Athenaeum's School of the Arts Student Testimonials—Summer 2020

Read testimonials from real Athenaeum School of the Arts students and see examples of their art works. You, too, can create art and join the Athenaeum's artist community!



Spring 2020 Testimonials >




Lori Mitchell

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art classes with Lori Mitchell on Monday afternoons or Wednesday mornings.


Paulette Rodgers Leahy

I enjoyed Lori’s art class on Zoom so much! More please!!!!!




Stephanie Goldman

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Stephanie Goldman.


Kathleen Howarth​

It gets easier the more you use Zoom. Stephanie gives excellent feedback both during the class and in her own time.




Jill Badonsky

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Jill Badonsky.



Katherine Johnsen​


Instagram: @auntie_faffy 

I didn't want this course to end. Each week, our instructor brought new, fun, thoughtful and surprising writing activities that felt refreshing, inspiring and playful. I especially liked the variety offered in the writing and image/picture prompts. Using Art to inspire writing and writing to inspire art is such a wonderful strategy designed to support my creativity and self-expression journey. Thank you Jill Badonsky and I can't wait for the next class!


Chuck Laughlin​

Take yourself too seriously? Wish you could reconnect with childlike wonder? Then Jill is the coach for you. She brings delight to her classes.


Marilyn Schendel

Writing as Art class combined writing inspirations and ways to approach writing in very creative and useful ways. Art and writing both go hand in hand and to lead one to a creative path.


Robin Anderson

This course combined writing and art in ways that strengthened my belief in my artistic/writing skills and boosted my creativity.


Marci Wenn

I felt my creativity open in new and exciting ways. Jill and all the participants were wonderful.


Elizabeth Winant

Thinking about and doing writing is very new to me. I am a scientist with no writing experience except for dry scientific papers. Jill encourages and offers the space to give it a try, and also be pleased with your results. So exciting.


Kathy Gonzales​

I loved, loved this class "Writing as easy as Art", the fact that it was online enabled me to take the class given I don't live near the Athenaeum, so taking it online fit my needs. This class was not only fun but inspiring, Jill Badonsky inspires and encourages you in your journey of Art and Writing! I love her energy and humor! The class was great and interactions were fun! I recommend this course or any one given by this instructor.


Michele Moritz​

Writing As An Easy Art came forth at just the right time and place for my participation! Jill Badonsky made the class so free, fun and enjoyable on so many levels. She is highly skilled at bringing out the best in her students in an unforced, kind and playful manner. I highly recommend any future courses she teaches through the Athenaeum.


Marie Nelson

Excellent, nurturing, supportive instructor. Joyous approach and lovely class members. I highly recommend Jill for nurturing creativity.




David Krimmel

She was inspiring and gave great prompts for writing. Combine that with her art prompts and you have a super class for creative output.


Karen Sage​

Jill Badonsky always has a million fresh ideas to spark your creativity. And the response from the students is refreshing and fun! I looked forward to every class Like a little kid!




Ken Goldman

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Ken Goldman.


Elena Romanowsky

Ken Goldman is a fantastic teacher!! 
He is so gifted in all mediums and he is kind and a great style!! 
He responds to each student at their level and encourages everybody!! 
Loved it 
Thank you




Pat Kelly

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Pat Kelly.


Mary May

Pat is an excellent teacher. She covers Art history, the personal journey of painting and the 'how to' of painting. One of the best instructors I've ever had.




Sharon Carol Demery

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Sharon Carol Demery.


Chuck Laughlin

Sharon is a gifted instructor. Patient, and always encouraging to her students.


Elaine Hall

I learned so much in this class. Sharon is a super teacher who gives excellent advice on improving your own painting as class proceeds. I don’t think the learning experience was diminished at all by taking a zoom class versus the classroom experience. I was inspired by taking this class and will definitely be signing up for another.




Stan Goudey

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Stan Goudey.


Caroline Hightower

I want to THANK Stan Goudey taking on the task of a ZOOM class and for being such an insightful, patient, and giving teacher. Your depth of knowledge and your supportive instruction has even valuable and encouraging. I love watching your demonstrations.... every time it's a magical experience! The Athenaeum is to be commended for adapting to the times and providing us with the opportunities to learn, to express, to create and to stay in the moment with ART. Students have an excellent, wide and varied selection of classes to choose.


