Faculty & Alumni



Hope Railey

Chair of Fine Arts

MFA | Academy of Art


Hope Railey was born in New Orleans and graduated with an MFA from the Academy of Art in San Francisco before training with Glen Orbik at CAI. She then taught beginning drawing and painting at the Academy while participating in numerous group and two person shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles before relocating to Southern California.  She has become a respected teacher and artist in the academic fine arts world and has been included in todays top fine art exhibitions featuring academic works. Her work has been exhibited throughout California and is held in Fine Art Collections throughout the country. “As a painter, I have continually returned to the figure as the main vehicle in my work. I have found there always to be further discoveries to be made, both technically and conceptually. I am grounded in classical principles and historical perspective, which has allowed me freedom in my work. This has been my most cherished reward as a representational artist, and is what I hope to share with my students.”

Contact: hrailey@lcad.edu

Betty Shelton

Chair of Post-Baccalaureate



I obtained my BA and MA degrees in Drawing and Painting, graduating with honors, from California State University at Fullerton. After receiving my MFA degree, I was the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Project Award in the College of the Arts at California State University at Long Beach, and I was selected as the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Visiting Artist in 1987. I’ve taught and traveled through out the western states, and Europe. I’ve been on the faculty at the University of Texas in San Antonio, University of Denver, Metropolitan State College, Arapahoe College, Irvine Valley College, and California State University at Fullerton University. I began teaching at Laguna College of Art & Design in 1995, and I’ve served as Interim Dean and Chair of the Drawing and Painting Department. Currently I teach full time, I’m the Chair of the Post-Baccalaureate Program, and I’m the Director of the European Summer Program. I’ve taken our students to Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Holland and Greece. My realistic figurative paintings continue to be inspired by my yearly pilgrimages to the great museums of the world. Among the many master artists who’ve motivated me are Caravaggio, Rubens, Michelangelo, and Tiepolo. The small-scale, intimate and detailed paintings of Vermeer, and Rogier van der Weden are also very influential on my work. Since the 1980’s, my artwork has received awards and been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the United States. In addition to teaching, I’m currently working on commissioned portraits, and maintaining a studio in the historic “Ice House” in Orange. I feel blessed to be able to share my experience and skills with my students at LCAD.

Contact: bshelton@lcad.edu

Scott Hess

Full Time Faculty

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna Austria

Baltimore, Maryland, was the city of my birth in 1955, but I never really lived there. I began to draw intensely at the age of seven after my parents divorce in Florida, and continued that practice growing up in a small Wisconsin town. My Bachelor of Science in Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1977) was for drawing and printmaking. Attracted by the intense psychological content and technical skill displayed by artists in Prague and Vienna, I moved to the Austrian capital in 1978, attending the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts for five-and-a-half years.  There I learned Old Master painting techniques, studied paint chemistry, drew thousands of figure drawings from life, and completed a year-long course at the Anatomy Institute.  Vienna hosted my first solo exhibition in 1979, quickly followed by exhibitions in Austria, Germany and France. In 1981 I received one of Austria’s most prestigious awards for artists, the Theodor Koerner Award.  By 1984 I had moved to my current home of Los Angeles and in 1985 had my first American solo exhibition, followed by of over one hundred group and solo exhibitions, including venues in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.  My work is included in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institute, among others.  In 1990 I received a Western States Art Federation award, and in 1991 a J. Paul Getty Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship. Funds from the latter allowed me to live in Post-Revolutionary Iran for one year in 1992-93. The national tour of a massive six-year project, The Paternal Suit: Heirlooms from the F. Scott Hess Family Foundation, was launched in 2012 at the Halsey Institute in Charleston, SC, and will end at the Long Beach Museum of Art in 2014. A career survey of works will be published in 2014, accompanied by an exhibit at multiple venues.  I am represented by Hirschl and Adler Modern in New York and Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Los Angeles.




Jonathan Burke

President of LCAD

BFA Kansas | MFA Boston University

Hello, I’m Jonathan Burke, President of LCAD. I earned my BFA in painting from Kansas City Art Institute and MFA from Boston University. Additionally I studied at Skowhegan and the New York Studio School in New York and Paris. I’ve been full-time faculty at LCAD since 1985. Though I’m involved in the administration of the BFA and MFA I continue to paint, teach and occasionally exhibit. I am completely devoted to creating the best representational drawing, painting and sculpture program. It’s an honor to be associated with faculty that care deeply about the tradition of representation and students that found this unique drawing and painting major.

Contact: jBurke@lcad.edu


Robin Fuld

Director of Career Services

BA University of Massachusetts


Robin Fuld has taught the Professional Studies Class, the business of art, to LCAD’s Fine Artists for 11 years. In addition, 8 years ago she began her role as Director of Career Services. She transitioned to this new position after a 22 year career of professional experience in the visual arts. Robin holds a BA in Education from the University of Massachusetts. Her background includes extensive experience in corporate and residential art consulting and gallery management in prominent art regions, including Vail, Los Angeles, Palm Desert and Laguna Beach. She is a past president of First Thursdays Art Walk in Laguna Beach and created the first student mentoring program effectively partnering Laguna Beach galleries as mentors with senior college students at the Laguna College of Art & Design She also gives her time to other nonprofit organizations dedicated to enriching people’s lives through art by volunteering her time to promote art education and appreciation.

