FOUNDER OF PRIVATE PICASSOS

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Valeen Bhat

Valeen received her BFA/MS in Art and Design Education, with a minor in Art History and a concentration in printmaking from Pratt Institute. After working at various educational facilities, including museums, early childhood education centers and community centers, she founded Private Picassos in the Spring of 2006. Her main goal was to create a process-oriented art program that valued skill building and exploration over the final product. Valeen crafts the core values and philosophy of Private Picassos, drawing inspiration from her education, experience, and background, especially the influence of her two artist parents. After 10 years of bringing art classes to children and adults throughout the Tri-State Area, Valeen created a home for Private Picassos at their first bricks and mortar Art Studio in Park Slope, Brooklyn! Since opening in the Fall of 2015, PP Art Studio has become a mainstay in the community, offering an engaging space for kids and adults to create art and memories side by side. On top of all of this, Valeen and her husband welcomed their son Ravi in May of 2016!

NYC ART INSTRUCTORS

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Diana Arizpe

Bio and photo coming soon!

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Tirzah Jane Baker

Tirzah lives and works in Brooklyn as a teaching artist and museum educator. She has a BA in art history and MA in museum studies. She specializes in creating programs for early childhood learners. Her teaching philosophy is based in process art making, sensory play, and informal learning. Her work requires an understanding of and interaction with childhood development which she uses to promote social emotional learning through creative experiences for children. She is passionate about helping children to develop their creative expression and set up lifelong appreciation of art and art making.

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Antonia Barolini-Lawrence

Antonia has an MFA from the New York Academy of Art and experience in teaching, counseling, and tutoring students in art and other subjects. Antonia’s mother was an artist so she grew up loving art and viewing it as profoundly important. As a result she was inspired to pursue an MFA. Her goal now is to keep painting, drawing, and sculpture (and art in general) alive and relevant and to leverage her extensive expertise to teach, mentor, and inspire others to do the same.

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Analina Berofsky


Analina Berofsky is born and raised here in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently working her Bachelors Degree in Early Education and Special Education and will Master in Art Therapy. She specializes in painting, drawing and photography. She has over eight years working/creating with children and has loved every minute of it. She hopes to bring the same level of enthusiasm where ever life takes her.

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Sinejan Buchina

Sinejan Buchina is an artist and a graduate student currently living and working in Brooklyn,
NY. She has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Marmara University in Istanbul, studied “Ism’s in 20th century Art” in London, was selected to participate in the Node Center Curatorial Residency program in Berlin and is currently pursuing her masters degree in Art History and Museum Studies in New York. She has worked in several galleries in Europe and the U.S. and also in several NYC public schools as an art instructor. In attempting to avoid the limitations of a single medium, her art embodies everything from collage to oil paint, and from the abstract to the conceptual.

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Phebe Campsey

Since 2006, Phebe Campsey has been teaching art in NYC and the Hamptons privately with both individuals and groups ranging in ages 2 and up. Art has been an important part of her life since the age of 3 and she is passionate about sharing her life long love of art making with others! Her background in Fine Art is informed from her extensive studies in a variety of media and interest in both historic and contemporary artists. She received her BFA from School of Visual Arts and continued on to receive her MPS in Creative Arts Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute. Her post-Master’s work has further informed her practice of attending to the individual needs of each person she works with and emphasizes her approach to reinforce creative problem solving skills and other ways in which the arts can offer opportunities for personal growth.

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Johanna Evans

Johanna is a practicing artist and educator, living and working in Brooklyn. She holds an MFA in photography, video and related media from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and a BFA in photography and film from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston. She received her teaching certificate from Parsons School of Design, New York. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, and she has been awarded artist residencies at programs in Berlin and New Mexico. Johanna’s art practice mirrors her teaching approach - one based in process, exploration and experimentation. Johanna has taught children of all ages at schools and after school programs throughout New York City. She is also a fan of doing big family art projects with her own three kids.

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Nina Gresl

Nina Gresl is a Brooklyn based art creator and educator. Primarily drawn to the importance of art making as a process, Nina is impassioned about the consilience of art with other fields of study. Play, mindfulness, and the unconscious process influence Nina’s style of process-based art making and assisted exploration. Nina believes all people can become comfortable with the deeply personal aspect of art making and creating, no matter their age or background. Graduating with a BA from Hampshire College having concentrated in sculpture and psychology, Nina has been involved in arts and education ever since.

