Artist Instructors are each responsible for teaching multiple one-hour long classes to school children. All instructors conform to the academic content standards for Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) adopted by the California State Board of Education. Each of the artists is well-known to our organization through their association/s with PACES, Artists in the Schools, the Club YES, and Mountain Schools Visiting Artists (MSVA) programs.
Diana Baldrica graduated from Fresno State University with a BA in Art, and went on to receive a Masters Degree in Art. She has more than 20 years of experience as a photographer for the Fresno Bee. A photojournalist turned teacher, she worked in the ARRA grant in 2010. Ms Baldrica is presently an adjunct instructor at Fresno City College and an art teacher in the Club YES program. Her lessons focus on developing visual skills and helping children practice the art of seeing. She demonstrates how a camera works including using a large format 4×5 view camera to explain the science of photography. Students explore self-portraiture, still life, and action photography.
Jill Gamble is a naturalist, who teaches the art of basket weaving. She has experience teaching the techniques and customs of weaving Native American baskets and cradleboards of the Mono, Pomo, and Miwok Indians. She studied with Uley Goode, Daisy McMann of North Fork and with Lucy and Julia Parker of Yosemite and Mono Lake areas. Jill has been in the PACES programs of the past and the ARRA grant. She will be demonstrating and teaching basket weaving in the MSVA program.
Adam Mena graduated from San Diego State in Applied Design, with an emphasis in furniture and woodwork design. Mr. Mena is currently enrolled in the Fresno State Studio Art graduate program (sculpture). He has had a solo show at the Broadway Studio in Fresno and recently hosted a group show at Gordos Roadhouse in Fresno. He is presently providing clay sculpture and three-dimensional arts instruction to elementary school students through the Club YES and MSVA programs.
Felicia Mena graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in design studies (with an emphasis on graphic design). In 2011 she completed her studies at Fresno Pacific University to become a full-time art teacher. Felicia has been working in the Club YES program since 2009. She also worked as an artist in the schools under MCAC’s ARRA Grant in 2010 and will teach the elements of art and graphic design concepts such as typography (letter design) and logo design as well as art history in her MSVA lessons (for example, for her lesson on texture she uses Vincent Van Gogh to explain the use of texture in a painting).
Barbara Orosco has her California Teaching Credential from Fresno State University. She graduated from San Jose State University with a BA in Art/printmaking (previously earned an AA in Art at the College of San Mateo). She is now working in the Club YES program. Ms. Orosco teaches repetition and pattern through an examination of various cultures and discusses balance, symmetry, repetition, contrast, and unity in design.
Lillian Schuller studied Navajo weaving while living in Arizona. She brought that experience to the school children of Madera, first in the PACES program and is presently teaching the art of weaving in the Club Yes afterschool program. Mrs. Schuller has designed miniature wood looms and incorporates versions of Navajo designs into her lessons. She teaches students the basics of weaving, demonstrates the art of spinning, and covers the history of both of these forms as well as the history of the yarns they use in their projects (e.g., wool, cotton). Students further use their creative talents in choice of Navajo design, yarn, colors, and textures. Students usually gift their completed project to family or friends.
Leah Seneng is a graduate of University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia with a B.A. in Historic Preservation. She has attended numerous art classes at Fresno City College and has taken workshops from PBS Art Is host Terry Allen. From 2008 to present, Ms. Seneng has been providing two-dimensional arts instruction to elementary school students through the Club YES program. Ms. Seneng currently teaches painting, drawing, and color values utilizing paper collage in the Club YES and MSVA programs.
Christian Vargas is a graduate from the Institute of Technology in Web and Graphic Design, and is presently attending Fresno City College studying Art/Painting. He has had numerous art exhibitions in galleries across the state, as well as years of experience in painting and drawing. Mr. Vargas was a participant in Contemporary/Contemporaneo: A Bi-National Artist’s Residency and Exhibition at the Fresno Art Museum and has had work on display in the Chancellors Gallery in the CSU program. He teaches in the Club YES program. Mr. Vargas brings his unique talent into the classroom by explaining what abstract design and realism are all about and teaching drawing with various materials.
Brian Vawter attended Sacramento City College where he was photo editor of the City College Express, the college newspaper. In the 25 years since then he has worked for the Madera Tribune and Fresno Bee while also freelancing for Associated Press and doing commercial photography for Holiday Inn, American Express and Frito Lay. A photojournalist and photo technician turned artist and teacher; he has begun teaching in the Club YES program. The goal of his lessons will be to develop visual skills and put into practice the art of seeing. He will cover the history of basic photography and some alternative processes. Students will explore self-portraiture, portraiture of others, still life and action photography.
Megann Zabel graduated summa cum laude with college honors from California State University Fresno with a BA in Art, emphasizing animation and new media. She had a solo show in 2009, among many other group shows of her work. Working in a variety of media, Ms. Zabel offers diverse art projects to the students in the Club YES program. Some of her lessons have included quilt making and drawing with integration of art history.
Artist/Art Education Program Administrators:
Sherril Royse graduated from Fresno State with a bachelor’s degree in Art. She has worked with Madera County Arts Council for 17 years with increasing levels of responsibility. She is presently overseeing a number of our programs including Club YES, Artists in the School, Poetry out Loud, Mountain Schools Visiting Artists Program, et al. Her responsibilities include recruiting/training artists in VAPA standards for the education programs, scheduling artists, communicating with schools, managing grant funds, preparation of reports to granting agencies, and coordinating exhibition functions of the Circle Gallery.
Nancy Burckert is a visual artist and has been overseeing the business end of the art programs for the Madera County Arts Council for 19 years. As a long-term local resident she has valuable and productive networks in the valley education, business, and artistic communities that are actively utilized in fundraising and program development. Mrs. Burckert is a three-time award winner in MCAC’s Celebrate Agriculture with the Arts annual competition and exhibition. She has studied oil, pastel, watercolor, charcoal, and pen & ink. Her human figure, floral, landscape, and still life images have been featured in a number of public and private shows.