Contact: rfuld@lcad.edu

Brittany Ryan

Adjunct Faculty | Sculpture Coordinator

MFA | Laguna College of Art + Design


Born in 1983 in San Diego, California, Brittany Ryan received her formal education at the Laguna College of Art and Design. Graduating in 2005 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts, majoring in Illustration and a minor in Sculpture. After working as an illustrator for two years Brittany began work toward her Masters of Fine Art in drawing and painting, at the same institution. In 2008 Brittany had the opportunity to study portrait painting at Florence Academy, in Florence, Italy. She graduated in the spring of 2010 with a MFA, culminating with her show “The Dress Makes The Girl”. Brittany currently lives and works in Southern California and is periodically involved in group shows and is an instructor at Laguna College of Art + Design. She is available for commissioned sculpture and painting.

contact: bryan@lcad.edu


James Galindo

Part Time Faculty | Foundations Coordinator

MFA | Laguna College of Art + Design

James Galindo (b. 1983) is an emerging young artist from Palm Springs, California. He received his Master of Fine Art Degree from Laguna College of Art + Design in 2009 and now teaches drawing and painting courses at various colleges and ateliers in Southern California. He has been the recipient of multiple scholarships and awards including the “La Quinta Arts Foundation Scholarship,” the FRyan Ramirez Memorial Scholarship,” “Best of Junior Fine Art” at Laguna College of Art + Design?s Annual Juried Exhibition, the “Passport to China Scholarship” sponsored by the Chinese Contemporary Fine Art Gallery in Laguna Beach, “L. Ron Hubbard?s Illustrators of the Future award,” “Best of Show” at the Third Annual Fairhaven Juried Exhibition, the “Albert K. Murray Fine Arts Education Scholarship,” and most recently, in 2009, the “John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship” sponsored by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK. James currently lives and works out of his studio in Los Angeles, CA, from which he runs weekly drawing and painting workshops. He began showing at Dawson Cole Fine Art in December of 2009.

Contact: jgalindo@lcad.edu

John Brosio

Part Time Faculty

BFA | University of California Davis

Funny, I have always been able to draw but never thought it would lead to a career as a painter. My early interests were in science and film but art per se was something I enjoyed on the side of intended pursuits toward a life in movie special effects. But at the same time I was interning at George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic I was also taking art courses from the likes of Wayne Thiebaud, Roy DeForest, Robert Arneson, and Wally Hedrick at the University of California at Davis. To say that this experience under their energies was influential would be an understatement. At Lucasfilm I was always working on someone else’s ideas but painting of course afforded me a foray into my own warped and wonderful thoughts. Who might you ask was addressing the notion of future income at this time?! Nobody. But I digress. Looking back it is clear that my affinity for the cinematic has very much made its way into the imagery with which my work is concerned. I began to get into stormchasing and the results are a slew of tornado paintings for which I am best known. However, keep your eye out as some new things are creeping up over the horizon…

Contact: jbrosio@lcad.edu

Timothy Robert Smith

Part Time Faculty


Timothy Robert Smith

Timothy Robert Smith is a Los Angeles based oil painter and muralist, using observational techniques to portray a multi-dimensional perspective of the universe. Since graduating from Laguna College of Art and Design with an MFA in studio art, Timothy has had three exhibitions at Copro Gallery in Bergamot Station, one being a solo show.

“Fusing elements from classic art forms such as cubism, realism and expressionism, Smith pulls together a multi-dimensional rendering of our world from different times and perspectives onto one canvas. The work also somehow makes you feel that you are both watching a film and viewing a dutch master at the same time”. -Sugar Press


Richard Morris

Part Time Faculty

MFA | New York Academy of Art



Richard Morris is a representational figure/portrait painter. He has been teaching in the L.A. area for the last six years at such schools as the California Art Institute, LAAFA, and Laguna College of Art.  He has studied with many prominent L.A. artists such as Sergio Sanchez, Adrian Gottlieb, Marshall Vandruff, and  Glen Orbik.  Richard is a graduate of the New York Academy of Art’s Master’s program.

contact: rmorris@lcad.edu


Robin Cole Smith

Part Time Faculty

MFA | Laguna College of Art + Design

Robin Smith

After receiving my BA in English at Colorado College, my desire to devote more time and attention to my artistic practice led me to the tiny village of Ballyvaughan in County Clare, Ireland, where I completed the post-baccaulerate program at the Burren College of Art. It was this experience, isolated in the austerely beautiful Irish countryside, that formed much of my artistic identity and ultimately lead me to pursue an MFA at Laguna College of Art and Design. My artistic path has been further aided by artist residencies, interspersed over the years as a form of travel, retreat, and the wilderness access that supports my subject matter. In the years since receiving my MFA, I’ve enjoyed growth opportunities of many types, most notable of which are an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant in support of my unique encaustic work, representation at Gallery 1261 and Lora Schlesinger Gallery, and the opportunity to teach gifted LCAD students in classes than span both of my passions: fine art and writing.