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Zoë Lintzeris

Zoë Lintzeris is a visual artist based in Brooklyn. Her work has been exhibited throughout New York and showcased in a variety of media, including feature shoot. A former journalist, she focuses on the intersection of human emotion, urbanism, and ruralism in her minimalist photography and paintings. She has helped adults combine art and wellness techniques to unlock their creativity in one-on-one sessions, and worked with children as a studio assistant at Tumbleweeds Art Group. A former contributing editor of Cultured magazine, she also served as a lifestyle blog editor at The Huffington Post. She received her BA in journalism and a minor in studio arts from the University of Maryland, and was born and raised in Baltimore. She loves writing and traveling with her camera in hand, and is a self-professed Anglophile.

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Elizabeth Limanov

Born in New York City and having been an artist for most of her life, Elizabeth has a foundational degree in Fine Arts at the Fashion Institute of Technology, finishing her bachelors In Textile & Surface Design. Equipped with what she has learned during her years in art & design (from weaving to sculpting) Elizabeth takes care to individualize her lesson plans with her clients. She makes sure to tailor each lesson to expand on the child’s abilities and interests, approaching each child with a gentle and non-judgmental attitude. Having worked creatively and academically with children who have various disabilities as well as autism, she understands the importance of tactile, sensory based projects that develop cognition as well as motor coordination. She believes in the power of creativity, as well as its wonderful healing capacity. She is currently pursuing a master’s in the therapies so that she can work in a helping profession one day.

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Sue MacLeod

Prior to teaching, Sue enjoyed a career as a graphic designer, working in publishing, both in New York and overseas in Hong Kong. She spent many years designing books and calendars before following a life-long dream of becoming an art teacher. Besides working at Private Picassos, Sue enjoys being a substitute art teacher with the NYC department of education. Her degrees include a BA in studio art from Tulane University, a MFA in graphic design from the Academy of Art College and an Advanced Certificate in art and design education from Pratt Institute. Sue and her husband, both Boston natives, are now long-time Brooklyn residents where they live with their two kids and three beehives.

Julia Marion

Bio and photo coming soon!

Michela Muserra

Michela Muserra is an artist and illustrator born and raised in Italy. After graduating at the School of Visual Art she worked as a freelance illustrator creating short comics strips for some local zines and advertising cartoons for the web. Her work has been showed worldwide in galleries and reviewed on art books and magazines. In 2003 she moved to New York City where she currently lives and works. "If you are happy and you know if clap your hands" is her first picture book published by Caraco Editore, Italy 2015.

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Jodie Niss

Jodie Niss is a working artist and art teacher living in Brooklyn, New York.

Her studio practice involves a variety of painting and drawing techniques with a focus on figurative oil painting. She received her MFA from Pratt Institute in 2008 and her BFA from Savannah college of art and design with a minor in printmaking in 2004.

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Meredith Stein

Meredith received her BFA in Visual Arts from Roger Williams University and continued her studies at FIT in Fashion Illustration. With extensive child care experience, and a profound love for nurturing creativity in others, she felt compelled to move toward an art education path. Since then, she has worked as a teaching artist in after school programs and summer arts programs. Meredith is excited to continue working with children of all ages, and helping them to reach their creative potential.

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Aneta Wegrzyn

Aneta Wegrzyn is a teaching artists and a graduate of the MFA program at the Montclair State University, and holds an MA in painting from Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw. Aneta has been included in numerous international group exchibitons including Governonr Island Art Fair, MagnanMetz Gallery in NY, NY, Pratt Falls at Pratt Institute of Arts, and at the BWA Gallery in Wroclaw, PL. Aneta was awarded the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Scholarship, and is a Fulbright scholar currently living and working in Brooklyn.

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Kristin Winter

Kristin is a licensed and practicing Art Therapist in Brooklyn, NY. Her passion for the visual arts has led her from the study of mixed media techniques, to a degree in Social Psychology from McGill University, and finally to NYU, where she completed her Master's in Art Therapy. Throughout her studies, Kristin has had the opportunity to work with youth in a variety of settings both at home and abroad, including schools, hospitals, residential centers, and summer camps. Kristin believes in the empowering and healing potential of art making, and is excited to be a part of the team at Private Picassos!

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Jocelyn Yang

Born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, Jocelyn is currently pursuing her M.A. in Art Museum Education at the City College of New York, CUNY. Her belief that art should be for everyone prompted her to change career path to art educator from gallerist. With a focus on object-based learning, she has worked in several museums in the city, including the Met and Museum of Arts and Design. She also works at the Rubin Museum of Art as teaching artist. She is obsessed with ceramics, so don’t be surprised if you find clay stuck on her hands.

