MEET THE INSTRUCTORS!
We are incredibly proud of our instructors who have earned recognition both as artists and as teachers. With such a diverse and professional group, your experience in a Pearl School of Art class is sure to be successful.
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Vivian Celeste Pinotti is a fashion designer and vintage clothing collector. After design school, she worked as a design assistant and digital patternmaker for Chloe Dao, winner of Project Runway season 2. Her combined passions for art, archaeology, and historical dress drove her to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and plans to soon pursue Masters Studies in Historical Textile Conservation. She spends much of her time perusing estate sales, thrifting, and thrift flipping, which entails the deconstruction of an outdated or ill-fitting garment and reworking it to create something new. Her other hobbies include ceramics, metalworking, and exploring the world, through which she finds her greatest sources of inspiration. Her Brazilian heritage has always been a strong influence in her worldview as well as her design aesthetic, and hopes to one day create a sustainable clothing brand that embodies those unique characteristics. While in design school, Vivian worked as a bilingual instructional aide for grades pre-k through fifth in the public school system, and finds great fulfillment in working with kids. On teaching fashion at the museum, she expresses, "I would have loved to have had the opportunity to learn fashion design at a young age, and it’s truly been a pleasure to provide that experience to potential future designers!"
Billie Scalisi recently moved from Louisiana to Houston, Texas. She was a very successful hairdresser and salon owner for over 40 years. She became a self-taught artist starting in oil painting who always had a love for color, whether it was on canvas or someone's hair. It was the love of creating something beautiful. Over the years, she was invited to go to a watercolor class and fell in love with watercolor and the wide variety of styles, paper, and techniques. Once she saw how the colors moved, she never looked back. She studied with Nancy Melton for years, who is a very successful artist and teacher in Louisiana. During those years, she prepared and instructed watercolor camps for kids at a local university. She also assisted Nancy Melton in adult leisure learning classes for watercolor. Over the years, she took many weekly workshops with artists like Lian Quan Zhen and Janet Rogers who travel the world teaching. She loves both sides, teaching and being a student, because as artists we are always learning. She belongs to a group of artists in Louisiana who meet weekly and share ideas and techniques and hopes to bring that same passion for learning here. In addition to teaching watercolor, she teaches for Young Rembrandts after school, specializing in drawing. She is now teaching at the Pearl Fincher Museum, offering watercolor classes for beginners and intermediate classes for both adults and kids. In addition to teaching, she creates original artwork, note cards, and takes commissions for homes, pets and portraits.
Marisol Graham has been a professional Illustrator and Graphic Designer for over 10 years. Working on various projects from logo design to surface pattern design. This skill has transitioned into her current business offering unique decor for homeowners. Creating original pieces to sell in her stores and curating pieces from other artists. She finds art and creativity in everything and does her best to encourage others with their form of expression as well. Art can be created from anything. Painting with flower petals, to scraps of fabric, to the conventional tools. There is an artist in everyone.
She has been teaching Art since 1984. There are those who believe that you are either born with creative and artistic abilities or you are not. It is her belief that all people are Creative by God's Design.
Linda has been a full time Art Teacher at Extraordinary Education in Magnolia, Texas since 2011. She teaches Drawing, Painting, Art History, Art Studio, Ceramics and Animation.
Linda began teaching Art in College. While attending Kendal School of Art & Design, in Michigan, she developed a curriculum for children to draw as a language. In 1985 she moved to San Diego, California and opened Art ala Carte learning Center. For the next 15 years, she built a community of young, talented artist and friends.
Linda’s positive philosophy has been successfully demonstrated through the lives of hundreds of students. Her students have gone on to Art school, Teach Art and work in the Art Industry. It is her hope that the seeds of Creativity were planted in each of them. This is Linda’s second year teaching Summer Camp at Pearl Fincher Museum.
Brooke Silva is a native Houstonian, wife, and mother to two creative boys. As a child, art was always a part of her life and she would often visit the city’s artistic landmarks-like the Orange Show and the Art Car Museum. Inspired by the whimsy and inventiveness of this style of work, she began creating art of her own, working mostly with paper and fibers. But it wasn’t until college that she found her true passion, art history. Brooke received a B.A. in Art History from Texas State University. After university, she worked as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for five years-engaging with a fantastic and dedicated group of docents and volunteers of all ages. Here she learned the importance of art programs for young audiences and was encouraged to bring her boys to the Art Start Program at the Pearl Fincher. When the opportunity arose to teach the class, Brooke jumped at the chance. She has been the instructor for the Art Start Program going on two years and finds so much joy in introducing preschool age children to the world of art. Recently, she has expanded her curriculum to include a Little Art Historians class, which gives kids ages 3-5 a foundation in art history. Each week they learn about the life and style of a specific artist, they hear a children’s book about the artist, and then they have the chance to create like the artist. Brooke loves costumes and takes this opportunity to also dress like the artist-giving the students a truly immersive experience!