Contact: rsmith@lcad.edu

Joseph Todorovitch

Part Time Faculty

BFA | Cal State University Fullerton

Joseph Todorovitch is a young contemporary painter who has developed a reputation for his highly representational figure paintings. Growing up in Southern California, he became interested in traditional drawing and painting at an early age. His training introduced him to many artistic influences including notable ateliers and instructors. His work is a culmination of these forces with a deep respect for the knowledge and sensitivities of the past. Joseph has been able to sift through the vast amount of information, be selective, and utilize what’s necessary to achieve an impact that speaks about a personal experience with his subjects. His paintings emote, and convey a care and sensitivity that is reminiscent of the naturalist painters of the 19th century. Utilizing subtle value and temperature shifts, fine draughtsmanship, and pure intuition, Joseph weaves a world of breathable air and psychological nuance in his work. He has participated in many group shows including the 15th annual U.S. American Artists Fine Art Show in Pennsylvania; the Artist for the New Century assisted by Art of the West, Fine Art Connoisseur, Southwest Art, and Wildlife Art magazines; Ontario History Museum invitational; the Antiques and Fine Art Show at the New York Armory; and the Richard Schmidt Fine Art Auction 2005, 2006, 2007. Joseph has been awarded First Honor and Peoples Choice at the 10th annual National Portrait Society of America’s international portrait competition. He was awarded first place at the Chaffey Community Art Association 2009. His latest accolade was the Draper Grand Prize at the 2009 11th annual International portrait competition given by the Portrait Society of America and he is currently a semifinalist for the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Contact: jtodorovitch@lcad.edu

Susan Hoehn

Part Time Faculty

BA | UC Berkeley


California artist Susan Hoehn is best known for her vibrant hues reflecting the beauty of the landscapes she paints. From vineyards to seaside vistas Ms. Hoehn captures the essence of the contemporary landscape.

Susan received a B.A. in Art from the University of California at Berkeley where she was schooled in a variety of mediums. As a student in the late 70’s she studied painting under Joan Brown. During that period she worked part time for the University Bear Backers designing brochure covers for athletic events. She also designed the poster for the U.S.A. vs U.S.S.R. International Track Event.

Susan has built a successful art career painting the vineyards of Northern California. Her paintings and limited edition giclees can be found in numerous galleries through out California and especially in the Napa and Sonoma region. She visits the wine country several times a year exploring new locations to photograph and paint. She is most inspired by summer and fall as the color, light and shadows unite to form that perfect composition.

After the passing of her husband of 35 years in 2014, Susan decided to explore other subject matters as well as her landscape paintings. ” I enjoy painting things that I love, and going to museums is one of my favorite things to do. It was a great comfort during a difficult time”. Her depiction of museum goers is a juxtaposition between our current culture and the historical masterpieces on view.

No matter what the subject, Susan knows she is ultimately successful when someone viewing her painting experiences the same delight from the scene as she did.

Susan Hoehn’s art is exhibited in many galleries in the western United States and is collected across the U.S., Canada and abroad. She was accepted into the 2015 Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach.

She is a member of : Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters Assoc., Oil Painters of America and the California Art Club.

contact: shoehn@lcad.edu


Jon Neill

Part Time Faculty


Jon is a member of the Art Directors Guild local 800 as Senior Illustrator. He specializes in conceptual design, illustration, specialty prop, creature and costume creation for television and feature films, as well as sculpting for the toy industry, museum exhibits, television and feature films. Jon has been freelancing for more than 25 years.

Jon has sculpted hundreds of head likenesses for museums exhibits, feature films and action figures, as well as animals for museum exhibits, including the traveling exhibits Tiniest Giants and Dogs: Wolf, Myth, Hero & Friend.

Jon’s work can be seen in more than 50 movies and television shows, his most recent work includes The Hunger Games, Looper, Anchorman 2, Paranoia, Spiderman, Green Hornet, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Priest and A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). His career in movies began with Michael Jackson’s Ghosts, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and T2-3D the ride for Universal Studios.

contact: jneill@lcad.edu



Kenny Harris

Part Time Faculty

BFA | Colorado College, Colorado Springs

I am drawn  to certain conditions of light and space, which usually contain elements of isolation, reflection, or atmospheric perspective.  These come together in various genres – the space interior, the figure in contemplation, and atmospheric cityscape or landscape.  Within these I try to articulate the feeling I get in transitional low light conditions. The light is the focus of the paintings, creating mood, but with a lively varied surface. Location influences my paintings tremendously. I travel to reinvent the subjects I paint, seeking a fresh eye abroad, or upon return.

Contact: kHarris@lcad.edu

Alejandro Buchner

Part Time Faculty

University of Bellas Artes


Alejandro Buchner was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina where his passion and career in the visual arts began. Alejandro studied fine arts at the University of Bellas Artes and trained privately with artist Fernando Arranz. Alejandro has worked as a digital artist developing concepts for animated commercials and advertisements and has worked in concept design for Le Elephant Blanc in Paris, France. Since returning to the United States, Alejandro has exhibited his figurative sculpture throughout Southern California and teaches classical drawing and sculpture in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Contact: abuchner@lcad.edu



Taylor Montague

Part Time Faculty

MFA | Laguna College of Art + Design

Taylor Montague was born in 1980 and was raised in Huntington Beach, California. He holds a MFA degree from Laguna College of Art and Design. Taylor has participated in many group exhibitions in the Los Angeles and Orange County area and has received several magazine publications and awards for his figurative artwork. In 2007 Taylor Montague was selected to be a mentor member of the California Art Club. The same year, he was juried into the 97th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition held at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. In September 2008 Taylor’s work was nominated to be featured in the “21 Under 31” issue of Southwest Art Magazine. At the 99th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition in 2010, Taylor received both The Emerging Artist award from American Artist Magazine and The Award of Excellence in Oil Painting, which included a feature appearance of his artwork in each magazine.

Contact: tmontague@lcad.edu

Michael Jacques

MFA | Hartford Art School

Born and raised in Vermont, Jacques (pronounced j-ah-k) began his formal art education at Boston University’s School of Fine Arts. In 1967, he was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree. After two years as an illustrator in the U.S. Army, the painter returned to New England and in 1971, received a Master’s Degree from the Hartford Art School at Connecticut’s University of Hartford.

