Learn more about our Summer Camp Artists and Instructors!

Our summer camps are led by talented local artists and instructors who work hard to lead the most engaging and creative camps for your child. Learn more about them below.

Zachery Abramson

Zak was born and raised in North County San Diego and spent his childhood summers learning to draw with his grandmother. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with degrees in Fine Art and Literature, and has worked with children for the last 5 years in local after-school programs and summer camps. His own art is inspired by nature, memory, play, Chinese calligraphy, and poetry—mostly conveyed through illustration, music and writing. Zak joined the Teaching Artist team of The New Children’s Museum in May of 2017 and has led and assisted with several camp programs since that time.

Mayra Chavez

Mayra is a fiber artist whose work is inspired by a childhood growing up in Querétaro, Mexico. Her work consists primarily of embroidery and clothing constructions. Relying heavily on the use of colorful images and motifs, Mayra is inspired by life in her parents’ hometown of Hacienda Blanca. Her memories of the animals and plants in her beloved ranch serve as her artistic muses and can be found all over her work. Mayra received a Bachelor’s of Art in Applied Design from San Diego State University where she was awarded a scholarship for her artwork by the San Diego Creative Weavers Guild. Mayra is currently pursuing a Masters in Art Education through Boston University. Mayra joined the Teaching Artist team of The New Children’s Museum in March of 2015, and has led and assisted with several camp programs since that time.

McKenna Clifford

McKenna is a San Diego native who has been working with kids of all ages for over ten years. After high school, McKenna moved to New York City where she studied art history at Marymount Manhattan College. McKenna loves to dance and stretch, especially in the sun! She also loves to sew, doodle, and make bracelets— basically anything to keep her hands busy! McKenna joined the Teaching Artist team at the Museum in October 2017 and has assisted in several camps since that time. She is excited to be leading one this summer.

Joseph “Mr. Dyno” Corrales

“Mr. Dyno” took his first step into the cypher (dance circle) 16 years ago and has not stopped Breakin’ since. With twelve years of teaching experience, Mr. Dyno credits his teachers and mentors from around the world for the knowledge that he is able to share with students and peers. Last year, he placed in the finals in a national Breakin’ dance tournament in Seattle, Washington and in an international tournament in the Netherlands. Aside from his studies and experiences in the art of Breakin,’ Mr. Dyno holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Personality and Social Psychology from San Diego State University. He applies wisdom learned from both worlds in his teaching approach.

Quinten Giglio

Quinten Giglio is a drummer from San Diego who has been involved in many types of percussion for the last 8 years. He grew up performing all over San Diego County with the motivational percussion groups, Jr. CREW and CREW. Quinten was also a drummer and percussionist in his high school jazz band all four years at the Waldorf School of San Diego. Straight out of high school, Quinten auditioned and was given the wonderful opportunity to perform with “Stomp” on Broadway in New York City. Now, Quinten has returned to San Diego and is again performing and teaching with Chris Rubio at Art’s in Motion and “CREW.” Quinten is excited to be joining The New Children’s Museum summer camp team and to share his experiences and skills with campers.

Samantha Grafton

Sammie was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and moved to San Diego in June of 2017. Sammie has 9 plus years’ experience teaching and growing with kids from all backgrounds and ages in a variety of settings such as traditional classrooms, outdoor school and summer camps. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Film and History from Southern Oregon University. In her free time, Sammie loves to watch Pixar films, play in the ocean, and explore nature. Sammie joined the New Children’s Museum Teaching Artist Team in November of 2017. She has assisted in many camps since that time and looks forward to leading one this summer.

Troy Guard

Troy has been living and studying art in San Diego for the past 5 years and is a recent graduate of San Diego State University. Although his primary training is as a painter, Troy also experiments often with sculpture and digital illustration. Before having the opportunity to teach at the Museum, Troy spent several years as a Jr. Lifeguard instructor in Orange County, CA. He has since continued to enjoy helping teach kids to foster adventurous and creative practices and skills. Troy joined the Teaching Artist team of the Museum in the spring of 2016. When he’s not inside making art or watching Star Wars with his cat, he enjoys adventuring, hiking, and slack-lining around the city.

Isabel Halpern

Isabel is a practicing artist and educator with a degree in Art Practice from UC Berkeley. She explores many different media including: sculpture, painting, and drawing. During college, she was also able to explore mural making; creating murals throughout student housing locations on campus. Isabel also enjoys teaching about art and she has devoted the majority of her professional experience to working with children. She believes that it is essential to become totally immersed when teaching or playing with students, and feels it is most important to include imagination, encouragement, and participation into their experience. Isabel was a member of the Museum’s Teaching Artist team from the fall of 2015 through 2017. She led and assisted with several camp programs in that time.

Temi Hason

After 8 amazing years in New York, Temi has recently moved to San Diego to perform in ‘ONCE’, a musical taking place at Lamb’s Players Theater in Coronado. Temi is a cellist, musical theatre performer and teacher originally from Istanbul, Turkey. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, Cello and Musical Theatre from the Royal Academy of Music. As a result of her studies and experiences, Temi has created a company called “A Musical Home” which offers custom instrument-based music classes for kids from 5 months to 5 years old. Temi is excited to be joining The New Children’s Museum summer camp program this year and to be bringing her skills, instruments and her passion for working with early learners to the Two-Gether camp program.

Paul Holbach

Paul is a San Diego Native and an artist with 5+ years of experience working with children of all ages and backgrounds. Through martial arts, Paul began teaching and coaching from a young age as a Certified Instructor with a black belt in Shotokan Karate. After graduating high school, Paul then moved on to begin assisting and teaching art in the San Diego School District through the program Art Reach. Paul describes himself as an Illustrator/character artist with a strong inspiration from street art, skateboarding, and music. He Joined the New Children’s Museum in March, 2016 as a Teaching Artist and has since led and assisted in several camp programs.

