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Fruit Fantasia, Painting by Cristina Gonzalez

Earlier this year, we announced our first educator residency, made possible through a partnership with Golden Artist Colors and the Sam & Adele Golden Foundation. We invited teachers whose students, past or present, received a Scholastic Award to apply for this unique opportunity and we were astounded by the number and quality of the submissions! Educators from across the country sent in applications that were thoughtful, inspiring, and filled with outstanding artwork. Choosing the three teachers to participate in the residency was not an easy task, and we felt honored to have the chance to get to know so many of the teachers who help make the Scholastic Awards possible.

Without further ado, we are proud to announce Cristina Gonzalez, Jeffrey Deane Hall, and Claire Lerner as the 2015 Golden Educator Residents!

Cristina Gonzalez

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Flora, Painting by Cristina Gonzalez

Cristina received her M.F.A. in Painting & Drawing from the University of Washington. Her teaching includes five years as a high school art teacher and 12 years at the college level. Three of Cristina’s students received Scholastic Awards this year. In 2010, she was named the Chair of the Visual Arts Department of the New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Cristina’s work has been part of numerous group exhibitions as well as solo exhibitions at the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Klaudia Marr Gallery in Santa Fe, NM, among others. Currently, she is working on a public commission project titled Warriors Repose. This large-scale project will be a Vietnam War memorial for all of the Hispanics who have served in the military and is dedicated to Pete Padilla and Manuel Mora, two young soldiers who perished in the Vietnam War.

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Here, Painting by Cristina Gonzalez

Cristina applied for the residency to reinvigorate herself after dealing with the political and artistic struggles surrounding Warriors Repose. She hopes to “gain inspiration and engage exploration” while in residence this summer. Working on her art in a secluded setting will help Cristina “refill her creative stores,” which she believes is a critical component of being an art educator.

Jeffrey Deane Hall

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Fie Soli God, Painting by Jeffrey Deane Hall

Jeffrey has been an art educator for twenty years and currently teaches at the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond, VA. Since 2008, Jeffrey’s students have received numerous Scholastic Awards; in 2015 alone, nine received Awards at the regional and national level. Jeffrey’s artwork was published in New American Paintings in 2012 and has been part of group and solo exhibitions at the University of Richmond Museums, VA; ArtSpace Gallery, VA; Richmond Public Library, VA; Shenandoah Valley Art Center, Waynesboro, VA; and Marsh Art Gallery, University of Richmond, VA; among many others.

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Rebel City, Painting by Jeffrey Deane Hall

Jeffrey plans on using his time at the residency to finish multiple pieces that he says have languished because of time constraints. He also is looking forward to exploring new directions by experimenting with fresh ideas and techniques.

Claire Lerner

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Living Room Chair, Painting by Claire Lerner

Claire teaches upper school studio art, digital media, and photography at Santa Catalina School in Monterey, CA. Her experience also includes many years as a photography instructor at museums, colleges, and summer art programs. Claire has also given presentations on photography at the 2007 NAEA Conference; Exposure: A Weekend of Workshops for theCenter for Photographic Artin 2009; and the 2011 SPE West Conference. Her work has received awards from The Steinbeck Center; Smith Gallery in Santa Cruz, CA; Monterey Museum of Art in Monterey, CA; AAO Gallery in Buffalo, NY, and was published in Professional Photographer Magazine in 2001.

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Lamp 1, Painting by Claire Lerner

Claire is looking forward to interacting with art educators from across the country. She hopes the inspiring setting of the residency will help her “uncover a rich new meaning in [her] body of work.” Being a fulltime art instructor is very demanding and she “seeks a place where I can work in total immersion on a body of work that has great meaning to myself and hopefully to others.”


All of us at the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers are looking forward to seeing what these three educators will produce during their time at the Golden Educator Residency, which runs July 28-August 5 in New Berlin, NY.  Stay tuned to our blog for updates!

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