Judith Langhoff

I have taken Stan's classes for several years and he never ceases to amaze me with his well-planned classes. He always includes information which expands ones' knowledge of materials, techniques, and the world of art in general. His skill transcends various mediums and I look forward to this art adventure with him with a smile on my face.


Carla Fox

A very good class for beginners or experienced watercolor students. Stan is patient with questions and classmates were also very helpful with tips on sources of art supplies, techniques and other useful information. It's helpful for students to come prepared with subjects they'd like to paint and areas of watercolor they'd like to learn about since Stan will help coach them through their projects and provide demonstrations as well during classes.




Ernesto Rivera

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Ernesto Rivera.


Brenda Sacks

Ernesto's enthusiasm makes this class interesting and exciting. My understanding of the workings of my camera has gone to a whole new level.


Mapenzi Sefu​

If you interested in photography not worry the right place for you is Athenaeum school helped me in that time that I’m need and I really enjoyed it, it really amazing just try it and see I promise you going to love. Thank you.




Ken Goldman

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Ken Goldman.


Ingrid Turner

Ken Goldman wrote the book ‘Drawing Hands & Feet.’ This class teaches an understanding of the anatomy & how to draw simply. Good drawings lead to successful paintings.


Stephanie Friedrich

Ken just published a book on anatomy of hands & feet, so this was sure to be an excellent experience. Bones, tendons, muscles are magnificently complex. Ken makes sense of these complicated subjects focusing on the artistic message. he made a challenging topic interesting, accessible and fun.


Mary Pennell

Ken is a knowledgeable and generous instructor whose teaching is based in classic fine art skills. He provides a clear process to support learning and individual expression.




Sharon Carol Demery

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Sharon Carol Demery.


Penelope Coscia

I've taken classes for many years and am so please to be able to continue during these extraordinary days because of the introduction of online classes. Sharon Demery continues to instruct and inspire!

My 12-year-old granddaughter Zoe took the zoom class with me which made it extra special.

Thanks very much for making this experience happen for all of us during the pandemic.  It’s so great to feel connected to other student artists and teachers






Annabel Bishop

Sharon’s course inspired curiosity, creativity & courage!


Helena Angelides​

Instagram: @hangelinteriordesign

Instructor very supportive and encouraging.




April Mitchell

Summer 2020


Diane Tindall

Instagram: @dtinall982020

Taking April’s Zoom class was so fun and inspiring. She’s such a gifted teacher and illustrator. She demoed many techniques allowing us to play and experiment with materials as well as offering many online links to resources.



Anne Zadek


This class is a fun way to try out new media and to use old media in new ways. Every class was unique, different and interesting. April is a supportive, enthusiastic teacher and a talented artist.




Jill Badonsky

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Jill Badonsky.


Sue River

As I’m sure you already know, Jill is a remarkable teacher! I don’t think I’ve ever learned more and had more fun than in her class!  

This was my first art class since grade school and exactly what I needed during this time of the world turned upside down! Even if the world was ‘right side up’ I would still have loved it!

She has a wonderful presence and is a kind, nonjudgmental witness to us and still offers insightful, wise suggestions on how we could enhance our work. 

Even though I’m a beginner, she has a way of instilling confidence and urges us to set aside perfectionism and comparison (two lifelong challenges for me). This, along with her sparkling sense of humor and warm, authentic nature has made taking this class; a truly JOY-full experience for me. 

I sincerely hope that you will invite Jill to teach many more classes! She’s the bomb


Jane Echols

Jill’s class in watercolor was innovative, unusual and fun. I loved the ability she has to bring out the ‘wild abandon.’ Every artist, beginner to advanced can learn something new which was exactly what we all need.


Marie Vickers

Instagram: @mvickers3353


Love her ease and flow of how she presents the material. Lightheartedness, humor, relatability. Fun! It was exactly as I had anticipated, learned some new things. Enjoyed my time with all in the class.






Sharon Carol Demery

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Sharon Carol Demery.


Sue Kuempel

This is the second ‘zoom’ class I’ve taken with Sharon Demery. I was introduced to her through my sister who lives in La Jolla. I live in Texas and plan on taking another class with Sharon. She’s a great instructor and with this format of zoom I am able to get her great knowledge of art. I highly recommend her and plan on continuing to take classes with her.