From Cambridge to Miami, from Washington, D.C. to Santa Barbara – Jacques’ paintings, etchings and serigraphs have been widely praised. While teaching drawing and painting as an Associate Professor of Fine Art at Boston’s Emmanuel College, Jacques appeared in more than 40 one-man exhibitions and has been represented in more than 125 national art shows. His work appears among important permanent collections in museums such as Washington, D.C.’s Museum of American Art and The Smithsonian?s National Collection, Virginia’s Chrysler Museum and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

In 1980, ABT Books of Cambridge, Massachusetts, published his Images of Age. Nominated for the American Book Award for Original Art, the volume is an unusual collection of Goya-quality drawings, which capture the solitude of aging among the forgotten elderly in New England nursing homes.

Jacques: Being an artist requires more than merely being a committed observer. It requires an ability to record the feelings that image awakens.

I began teaching at LCAD in 1993. Hired full-time in 1997. I am both an Associate Professor and Admissions Counselor for the school.

Contact: mjacques@lcad.edu

Darlene Campbell

Part Time Faculty

BA Redlands | MFA Claremont University

I have served on the LCAD faculty since 1994. I received my B.A. in Art from the University of Redlands and my M.F.A. in Painting from The Claremont Graduate University. My paintings have been featured in 13 solo and 58 group exhibitions. Exhibit venues have included the San Jose Museum of Art, Nevada Museum of Art, Laguna Art Museum, Riverside Art Museum, Frye Museum (Seattle), Arnot Art Museum (Elmira, New York), and Loyola Marymount University. I have also illustrated two published books, and in 2004 one of my paintings was selected as the cover artwork for D.J. Waldie’s book, Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles. My work has been reviewed in over 40 publications, including Artweek, American Art Collector, Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, and the Santa Barbara Review. The Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Culver City, California has represented me since 1997. My current work chronicles the rapidly changing suburban landscape of Southern California. Small-scale images of reconfigured hillsides laced with new roadways, terraced knolls, ridge-top trophy houses, concrete drainage channels, freeway pillars, and land moving equipment depict a landscape in transition. Alluding to old, religious icons through the use of wood panels, gold leaf, and the arched form, I create beautiful images that suggest history and age, while depicting contemporary imagery. By employing golden-hued light and dramatic clouds, I attempt to coax beauty out of the banal and, in so doing, allude to romantic 17th century Dutch and Italian landscape paintings.

Contact: dcampbell@lcad.edu

Carolin Peters

Part Time Faculty

MFA | Laguna College of Art + Design

Born in 1981, Carolin Judith Peters, grew up in a small, little known town in Bavaria called Vilsbiburg. To this day she is heavily influenced by the impressions made on her by the idyllic beauty of southern Germany. Fascinated by nature?s overwhelming beauty and power Carolin started processing these impressions at a very young age through pencil drawings of animals and people. In 2002, the intrigue of learning representational art making techniques and an unceasing urge to get away from her native surrounding’s small-town mentality, triggered her move to southern California. There she completed six rigorous years of study in Fine Arts and graduated from Laguna College of Art and Design in 2008 with her BFA and MFA degree.

Her most influential mentors during her studies were renowned figurative painters F.Scott Hess and Stephen Douglas. Although she is fresh out of school her exhibition record is already notable and includes group and juried shows all over California. Galleries and other venues she has exhibited at include Koplin del Rio (Culver City), Arena 1 (Santa Monica), I-5 Gallery (Los Angeles) and the The Look Gallery (Los Angeles). Currently she is represented by Ann Nathan Gallery in Chicago. Awards she has won include The Art Renewal Center Merit and Purchase Awards, Best of Show Award from the Pacific Art Foundation, Excellence in Arts from the Peter and Masha Plotkin Foundation, the Passport to China Scholarship from the Contemporary Chinese Fine Art Gallery and a 2nd Best in Show at the Fairhaven Mausoluem Exhibit “Sotto Voce”. Art, for Carolin, holds the unique opportunity to engage with life’s experiences on a primarily sensual level. She focuses her often large-scale, figurative paintings and drawings on psychologically and emotionally saturated moments, staged in nature?s beauty. By creating art that needs to be felt rather than understood she focuses on the sensual aspects to life. With these works she hopes to offer a quiet room for the viewer’s spirit to discern itself with the presented image.


Contact: cpeters@lcad.edu


Jason Dowd

Part Time Faculty

BFA | Art Center College of Design

I knew I wanted to be an artist from the age of five. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, I grew up around the studio of my father, Ken Dowd, a successful illustrator, laying the foundation for my future as an artist. I received my BFA at the Art Center College of Design, graduating second in my class. At Art Center, I focused on classical drawing and painting as the principal areas of study. I returned to St. Louis to pursue a career as a freelance illustrator. I worked with clients such as Simon& Schuster, Coca-Cola, and Anheuser-Busch while continuing my studies as a painter. In 2000, I decided to dedicate myself fully to fine art and established my studio at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild where I was Artist-in-Residence. I have completed commissions for clients which include Southwest Bank, The Fox Theater of St. Louis, as well as many portraits including two official portraits of the Cardinal Justin Rigali for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Southwest Bank President Drew Baur, and President/Founder of the Mary Engelbreit Company, Mary Engelbreit. I am a member of the California Art Club, the Portrait Society of America, and the Oil Painters of America. “Woman in a Black Hat” was awarded “Best of Show” by juror and fellow artist C.W. Mundy at the Oil Painters of America regional exhibition. My still life, “The Sweetest Things in Life” was awarded an Honorable Mention at the 2006 Art Renewal Center’s Salon Show. I am currently represented by John Pence Gallery (San Francisco), Waterhouse Gallery (Santa Barbara), Altermann Galleries (New York/Santa Fe) and Kodner Gallery (St. Louis). I teach workshops, instruct at the Laguna College of Art and Design, and continues to work from my home studio.