Pam Mayo is a retired elementary art teacher having taught art for a total of 29 years in Huntsville, DeSoto, and Cy-Fair school districts. Since retiring from teaching in public schools, Pam has taught for Young Rembrandts, an after school drawing program in Klein ISD, taught art at The Center for Teaching and Learning, a private school in The Woodlands, TX, presented workshops for Board&Brush, a creative studio in Cypress, TX, and most recently taught children’s classes and workshops at The Pearl MFA. In addition to teaching art, Pam volunteers for various organizations including The Pearl MFA where she is a docent for school tours. Pam enjoys researching topics related to art, preparing art lessons and exhibits, visiting art museums, travel, event and workshop preparation and presentation. Pam is an avid collector of children’s picture books about art and artists. Many of these books she uses in her art lessons. As for her own art, Pam has rekindled her passion for watercolor painting with the help of another Pearl MFA instructor Billie Scalisi. Pam believes as the famous artist Pablo Picasso. According to Picasso, every child is an artist because they have the ability to create without limitations and express themselves freely. Children have a natural curiosity and imagination, which allows them to approach art with a sense of wonder and playfulness. As we grow older, we often lose this sense of creativity and self-expression, but it's important to continue to nurture this part of ourselves.
Shortly after the peak of rock and roll and muscle cars, Chris Thompson took apart his dad’s drill and put it back together successfully. Seeing the worn gears smeared with grease and the dull glint of the copper wire was a pivotal moment in his life; he realized he liked working with his hands and figuring things out, which ultimately led him to sculpture, painting, drawing, and printmaking. Chris has been doodling since he was a child, so he went to school for it at the University of Houston where he received his BFA in Sculpture. A short time later, he received his MFA from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD and quickly fled to New York. After spending some time scribbling in Brooklyn, Chris moved back to his hometown of Houston, TX where his quality of life greatly improved. His work has been exhibited locally and nationally, and can be seen in many private collections. He continues to doodle, only now Chris teaches others how to do it at Lone Star College – University Park. Chris has conducted various printmaking and paper making workshops throughout Houston. He is a proud member of The Little Idea, and The Young and Dead Jaguars, two local bands that allow him to make noise on his numerous bass guitars. There are many projects floating around that Chris is responsible for and that have a life of their own outside of his, and he likes it that way. You can follow Chris on Instagram @studioinkwell to see what he’s up to.
Nicole was introduced to art as a young child while exploring the unique neighborhoods of Houston with her mother. Her passion for art flourished when she entered school and began art classes. As a student at South West Texas University, she found her calling to be an art teacher thanks to the chance encounter she had with one particularly inspiring professor. She recognized during that first hands-on art course that she wanted to share her love of art with others. She began her career teaching in a juvenile detention center where she witnessed how transformative the creative arts can be, particularly for individuals who are facing challenging situations. Upon graduating from Texas State University, she taught middle school students for thirteen fulfilling years, until she made the difficult decision to leave her position to focus on her growing family. As a busy stay-at-home mom, she never stopped making art. Instead, she sought ways to involve her young children in her work and to invite others in our community to join us. She believes that art is magic, and nothing gives her more pleasure than sharing her skills and inspiring others to create.
Anna is a sculptor and artist with ten years of experience in fine art and teaching. She moved to Houston in 2021 from France, where she started her art career in ceramic and sculpting through the city art and culture centre. For several years she took part in charity fairs and conducted author's masterclasses, teaching her original methods of creating ceramic pieces. Currently, she is engaged in the development of her projects through the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Her works take part in exhibitions of the Glassel School of Arts. Anna believes that constantly studying is just as important as teaching her skills to students. In this case, the development process goes harmoniously and deeply for students and teachers. She creates her pieces and teaches, relying on classical rules; however, she remains open to new ideas and methods. That's why teaching children and adults is a big priority for Anna on her creative path. She is sure there is no such thing as too early or too late to develop everyone's natural gifts because every person carries great potential for creative talent.
Carrie Yarbrough is an artist and the founder of the stationery business, Yellow Yardbird Design. In between carting her three kids around to school, activities, and swim meets, she keeps herself busy by painting and designing stationery. Although originally an acrylic artist, she has embraced watercolor as a quick and easily transportable medium that she could take on trips and even work on in the carpool line! Her background is rooted in arts and education, with a Bachelors of Arts in Museum Studies and Master degrees in Teaching and Arts Administration. In the beginning of her career, she worked at the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans and later became a teacher for 1st and 5th grades.
Carrie is often inspired by the birds and plants in her backyard, on nature walks, and on family camping trips. She absolutely love to paint birds and plants, but she also enjoys illustrating and painting her family. Her children have been inspired to create art and she says it has been a joy to see their creativity and imagination, witnessing the positive impact art has made on them and how beneficial it has been in their development. She believes art is one of the best mediums of expression for our youth and is looking forward to combining her love of education and art in the Pearl Fincher Museum Classes.