WESTCHESTER ART INSTRUCTORS

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Samara Sussman

Samara is a professional artist and certified art educator from Scarsdale, NY who loves working in the visual arts with children and adults. She has lead drawing, painting, collage making, printmaking and sculpture programs in the NYC public school system, Midchester Jewish Center, Camp Mohawk Country Day School, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Vanderbilt YMCA, Art Farm in the City and Studio in a School. She holds a Master's degree in Fine Art in Painting from Pratt Institute, a Bachelor's degree from SUNY Purchase in Fine Art, and a Bachelor's degree from SUNY Purchase in Languages (Hebrew and Spanish).

LONG ISLAND ART INSTRUCTOR

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Chris Sahr

After earning a degree in Art History & Museum Education from Furman University in South Carolina, she worked in the art departments of both Princeton University and The Parsons School of Design. As her family was growing, she co-chaired the Arts-in-Education programs at her children's LI schools and worked as aProp Coordinator, Scenic Designer and Assistant Director for many elementary and middle school drama productions. Most recently, she was an assistant teacher at a Montessori nursery school where she was known as the "art teacher". She loves nothing more than guiding children through the creative process and helping them take pride in their new creations.

Rebecca Montoya

Bio and photo coming soon!

PRIVATE PICASSOS ART STUDIO TEAM

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Diana Arizpe

Studio Manager & Head Art Teacher
Bio coming soon!

Analina Berofsky

Weekend Art Teacher & Birthday Party Coordinator
Analina Berofsky is born and raised here in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently working her Bachelors Degree in Early Education and Special Education and will Master in Art Therapy. She specializes in painting, drawing and photography. She has over eight years working/creating with children and has loved every minute of it. She hopes to bring the same level of enthusiasm where ever life takes her.

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Sue MacLeod

Prior to teaching, Sue enjoyed a career as a graphic designer, working in publishing, both in New York and overseas in Hong Kong. She spent many years designing books and calendars before following a life-long dream of becoming an art teacher. Besides working at Private Picassos, Sue enjoys being a substitute art teacher with the NYC department of education. Her degrees include a BA in studio art from Tulane University, a MFA in graphic design from the Academy of Art College and an Advanced Certificate in art and design education from Pratt Institute. Sue and her husband, both Boston natives, are now long-time Brooklyn residents where they live with their two kids and three beehives.

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Victoria Luzuriaga

Victoria Luzuriaga is a visual artist, writer, and researcher from Ecuador currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work is highly influenced by her scientific background in chemistry, bringing the concepts of experimentation and chance through the use of 35mm photography and multimedia works. In addition to her artistic practice, she conducts research on alternative psychology, art therapy, and artistic practices as a form of expression for childhood development. She is also the co-founder of El Sótano, an artist-run space that focuses on catalyzing art conversation.

Jessica Mendez

Jessica is very excited to be a part of the Private Picassos' team. She joins the team with experience working with school children from volunteering opportunities in Elementary schools for many years. She has tutored children in reading, helped with homework and partook in creating fun after-school activities for them, some relating to art. Jessica has always had a background in art since she was a young child. She enjoys working with many different kinds of mediums including drawing with pastels, graphite media, painting with acrylics and so on. Jessica is currently a full-time time student at Brooklyn College where she double majors in Psychology and Fine Arts. She plans on furthering her education to teach art.

Employment Opportunities

See below for our current employment opportunities.

Application process for all positions:

  1. Send a cover letter and resume to Valeen Bhat at valeen@privatepicassos.com.

  2. No phone calls please. If your experience is applicable, we will contact you directly.

PART TIME ART INSTRUCTOR FOR KIDS' ART CLASSES

Locations:

  • Manhattan

  • Brooklyn

  • Queens

  • The Hamptons

  • Long Island

  • Hoboken

  • Jersey City

Private Picassos is looking for a freelance art instructor to lead art classes for kids age 18 mos. - 12 years. Availability at least two weekdays after-school is a must. Classes take place in student's homes, schools, and kids' stores throughout the local area (see specific locations above). 

Travel to and from sites is a large part of this position. 

Payment is made on a per-class basis, once a month, which includes prep/class time and meetings.

Responsibilities include:

  • set-up, clean-up, prep and implementation of prepared fine-arts curriculum

  • organization of supplies and materials

  • correspondence with parents regarding lessons, progress reports, special events, etc.

  • curriculum development, with assistance of Director

Qualifications:

Required

  • experience teaching art to children under the age of 4

Preferred

  • pursuit or possession of bachelors or master's degree in art education, preferably with experience or interest in early childhood art education (work with children under the age of 4)