Contact: jdowd@lcad.edu

Frank Gonzales

Class of 2002

BFA Fine Arts

Gallery Artist | Muralist

Thinkspace | Art Miami | American Art Collector

Frank Gonzales’ astounding work places him at the forefront of the Young American Realists movement. His subtle yet bold and inventive reinterpretations of classic subjects can be interpreted in many ways.

Gonzales was born in Tempe, Arizona where he received classical training in the arts. After four years of training under master painter Jim Garrison, Gonzales’ exceptional talent was rewarded with a scholarship to the Laguna College of Art and Design.
His technique and application of paint bring forth an ethereal presence almost invoking a state of mediation. The viewer feels drawn into a silent but very detailed conversation with the work.

Gonzales’ influences range from the Old Masters to the Modernists. First he attains a sense of depth and ambiguity through flat strokes of color that give the viewer almost a two- dimensional field. He then gracefully builds intensity and depth through varying washes and layers of paint. -Lotton Gallery



Adrienne Stein

Class of 2007

BFA Fine Arts

Gallery Exhibiting Artist / Teacher

American Art Collector, Women Painting Women, ArtSee, M Gallery

Adrienne Stein (b. 1986) is a young artist currently living and working in Boston, MA.

From an early age, Adrienne identified within herself a passion for drawing and painting and subsequently devoted herself to studying the methods of the Old Masters. She perpetually cultivates her skills toward mastery.

Her evocative paintings are a vehicle to explore the relationships of human beings to nature, time, death, divinity, oneself and one another.  Strength and fragility inhabit her poetic compositions. Adrienne is influenced by Italian, Dutch, and French painting as well as sculpture from the Ancient Near East and India. She draws inspiration from her travels and daily experiences as well as art history, literature, mythology, and the richly textured landscape of her native southern Pennsylvania.



Miguel Gonzalez

Class of 2016

BFA Fine Arts

Studio Painter | Instructor

Kline Academy | Art Renewal Center

As a contemporary realist painter I continue my journey of self exploration and understanding of the human subject. My desire to become one with everything living, fulfills who I am and in return I hope evokes an experience for the viewer. I paint in attempt to capture a fleeting moment and feeling of desire to experience it once more.

In my current body of work, I explore how to create naturalistic images with highly rendered and abstract paint marks, these layered marks of finished and unfinished represent my personal state of mind as an artist.


Angela Cunningham

Class of 2001

BFA Fine Arts / Sculpture Minor

Commissioned Artist / Instructor

Grand Central Atelier's Water Street Atelier New York

Angela (b. 1977) grew up in the Bay Area of California. She received her BFA from Laguna College of Art and Design and, after teaching for a few years, pursued classical training under the mentorship of Jacob Collins at the Grand Central Atelier’s Water Street Atelier. She now teaches at her own studio, in Asheville, NC, as well as part time at the Grand Central Atelier, the Beaux-Arts Atelier in New York City and many workshops nation wide. Angela is a recipient of various awards including the Morris and Alma Schapiro Achievement Award, the ARC Scholarship First Prize Award, and the Alfred Ross Achievement Award.



Michael Harnish

Class of 2008

BFA Fine Arts

Gallery Exhibiting Artist | College Instructor

Laguna Art Museum | Dax gallery | Cal State Long Beach

The space in Harnish’s paintings seem to breathe and undulate, revealing an inner quality that in some areas conveys a deep sense of peace while in others Harnish’s strokes become as violent as a crashing wave, nodding to the unpredictability of nature, his primary subject and source of inspiration.

Michael Harnish earned his bachelor and master degrees in painting from the Laguna College of Art and Design, finishing his education in 2010. Since then Harnish has been developing his craft, exhibiting his work in notable exhibitions in Orange County and Los Angeles. Recently, the artist has taken up residence in Los Angeles with a studio in the Arts District downtown. -Raw Salt, Laguna Art Museum


Melissa Anderson

Class of 2005

BFA Fine Arts

Gallery Exhibiting Artist

Mark Miller Gallery | Fuse Gallery | NYAA

Melissa Anderson is a 2005 graduate of Laguna College of Art + Design. Melissa continued her education at the New York Academy of Art and was awarded her MFA in 2007. Melissa has exhibited her work throughout the country and has most recently shown her work at Mark Miller Gallery and Porter Contemporary in New York.


Jason Kowalski

Class of 2009

BFA Fine Arts

Gallery Exhibiting Artist

Sue Greenwood Fine Art, Laguna Art Museum, Terry Martin Gallery, Meyer Fine Art

Jason Kowalski was raised in the Upper Midwest and moved to Laguna Beach, CA in 2005 to study painting at Laguna College of Art and Design.  Jason’s professional career began with great success when in 2009 his first solo exhibition at Terrence Rogers Fine Art in Santa Monica, CA sold out in the first two weeks.  He’s been exhibiting in California and throughout the country ever since and continues to recieve acclaim as a tremendous talent in the representational painting world.  In 2012 Jason and his wife relocated to the banks of the Mississippi River in Maiden Rock, WI.  There he finds inspiration in the beauty of the river landscape, history of the towns, buildings, and locals.