Kristina “Miss Piggy” Mananquil

Kristina “Miss Piggy” is an educator, artist, and flying piggy who serves children, families, and the community. Through her life travels, she is constantly by her roots of love – two pigs and a dinosaur, mentors, and the world around her. With an educational background and experience in child and family development, design, and photography, she is passionate about sharing, learning, and giving back to others. Wherever Miss Piggy flies, she quests to spread the sun, evoke imagination, play, exploration, and collaboration that is meaningfully expressed through art. Kristina was a part of The New Children’s Museum summer camp program in 2016 and is excited to be returning this year.

Jaimie McKay

Jaimie is an artist, maker, and tinkerer from San Diego, California who loves sharing her enthusiasm for art with young people. As a kid, Jaimie enjoyed collecting and cataloging plants and insects through drawing. Jaimie studied Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University where she learned techniques in a wide range of materials including wood, clay, metal, paint, video, 3D printing, and more. She has been leading arts programming in various summer camps since 2012. Jaimie is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is inspired by science fiction, the natural world, and bad jokes. Jaimie joined the Museum in June 2017 as a camp counselor and then joined the Teaching Artist team of the Museum in the fall of the same year. She has assisted with and led many camps since that time.

Jessica McPeak

Jeszi is a Southern California native living and working in San Diego. She is an artist who focuses on interactive art experiences which facilitate the production of new knowledge for people of every stage and age. She received her Bachelors of Studio Visual Art from the University of California San Diego. As the eldest of four children, she grew up learning how to take care of others and since then has not stopped care-taking. Outside of the Museum, Jeszi is a caregiver for several local families, as well as an educator and life-long learner who values curiosity above all else. Jeszi considers herself a mixed media artist with varied interests in toy making, textiles and investigating relationships through collage. She was thrilled to be able to bring her skills to the Museum when she joined the Teaching Artist team in the fall of 2017. She has since assisted in several camp programs and looks forward to leading camps this spring and summer.

Gina Mirtallo

Gina has been an early childhood educator and summer camp director for nine years. She graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Recreation Administration, has taken many child development courses, and most recently completed the multiple subject credential program at Cal State Teach. Gina has created and led camps for the City of Coronado, and is currently a preschool teacher for the Coronado Unified School District. She has worked with children of all ages in a variety of enriching programs. By far, Gina’s favorite activity to explore with children is art. She likes to focus on the creative process by celebrating each child’s unique point of view, and strives to provide a supportive environment where children feel safe and encouraged to try new things. When Gina is not in the classroom or at camp, she can most likely be found outdoors on an adventure with friends. She also loves to travel as much as possible to experience new people, places, and things.

Maria Sales

Maria received her Bachelor’s degree in Art with an emphasis in Multimedia from San Diego State University. She prefers to work mainly with digital art forms such as photography, three-dimensional design, animation, and film. She is currently a Teaching Artist here at the New Children’s museum as well as teaches at other local arts organizations. Maria’s favorite part of her job at The New Children’s Museum is teaching and inspiring others in art. Maria joined the Teaching Artist team in January of 2015, and has since led and assisted with several camp programs.

Chelsea Smith

Chelsea is an artist and educator based in San Diego, CA. She has 8+ years of experience working with youth in camps, non-profits, and school settings. Through her studies in Social Work and Art at Point Loma Nazarene University she discovered her love for working with youth and also being creative. Chelsea specializes in fiber arts and pottery, but she enjoys dabbling in various art forms. She owns her own business selling handmade goods and teaching art workshops throughout California. She has been working as a Teaching Artist at The New Children’s Museum since the spring of 2017 and has assisted and led several camps since that time.

Albert Songalia

Albert is a local San Diego artist with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Visual Arts Studio from the University of California San Diego. He has worked with youth of various ages in arts education non-profits for more than a decade in organizations such as A Reason to Survive, Collaborations: Teachers and Artists, and The New Children’s Museum, where he was a Teaching Artist for over seven years. In the role of Teaching Artist, Albert honed and developed a playful art making process that draws upon his own childhood as well as his current interests and experiences. He taught a series of successful science-fiction and superhero themed summer camps during his tenure at the Museum, camps that allowed young artists to fashion themselves into heroes of their own design and to build a world collaboratively. He is excited to return to the Museum this summer as an instructor for the summer camp program.

Rebecca Villa

Rebecca Villa is the owner of Yen 4 Zen Yoga. She has been teaching yoga to people of all ages and abilities since 2009. Inspired by her yoga practice with her own children, she has completed additional certifications in teaching kids and family yoga, as well as working with children with special needs. Rebecca combines her love of music, yoga, movement and mindfulness to create lasting experiences with children and families. She has led several sessions of the Little Yogis class within the Little Learners program at The New Children’s Museum, a class for caregivers and their children ages 18 months to 3 years. She is looking forward to teaching in the Two-Gether camps for the first time this summer season.


Elizabeth Wepsic

Elizabeth has been a committed and well known visual arts instructor in the San Diego community for over twenty years. She is National Board Certified educator and has an active background in Person Centered Education. Elizabeth fosters an individualistic learning environment that encourages authentic self-awareness. She encourages her students let go of their fears and judgments and decide to let art into their lives. Her art classes are a place to be oneself, to be playful and to be curious. She is best known for facilitating great freedom of expression and encouraging students to follow their own path in art. Elizabeth is excited to be joining the Museum’s camp team for her third summer.

Gift Membership Discount

Now is the perfect time to buy a membership! Gift a membership (for you or a friend) and get $10 off with code SUGARPLUM online or at the Welcome Desk.