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.

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.

Jason Johnson

A graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Jason is a teacher, artist and puppeteer. Jason spent two years as the Outreach Art Teacher for the San Diego Museum of Art. He has worked as a teaching artist with the San Diego Guild of Puppetry for over 10 years, is a graduate of the Waldorf Institute of California, has created and written animated shorts that have been seen all over the world. He loves working with children.

Lauren Jones

Lauren is a San Diego transplant originally from Hartselle, Alabama. She has an MA in Vocal Performance from UC San Diego. Outside the Museum she teaches voice and piano to students across San Diego and is excited to bring those skills to the summer program this year. She specializes in songwriting, improvisation and theater, and plays a variety of instruments. Since joining the Teaching Artist team in June 2018 she has led music and movement programs for Museum visitors, and has led and assisted in several camps.

Melody Klaffke

Melody is a Southern California artist living and working in San Diego. She graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a degree in psychology. She draws from her interest in sustainability and environmental practices in her artmaking, which focuses primarily on painting, drawing and building. She joined the Teaching Artist team in the fall of 2018 and has led and assisted several camps since that time. She is excited to be leading summer camp this year and can’t wait to see all the amazing ideas that her students will come up with.

Astrid Alvarado Leon

Astrid is the youngest of three siblings but easily the most energetic. Born in Chula Vista and raised in Tijuana. Living between Mexico and the U.S. has given her the ability to empathize and connect with people from diverse backgrounds. She is studying Child Development in City College. Astrid has been part of the Children’s Museum Family for one year as a Teaching Artist. Her favorite thing about working here is to encourage and challenge young learners to create something innovative while having fun. She enjoys dancing, painting, dramatic play, storytelling and her forte is making silly faces. Her main focus is making art inclusive and accessible to everyone.

Cody Machado

Cody is a local artist, born and raised in Ocean Beach. He received his degree in Recreation Administration from Humboldt State University and spent several years teaching sailing in Point Loma before joining the Museum team. He specializes in cartooning and making funny faces, and is excited to be sharing his enthusiasm for comics with his students this summer. Since becoming a Teaching Artist in April 2018 he has led and assisted with several camps.

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.

Amy Mayfield

Amy E. Mayfield lives and works in San Diego. She received her MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006 and has had solo shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Threewalls Gallery in Chicago. Her work has been shown in group shows in Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Berlin. Currently she owns and operates Clay Munchkins, a small business providing clay classes to a number of public and private schools throughout San Diego County.

Jaimie McKay

Jaimie McKay is an artist, maker, and tinkerer from San Diego, CA who is enthusiastic about sharing art with young people. As a kid, Jaimie enjoyed collecting and cataloging plants and insects through drawing. Jaimie studied Sculpture & Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University where they learned techniques in a wide range of materials including wood, clay, metal, video, 3D printing, and more. Jaimie 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 everyday objects. Jaimie has been involved in camps at the museum since June 2017.

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.

Alexandra Prince

Alexandra is an artist and mathematician from Rancho Palos Verdes, California. She is currently in her final year at San Diego State University and plans to graduate with a degree in Liberal Studies (Elementary Education) with a minor in Art History. She enjoys attending art shows, and draws on those experiences when creating her curriculum. Her art practice focuses primarily on sewing and making. Since joining the Teaching Artist team in the fall of 2018 she has led and assisted with several camps, and is excited to be leading another one this summer.

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.

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.

Special Closure

The Museum will be closed on Wednesday, April 24 for a special event.