“New things that have fresh coats of paint and clean lines command our visual awareness. Things that have been used and worn out are often naively labeled unattractive. My work is both a statement of the effect of time on a location, as well as a vehicle to arouse attention to things that are often forgotten. Growing up in the Midwest I was constantly surrounded by things that deteriorated over the natural course of time. Human nature dictates that we ignore or look past such blemishes. Abandoned and left in a state of neglect places and things are consumed and discarded like pieces of trash. Using different types of paint and mixed media, I hope to bring awareness to the forgotten beauty of those locations by creating a body of work that stimulates memories one has about the places I paint. Ultimately, my goal is to create contemporary paintings that somehow brings this unique and quickly departing beauty back to social awareness.”


Julio Reyes

Class of 2005

BFA Fine Arts

Gallery Exhibiting Artist

Arcadia Fine Arts, The Los Angeles Art Show, Art Renewal Center, The Artist's Magazine

Julio Reyes is a 30 year-old California based artist who has quickly emerged as a leading figure in the realist art scene. He was just 29 years of age when he had his debut solo show at Arcadia Fine Arts in New York, and since then he has been busy.  Thus far his accomplishments have been impressive and recently include winning the 2012 William F. Draper Grand Prize by the Portrait Society of America.  Reyes has appeared in publications and exhibitions across the country, and was included as one of American Artist Magazine’s “25 Artist of Tomorrow” in their 75 Greatest Artists of All Time issue.   He is the Best in Show winner of the 2009/2010 Art Renewal Salon Competition (ARC), and this year was named an ARC Living Master after being announced the Second Place Figurative Winner and Purchase Award Winner in the 2011/2012 ARC Salon.  You can also see Julio’s work featured in a segment for the latest Volume III Fall issue of American Painting Video Magazine.

Reyes work often depicts moments of tender isolation.  Behind his work there’s always a backstory layered with content, and his new works are no different.  If anything they are perhaps more brooding, ruminating and incisive in composition and subject matter.  Julio is currently working on 4-6 new oil paintings on copper for display at the Arcadia booth in the upcoming Los Angeles Art Show, January 2013.  Julio has developed a unique method for painting on copper, and has recently been incorporating the very intensive technique of egg tempera.  The method of layering oil paint with egg tempera is ancient, and finds its roots deep in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance.  He shares with us a sneak peak at the works in progress for the show.

“There’s great historical precedence for works on copper…some of the oldest paintings in museums are on copper.  If prepared properly they can last longer than traditional wooden panels.  As a result of incorporating egg tempera in to my process, my latest pieces seem to have a more poignant and sustained design, and an almost haunting tone, which I like very much.  The medium itself is demanding and requires a certain precision and clarity of vision that makes no allowances for ambiguity.  In my minds eye I have to see a complete vision and go about the methodical work of realizing that vision one layer at a time.  The final layers are painted in oil with a broken surface which allows the copper to peak through in places…the effect is natural and beautiful.  It’s this kind of quality and harmony that I love in my process…the rich marriage of art and craft, of thinking and doing… the weaving together of ideas and ingredients.” –American Art Collector 


Candice Bohannon

Class of 2005

BFA Fine Arts

Gallery Exhibiting Artist

California Art Club, Art Renewal Center, Southwest Art, The Artist's Magazine

Candice Bohannon is an American contemporary representational artist. She was born in Sacramento, CA in 1982.  Raised in the rural forested landscape of the foothills of the sierra nevada mountains, her naturalistic aesthetic in art was honed from an early age.  After high school, Bohannon enrolled in art college, and after intense studies in painting, drawing, sculpting, art history, philosophy and aesthetics, she graduated from the Laguna College of Art and Design in 2005 with a BFA in painting/drawing and a minor in sculpture.  It was there at LCAD that Candice met her future husband, fellow artist and best friend, Julio Reyes.  After nearly 10 years in southern California, they moved back to rural northern California where they currently reside.
Bohannon’s artwork, an often-brooding combination of emotive figurative pieces and intensely studied works from life and nature, has already garnered the attention of many fine art connoisseurs, trade publications and artists. Her body of work expresses immense waves of controlled power and emotional sensitivity as she looks out at the world and attempts to share through art the touchingly sincere philosophical search for truth and meaning in our human existence. The artist describes much of her work’s content as: the invisible yet perceptible quality of awareness, emotions, experiences, memories and expectations, the ethereal nature of the human soul and a searching for comfort and familiarity in the sublime unknown. Here is a refreshing example of a contemporary figurative artist who is not a cynical postmodern artist or a clinical academic realist. Bohannon’s soulful work is firmly planted the inexplicably complex nature of human existence.


Veronica Obermeyer

Class of 2004

BFA Fine Arts

Exhibiting Artist / Professor of Fine Arts

Saddleback College

I earned my Bachelors in Fine Arts from Laguna College of Art and Design, magnum cum laude in 2004 and my Masters in Fine Arts from the New York Academy of Figurative Art, summa cum laude in 2006. As a graduate student, I was awarded a full scholarship by the Prince of Wales Foundation to study landscape painting in Normandy, France. Upon graduating from the New York Academy of Figurative Art, I received a third year fellowship grant, deemed the Academy’s highest honor. As a fellow, I created paintings exploring female form as a metaphor for spirituality. This work brought out my innate desire to uplift the ethos of female body from mere carnal associations to a more inclusive conception of what women are. I continue to paint in the humanist tradition, exploring our relationship to each other, and to existence.

