks while exploring surfaces and forms; in many ways his processes are a journey to find trouble in order to create a way out.
Mr. Tosta will be guiding an installation piece with a small group of student-artist from his advanced level art course.
JOHN TESSLER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, FINE ARTIST, DESIGNER, ILLUSTRATOR, MURALIST
Straight out of High School, Tessler was recruited by Young & Rubicam as a junior Art Director and became the youngest person aquired in that capacity by that agency, which at the time was one of the largest Advertising Agencies in the world. At that same time John was attending what he liked to call, “M.I.T.” or Metro-In-Town City College with a scolarship in fine arts. He decided to leave Young & Rubican to continue his formal education after receiving a scolarship at CSU the following year.
Tessler graduated from Colorado State University in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. He refined his skills at two more Advertising Agencies in Denver before moving to Sacramento, California in 1982 where he opened Lunia Blue Graphics. John won several national and local awards and was chosen as Sacramento Magazine’s “Best and Brightest” in 1985 for his paintings.
Over the years John has produced thousands of drawings, paintings, illustrations and prints. There are Tessler murals as far away as Guam and his paintings have shown in galleries from Hawaii to New York. John’s Tower Records Calendars were given away at the grand openings for stores in Moscow and Picadilly Circus in London. For over 20 years people all over the United States collected the anatomically, scientifically correct stamps Tessler painted of fish and marine mammals for the National Wildlife Federation. John has also prepared commissions for the Cousteau Society, Marine World Africa USA, The Steinhart Aquarium, The Aquarium of the Bay, Underwater World, The Nature company and numerous commercial groups like Tower Records, Paramount, Amtrak, California Highway Patrol and Citycorp.
Today John continues creating art and has won several local and national awards for his efforts in graphics, illustration, large format paintings and murals and has been working at Express Media, LLC since February, 2009.
Learn More About John
LAI TRAN, TEACHER (Landscape and Environmental Design)
Lai Tran is a UC Davis Graduate in Landscape Architecture (Art Minor) and teaches at Grant Union High in the GEO Academy.
JUSTIN WOOD, ILLUSTRATION, MEDIA, INSTALLATION
Justin Wood is a native Californian born in 1977. After completing his BA in Illustration at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, he deployed into the field of editorial illustration where he has worked for the last decade and a half. As an experiment in the human side of the digital world, he studied and received his MFA in Art Practice at Stanford University. He serves on the Board of Directors of SacMod, a non-profit organization working to preserve Mid-Century art and architecture in Sacramento, where he lives with his wife and young daughter.
He finds inspiration in human interest stories, modern art and architecture, network hackers, bioengineering, energy extraction, the Archive, places we are losing or have lost and foolish, reckless love (is there any other kind?) He also has a debilitating weakness for mint ice cream.
Learn more About Justin