Lulu Yueming Qu

Lulu is an illustrator and muralist based in San Diego, California. She is from Beijing and has extensive experience in the intersection of traditional Asian artistic techniques and fine art illustration.  She loves drawing, teaching, traveling, writing, and smiling. Check out more of her art here:

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Lucía Sánchez

Lucía Sánchez (Lux) is an artist and educator based in Madrid, Spain. She works with traditional and digital media, developing sequential images that grow into visual storytelling, inspired by the natural world and its kinships. As an art teacher for elders, she helps crafting tools for their expression and representation. You can learn more about her and her work here:

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Natalia Quintero

Natalia is an artist, educator, and activist who believes every student has a unique voice. Through art, education, and artmaking, Natalia wants to inspire students to express themselves. It is her goal to make art accessible, empower students, and build community.

She obtained her BA in Applied Arts and Sciences from San Diego State University and recently received a Professional Certificate in Museum Studies from San Diego Mesa College. She has worked as a classroom teacher and teaching artist in San Diego. When she isn’t teaching, she is busy raising her 3 children, running for fun, and exploring her own art practice through textile art.

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Milan Finnie

Raised in a blood-and-beyond family consisting of people from numerous cultures, Milan’s crossing with various traditions inspired her to explore artworks from all over the world through research and travel. Her work is a reflection of the unique characteristics found in culture-specific artworks, particularly observing color choice, pattern, and bold shapes. Milan studied Design at University of California, Davis, as well as the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, where she found tools to further refine and develop her artwork.

Coming from a background in pyrography (wood burning artwork), Milan has now expanded to more mediums of artwork, to which she applies her bold, crisp aesthetic. Her work is consistently rhythmic and simple. In effort to connect with viewers, she captivates by incorporating pattern, selective color variety, symbols, and minimal detail. The unmistakable simplicity of Milan’s work aims to relay a clear message. Her work is modern in it’s stamp-like resemblance to pop-art, while classic in its reference to traditional patterns and symbolism. Milan’s art has now become less about viewing pleasure, and more about the power of connection between the artist and the viewer.

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Selena Pankretz

Selena has been teaching art for nine years and has a passion for igniting creativity and nurturing young artists. Combing her background in both communication and art Selena’s work focuses on narratives of identity. Growing up mixed-race in New Mexico enabled her to explore how the elements of identity and culture come together resulting in collaboration and conflict. Her teaching style centers on students seeing themselves reflected and represented in narratives around them. Selena loves empowering students to communicate their specific point of view and gain confidence, as well as making art accessible and building community. When she isn’t in the classroom, Selena stays busy raising her four children, practicing aerial sports, and trying to make the world just a little more lovely.

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Catherine Dzialo-Haller

Born in Middletown, Connecticut, Catherine’s earliest memories were with a Crayola, always loving to draw. Her mentor was John Sweeney, her high school art teacher…a true artist. He inspired her to enter exhibitions, winning two national Scholastic Art Awards by 16.

After moving to California, Catherine attended Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, then moved to Hawaii, where she attended the Honolulu Art Academy and the University of Hawaii. After many years, she returned to California and earned her degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Throughout Catherine’s career, she has been honored with many awards and is represented in galleries in Southern California and Connecticut. She describes herself as a contemporary realist who paints abstractly. Her painting journey is through abstract areas of color, shapes, and contrast, and when completed and taken as a whole, surprises her by becoming realistic.

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Liesel Plambeck

Liesel is a Taiwanese-American artist and designer based in Los Angeles. Her work is influenced by a background in print, textile, and surface design. She opened her creative studio in 2017 and has created artwork, products and murals for major brands, artists, homes and public spaces. 

Experimentation with materials and mediums is at the core of her diverse practice, including collage, painting, and printmaking, creating modernist-influenced designs that are dynamic and contemporary. Her work is manifested in paintings, prints, patterns, rugs, textiles, products and murals. You can learn more about her and her work here:

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Hanna Gundrum

Hanna is a muralist, illustrator, and creative mentor living in San Diego. Her work is inspired by nature, textile art, vintage patterns, and travel. She is passionate about the power that art has to build community and bridge gaps in our society. When she is not painting you can find her thrifting, cooking or on adventures with her dog Chorizo. You can learn more about her and her work here:

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Ronald Paints

Regan Russell and Donald Gould, also known as Ronald, are a muralist duo who have known each other since they were in elementary school.

Donald is an Educator and Designer specializing in print design, illustration and branding. He was raised in Chula Vista and Imperial Beach and received his undergraduate degree from San Diego State University and continued to earn a graduate degree from Savannah College of Art and Design with an emphasis in Graphic Design. After living up and down the California coast over the years working in the action sports and fashion industry, he has settled back in San Diego and is currently an instructor and head of the graphic design department at Southwestern College. Donald has always enjoyed working with his hands, rather it be classic motorcycles and cars or community projects and seamlessly brings a hands-on approach to his design with his unique styling. When he’s not watching kitsch movies for personal amusement, he’s working to expand his creative range by experimenting with old-world trades and alternative forms of communication. 

Regan is a multidisciplinary fine artist and illustrator who studied studio art at UCSD. His work looks at our relationships with pop culture and how it affects our identities and world views. Regan spends his spare time rewatching the Alien movie franchise from start to finish and can be found riding his rollerblades around Balboa Park for a little exercise. You can learn more about him and his work here:

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Nazanin Amiri Meers

Nazanin is a mixed-media and public artist. She draws and paints decorative patterns she finds in traditional Islamic tiles and nomadic rugs. She also illustrates and designs murals and makes tactile collages. As a public artist, she makes site-specific installations to emphasize the importance of privacy in public buildings. Amiri Meers is born and raised in Iran and migrated to the United States in 2014. She currently lives in San Diego, California with her husband and her cat. You can learn more about her and her work here:

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Chloe Moya

Chloe is a junior in high school at Mt. Everest Academy. She is incredibly passionate about visual arts & art history. She loves working with acrylic paints and pastels though sometimes her creativity branches into other mediums such as photography and writing. Her goal is to inspire joy through art and she loves working with people of all ages on community-based projects. In her free time, you can find her wandering amongst shelves of books looking for her next read, or digging through baskets of records searching for that perfect album.