It is a privilege to work at Saddleback College. Teaching bestows upon me an opportunity to share my enthusiasm for art. It is my passion to inspire students to greatness and to give them an appreciation for the beauty of applied knowledge.

Stefan Cummings

Class of 2016

BFA Fine Arts

Exhibiting Artist

Stefan Cummings was born in Washington, the fourth of seven children. Possessed of an avid interest in psychology and history, Stefan has always had a deep love of portraiture, one that lead him to the Atelier of Mark Kang-O’Higgins, in Seattle, where he was immersed in the study of the figure and the old masters. He was then able to obtain a full tuition scholarship at Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD), continuing his study of traditional drawing and painting while obtaining his Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Like the Impressionists and Call to Order artists at the turn of the 20th century, Stefan reconciles traditional art forms with the realities of the present era. His landscapes and portraits make use of light, texture and gesture to convey the ethereal isolation of the suburbs, incorporating elements of realism and abstraction to bridge the past to the present.

Stefan is currently the youngest exhibitor at the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts and his drawings can be found in collections throughout the United States. He will graduate with honors from LCAD in 2015.


Brianna Lee

Class of 2015

BFA Fine Arts

Commissioned Artist / Atelier Owner

South Coast Art Center

Brianna Lee is a native California artist with a love of beauty and the human form. Born into an artistic family in Visalia, CA, her passion for art was encouraged and nurtured at a young age. Her work is a continuous search for the intrinsic beauty of all life around her. She gleans inspiration from the people she meets, the abundance of nature and Dutch masters such as Vermeer, Rembrandt and Rubens.

She studied Fine Art, Education and Western Art History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Ms. Lee later moved to Los Angeles to study contemporary and traditional painting techniques under artists such as Ignat Ignatov, Aaron Westerberg and Adrian Gottlieb. Ms. Lee opened her studio doors to students in 2009 and has since taught for Glendale Community College and Kline Academy of Art.
In addition to building a successful teaching career, Ms. Lee is advancing her degree at Laguna College of Art and Design while accepting commissions and showing her work in select exhibitions throughout Los Angeles and Laguna Beach, CA.



Alia El-Bermani

Class of 2000

BFA Fine Arts

Gallery Exhibiting Artist / Teacher / Lecturer

Sullivan Goss Gallery / Women Painting Women Founder

Alia E. El-Bermani was raised in a small town just south of Boston, where she spent most of her childhood enjoying the outdoors and discovering the natural history of the south shore of Massachusetts.

Alia El-Bermani started her art training as a young child at the North River Arts Society, which is a small community run association for people, of all ages, interested in the visual arts.  She showed early promise earning a Silver Key in the national Scholastic Art competition held at the World Trade Center in Boston.  In 1994, she briefly attended Roger Williams University in Bristol Rhode Island a large liberal arts college which didn’t quite have the clear focus that Ms. El-Bermani was seeking.  In 1996 she transferred to Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach California which is known for its strong emphasis on classical figurative training.

While studying at Laguna College of Art and Design Alia El-Bermani received the Plotkin Award for Excellence in Fine Arts.   Then, in 2000 she received her BFA from LCAD, summa com laude.  Ever since, she has enjoyed continued success as a fine artist.  She is currently represented by two premier galleries, Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara California, and The Loft Galeria in Puerto Vallarta Mexico.  This talented young painter has had five Solo Exhibitions.  Her figurative and still life paintings and drawings have been included in several group shows across the country as well as showcased in Museums such as the Palm Springs Desert Museum in California, the Anchorage Museum of History and Art in Alaska, the West Valley Art Museum in Arizona and most recently, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art  in Toronto.  Several articles have been written on her work in such prestigious periodicals as Art Week, The Independent and LA Weekly.  She currently lives and works in Cary, NC with her husband and two young, talented children.


Judy Nimtz

Class of 2000

BFA Fine Arts

Gallery Artist

Koplin Del Rio

Judy Nimtz was born in Taiwan and raised on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. After completion of her MFA in 2008 from the Laguna College of Art & Design, Judy decided to make Southern California her home. She promptly moved to Venice Beach, where she is near the ocean and the city of Los Angeles. When working on studio paintings, the conception is entirely Judy’s own. This is different from painting en plain air, where her surroundings have a say in the imagery, narrative, and composition. In both she attempts to capture the likeness of a location or subject, but also something intangible. The way light falls and creates shadows, or air particles accumulate over a distance and shimmer, or an unanticipated pose is struck by the model, all effect her experiences as she works and the outcome of each painting.


Andrew Myers

BFA Fine Arts

Gallery Artist

Andrew Myers Studio

Andrew Myers was born in Braunshweig, Germany, and raised in Ciudad Real, Spain. He now resides in Laguna Beach, California, where he has lived since attending the Laguna College of Art and Design (formerly the Art Institute of Southern California). The first time he set foot in the classroom, he was amazed to see students depicting live nude models in clay; a seemingly archaic art form he had only seen in books.

Distinct. Expressive. Tactile.

These are perhaps the three most fitting words to describe Andrew’s unique brand of contemporary artwork. But linguistic descriptions fail to adequately capture the progressive mixed media works he creates with screws, oil paint, charcoal, bronze, cement, and found objects. To truly experience Andrew’s art, it must be seen and even touched.

