Athenauem School of Art faculty Mitchell

Lori Mitchell graduated with honors and a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She wrote and illustrated the award-winning children’s book Different Just Like Me, for which she appeared on Oprah. She has illustrated numerous other books, including Bal Yoga for Kids, which won the San Diego Book Award. Lori’s work has been exhibited at the Cannon Art Gallery in Carlsbad, the California Center for the Arts Museum in Escondido, Art Walk San Diego, The Boehm Gallery in San Marcos, and at the Athenaeum. She is known for her creative, ever-changing lessons and positive, engaging approach. She has taken students on sketching tours in France and the Netherlands and she also teaches at UCSD Extension.;


Athenauem School of Art faculty HaegerMichelle Montjoy is an Oceanside-based visual artist. She is one of the founders of To Do: a mending project , which travels to various locations to mend clothes and offer guidance in many forms of repair. Her knitted installation work has been shown locally at MCASD, the San Diego Airport, OMA, Art Produce Gallery, the Athenaeum and more. She is the recipient of a Creative Catalyst award and a California Arts Council grant. and Instagram: @michellemontjoyart and @todomendingproject.


Athenauem School of Art faculty NeviusThia Nevius grew up in Studio City, California. She received a BA from California State University, San Jose and an MFA from Colorado State University. She then went on to paint sets for the Santa Fe Opera and teach studio art at Santa Fe Community College, New Mexico. Since moving to San Diego she has taught art for many years including at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, UCSD Extension, The Art Department, ARTS-A Reason to Survive and the Athenaeum. Thia has traveled extensively in Asia, Europe, and South America. Her work has been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions where she has won Awards of Excellence and Best of Show. Among the publications that have featured her work are: Art and the Creative Process, UCSD press, and Davis Publications, books for art education in The Davis Visuals, volume on Light, Worcester, Massachusetts. She is an active member of the San Diego art community and her work can been seen regularly at Art on 30th and on her website:


Athenauem School of Art faculty Osborn

Dr. Cliff Oliver is an award-winning photographer, past photography instructor for the San Diego Natural History Museum, cutting-edge integrative health care professional and international workshop leader. He created and taught the first 5-day immersion iPhone photography workshop at Hollyhock, Canada’s premier Leadership Learning Center. His images have been on the cover of Wild Bird magazine, on display at Scripps Oceanography Institute, and in multiple first-place finishes in the International Exhibition of Photography Del Mar. The San Diego Natural History Museum’s, Birds of the World centennial exhibition featured several of his images. One of his iPhone images received an honorable mention in the Athenaeum 23rd Annual Juried Exhibition. He has displayed images at Art Speaks: Expressions of Hope and Healing and has produced a series of books, called Zen I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII and VIII that are original images that promote inner peace. In the last five books all of the images were taken on the iPhone. This past summer he created a 100-page e-book, iPhone Photography—Getting Started: Discover How to Setup Your iPhone Quickly and Efficiently, Plus Tips on Apps and Gear.   He teaches individuals and groups the skills of capturing iPhone/mobile photographs and then how to create personalized works of art. 


Athenauem School of Art faculty SchumacherVictoria Polyak is a professional artist and art educator who was born and raised in Kiev, Ukraine, and now considers beautiful La Jolla her home. Victoria has a bachelor’s degree in architecture, master’s degree in visual art, and a State of California art teaching credential. Victoria’s art has won numerous awards and is in many private and public collections. The artist has taught college extension classes and school enrichment programs. Victoria currently teaches art at an independent school in San Diego.


Athenauem School of Art faculty HaegerErnesto Rivera is a San Diego–based landscape photographer whose work has been featured in local galleries and exhibits and has had his photographs published in many publications, including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Ernesto has managed and created social media for many large organizations that has led to tremendous campaign success, follower growth, and engagement. Ernesto graduated from California State University, Chico, where he majored in journalism and minored in photography. Ernesto’s first photography job was as the editor of his junior high school yearbook. His current day job is at Southwestern College where he focuses on communication and digital media, including photography and social media.


Athenauem School of Art faculty PostelnekOscar Romo is a former UN diplomat, a professor at the University of California, San Diego and the director of the non-profit Alter Terra. He is well known for his wetlands conservation work and for his natural systems designs. Romo has received numerous international awards for efforts made at training disadvantage communities in the use of discarded materials to build functional and robust environmental and climate adaptation infrastructure and for his activism on natural resources conservation and environmental justice. During his youth, Romo worked for architects, designers and scientists illustrating catalogs, manuals and scientific reports. His public artwork reflects his same interests. Romo’s pieces made out of re-purposed materials have been commissioned by government agencies and private organizations in the United States, Mexico and Guatemala.


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