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Anna Laroque

Anna initially joined ArtReach as an intern to assist on fundraising events, specifically the first Charity Art Auction in 2019 when artists turned surfboards into art. She instantly felt connected to the mission of ArtReach and the passion, creativity, and compassion of its team members. Soon after, her role expanded to manage ArtReach’s fundraising events/campaigns, donor management/relations, marketing and communications, and social media. She also works closely with Sarah on other admin-related tasks. Anna received a BA in Mathematics from the University of Kansas in 2008 and a Professional Certificate in Meeting and Event Planning from San Diego State University in 2017. Anna’s previous experience includes technical writing and data analysis, work in childcare facilities and summer camps, and lifelong participation in visual arts classes in all media. In her spare time, she likes to read, go hiking, FaceTime with her niece and nephew, and watch college basketball (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!).

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Yasmine Kasem

Yasmine is an American-Egyptian Muslim sculptor creating works that focus on the perception of identity in a transcultural atmosphere, reflections of personal history, and remarks on social stigma. “My current practice is focused on navigating the delicacy of material and its ability to communicate tension and struggle under stress. Pushing a substance to its limit before its breaking point, freezing the moment before a collapse.” Her art and teaching center around telling stories from her life and helping others tell theirs. She has taught at Futures Academy and Lux Art Institute in addition to her work at ArtReach. Yasmine holds a BFA in Sculpture from Indiana University and an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California San Diego. You can learn more about her and her work here:

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Sarah Holbach

Sarah has been in a leadership role at ArtReach since 2013, first as Program Manager, followed by Executive Director. She oversees the quality and content of our programs, inspires and connects our community, and ensures ArtReach is a vibrant and engaging space for working artists to connect and thrive. Sarah pioneered our fee-based work that kickstarted ArtReach’s accelerated growth in numbers served and budget sustainability, leading to greater reach in our free offerings. Sarah created and managed large-scale at-risk youth arts education programs with California Family Life Center in Riverside County from 2004-2012, including art and literacy programs for pregnant and parenting teens through CalSAFE, community-based art and service projects for formerly incarcerated youth, and an annual large-scale sculpture program with an exhibition at the local community college engaging teens and young adults returning to continue their education. Sarah brings this community-focused and youth-centered mindset to all aspects of ArtReach. She knows our history, our goals, obstacles, and opportunities. Sarah creates lasting bonds between ArtReach and our partners while remaining active in designing, supporting, funding, and implementing ArtReach Programs. She spends her out-of-office hours soaking in the sunshine, petting all the dogs, and hopping around San Diego gardens and concert venues.

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Isabel Halpern

Izzy specializes in leading collaborative, site-specific murals at schools and community sites. She joined the ArtReach team in 2015 after graduating with a BFA in Studio Arts from UC Berkeley. In 2018, she designed and launched the ArtReach Mural Program after leading several murals and spending the summer as an intern with Mural Arts Philadelphia. She believes that every single project brings a new learning experience, a group of people to help form connections between, and a story to tell through painting. In her free time, she enjoys playing folk music and spending time with friends and family.

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Laurie Evans

Laurie Evans is a new member of ArtReach San Diego. Laurie obtained her BFA at the Laguna College of Art and Design in 2016 majoring in Illustration with an emphasis in fine art. She has worked as an art teacher and studio manager in both Southern California and Australia. Laurie uses her experience as both an art student and teacher to cultivate a safe learning environment where her own students can create regardless of personal ability. Her personal work straddles abstraction and representation while focusing primarily on the female form which is designed using a tonal approach. The rendered figure is often complimented with bold graphic design and color. Her goal at ArtReach is to provide students with projects that are challenging yet accessible.

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Brooke Benedix

Brooke has been with ArtReach since 2015 when she started as a Teaching Artist. She believes her prior role as a Teaching Artist informs her current role and is dedicated to empowering our young artists and school communities in San Diego County. Growing up in a small town where there was little to no access to art education, Brooke saw at a young age the amount of missed opportunities for her and her peers to thrive creatively. Originally a theatre kid turned art historian and visual artist, Brooke received her BA in Art History from Humboldt State University in 2011 and realized quickly that she wanted to pursue a career in arts education. Brooke’s biggest aspiration is to provide students of San Diego with creative opportunities that allow them to unlock their artistic potential while stepping in the shoes of historical, modern, contemporary, local artists whose art and biographies reflect the identities and experiences our young people are living through. Brooke’s favorite response to hear from students creating is: “It’s like magic!”. In her spare time, Brooke likes to tap dance, roller skate, and obsess over her cat Little Edie.

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Sierra Aguilar

Sierra has been an art educator since 2016, both as a classroom teacher and Teaching Artist. She believes the essential function of art education is empowering students to tell their unique stories through creativity. Each student enters the art room with diverse backgrounds, traits, abilities, and experiences. When creating tailored lesson plans for each school site, Sierra references artists working in student-representative communities. As students see themselves reflected in the work of other artists, they become more empowered to create and share their own stories, adding their voices to the artistic symphony around us. Her currency artistic practice of collage focuses on fragmenting of imagery to mimic memory and the patchwork of identity. Sierra holds a BFA in Art Education from the Academy of Art University and a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Art from San Diego State University. You can learn more about her and her work here:

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