One of the artist’s favorite memories was watching a blind man experience his work for the first time. As the man ran his hands over a large three-dimensional portrait tediously constructed with tens of thousands of screws over hundreds of man hours, his blank expression suddenly transformed into a warm smile. He could feel what others could only see.


Mardie Rees

Class of 2003

BFA Fine Arts

Commissioned Sculptor

Rees Studio

Mardie Rees (c. 1980) was born in Gig Harbor, Washington where her desire to create became apparent at an early age. At age fourteen, the Rees family decided to spend three years in Ecuador doing community development work. Immersed in Latin American culture, Rees discovered art was her way to respond to the world and her experiences. She worked in oil paints, acrylics, sculpture, and even joined a team that painted twenty murals throughout the regions of Ecuador.

She furthered her education by studying fine art in California, where she was introduced to figurative sculpture. Her love for capturing the emotion and soul of a person lead her to pursue a career as a portrait and figurative sculptor. Rees received her BFA with honors from Laguna College of Art and Design and returned to the Northwest.

Rees has participated in numerous shows throughout Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, and the East Coast, and has garnered awards in association with the Portrait Society of America, Allied Artists of America, and Art Renewal Center. Many of her commissioned works appear in public settings across the U.S. and Canada. Her work is found in parks, hospitals, and school campuses.

Rees also contracts private commissions, capturing her patrons’ special moments in the bronze media. She enjoys working with individuals to realize a one-of-a-kind creation, as well as engaging her own series of works.



Matt Dickson

Class of 2004

BFA Fine Arts

Studio Painter, Instructor

New School For The Arts

Matt Dickson teaches Life Drawing and Intermediate/Advanced Drawing at New School for the Arts and throughout the greater Phoenix area. He holds a BFA in Fine Art from Laguna College of Art & Design and also studied at Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Arts. In addition to his collegiate studies he also spent more than two years studying privately under portrait painter Adrian Gottlieb. During that time he developed a strong passion for classical techniques and the fine arts which is reflected in his teachings as well as his own art work. He currently works in oil, charcoal and produces decorative carpentry. Matt is also an exhibiting artist who has shown his work locally as well as in New York and Los Angeles.


Hannah Harris

Class of 2010

BFA Fine Arts

Studio Painter

Painting Provisions

Born and raised in Orange County, CA, Hannah Harris decided to be an artist by the age of 7.  Her passion for art only grew from there and in 2010 she graduated from the Laguna College of Art and Design with a Bachelors in Fine Art.  Each painting springs from her faith in Jesus Christ and often include elements from the different cultures she has visited.  It is her desire to join art with helping those in need, through donating portions of select paintings to ministries or individuals that are in need around the globe.  Hannah’s work can be described as “moving” or “inspirational,” speaking to the heart of the individual. It is her desire through each work that the Spirit and Heart of God be expressed, “…For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”


Adam Harrison

Class of 2005

BFA Fine Arts

Studio Painter, Instructor

My most recent series has been an exploration of particular places that have been part of my daily life. Over the past two years I have composed several large paintings that in essence have recorded my personal experiences with each location. It has been my goal to capture as honestly as possible the characteristics that individualize a specific space. It is typical for me to spend four to six months at one site, revisiting the canvas regularly, developing the image over a long period of time. The canvas then begins to take the shape of a living journal, documenting my experiences and interactions in a pictorial language. Everything within my worksite becomes important and in one way or another is woven into the structure of the canvas. Things such as changing wind patterns, migrating birds, wild tomcats, personal accounts, is (if not noted in the painting) impressed deeply into my understanding of that environment.

The greatest hope for my artwork is that others would have a strong emotional response to it. I believe the better my understanding of a place in which I work and everything that makes it breathe: its history, the community who live and work there, traffic patterns, bird sounds,  the more faithful my painting will be to the fullness of that area; making the work much more believable and therefore more tangible to the viewer.


Elizabeth McGhee

Class of 2009

BFA Fine Arts

Gallery Exhibiting Artist

California Art Club, Don Beres Gallery

Elizabeth McGhee is a native of southern California, from a family of artists from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Scotland, as well as the local Laguna Beach art scene.   A figurative oil painter trained in the classical realist tradition, she graduated from Laguna College of Art and Design in 2009 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting. She is currently represented byDon Beres Gallery and theartgallerist.com

-Artist Statement-

I often turn to humor to address serious or controversial subjects in my artwork.  With my still life paintings of toys I am examining how symbols are interpreted by individuals and through the lens of cultural dogma.   My intention is not to promote a particular concept or ideal, but to inspire analysis and contemplation in my viewers.  And through my portrait series modernizing ancient Greek myths, I explore how our digital age relates to archetypal stories that have been passed down through the millennia.




William Zwick

Class of 2010

BFA Fine Arts

Private Instructor, Atelier Owner, Commissioned Portrait Painter

Florence Academy of Art, Zwick Art Studio and Atelier,

William Zwick, founder of Zwick Art, attended Laguna College of Art and Design for 4 years in California, where he earned a BFA and won best senior fine art piece at the annual “best of the best” school art show. After getting his degree he then traveled abroad to study at one of the most prestigious atelier programs in the world, the Florence Academy of Art in Florence Italy for 3 years. While there he was awarded a teaching scholarship and won best painting of the year in his 3rd year.

After returning to Oahu, William opened a studio in downtown Honolulu where he holds model-drawing sessions and teaches classes and workshops regularly. He hopes to bring the knowledge, craftsmanship, and classical techniques he learned at LCAD and Europe back to the islands.