Robin Flink

Instagram: @1californiagirl

Sharon Carol takes the complicated subject of color theory and breaks it down into user friendly color charts. The ways in which hues can be transformed into various tones, tints and shades was worth the price of admission! It was not as intimidating as I feared... she walks through the mixing of colors and you can watch her do this on her palette-easy to replicate when you watch it being done. Very valuable class that has already helped me to approach my painting with a clearer intention about color choices.


Grace Benton

Best class I never knew I needed. Feeds the SOUL, especially in such a time of global upheaval and crisis. Designated time to be still, have fun, and even learn a thing or two!


Laure Brost Halliday

Awesome class!




Sibyl Rubottom

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Sibyl Rubottom.


Petey (Melora) Dietz​

Instagram: @plloyddtz


My first Zoom class experience and it was wonderful. A small, friendly, and enthusiastic group sharing their love for altering books. Sibyl is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic teacher. I look forward to taking another class in the fall.


Carol Denenberg​

Wonderful, thoughtful, caring, clear instructions, the class became friends very quickly on line, Sibyl really knows her subject matter.


Claire Hsu Accomando​

I loved the class and found it inspired me to create. I also enjoyed the project the other members of the class shared on zoom. I was grateful for the online class, and would not have been able to attend otherwise. Thank you for offering this course.






Kirsten Francis

Summer 2020


Learn more about the current Fall Session art class with Kirsten Francis.


Rebecca Randall

Instagram: @rajrandall_art

Kirsten was a great teacher and she definitely pushed me and the other class participants out of our comfort zones. Without this class I probably wouldn't have tried as many types of collages!


Jeanne Milbrath

I loved it. Kirsten was well versed on every topic and provided valuable information on artists and techniques. Her approach is precise and empowering. I’d recommend it highly to anyone with an interest in collage and mixed media.


Yelena Chaulk​

I loved the class, and would absolutely take it again. Kirsten did a great job adapting a class that should have been in person into zoom format. I learned so much and really enjoyed my time.


Shaney Watters​

This was probably the best online/in general art class I have taken. Kirsten was so well prepared and shared so many inspiring works. I also think the hallmark of a great class is when every student’s work looks different and it did!

Great variety of different exercises, well planned classes, I liked starting classes with a slide show of student work from the week, and my only complaint would be that it’s over too soon.

I can’t think of any improvement. As said, I appreciated all of the efforts put into creating a stimulating class. It also worked really well to have the 2 views of instructor and work. There was no fluff or padding that I noticed, everything was useful. I realize this may sound over the top but, as someone who has taken a number of online art classes in the past, this one really exceeded my expectations and gave me lots of ideas to make collage part of my art process


Stacy Keck

Instagram: @stacykeck

I've been looking for new ways to express myself creatively, and Kirsten's collage class was exactly what I needed. Her expertise and guidance were especially helpful in teaching me new techniques that built confidence in working with a new creative medium. I'm excited to put these skills to use and keep creating new things!


Alan Cohen​

This course is an inspiring, comprehensive dive into the world of collage. Kirsten is a very talented and generous instructor. Her presentations were informative, focused and inspiring. She was generous in sharing her personal techniques and insights. She shared her wealth of knowledge of a range of historical and contemporary collage artists and an array of collage techniques and supplies. It was exciting to participate in a class with a diverse group of motivated students. This class is excellent for both the novice and the experienced artist.



Athenaeum's School of the Arts


Since its inception in 1986 as part of the long-established Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, the School of the Arts has grown to reflect the artistic spirit of the San Diego art community. Our mission at the school is to provide educational arts programs which offer meaningful art experiences for all ages and to fulfill the library’s goal of having a depth and accessibility of resources and programs found nowhere else in the region. The School offers classes at two locations: La Jolla (1008 Wall Street) and at the Athenaeum Art Center at Bread & Salt (1955 Julian Ave, San Diego, California). Athenaeum students learn the history, traditions, and principles of the fine arts. School faculty are experienced artists as well as outstanding educators, dedicated to inspiring students of all backgrounds. The School provides the opportunity for individualized instruction in its intimate class sizes, allowing students to develop their own styles and artistic identities. Appropriate for the full range of student abilities and ages - beginner, intermediate, and professional artist - the School's curriculum includes courses that focus on helping students to develop technical skills, creativity, critical thinking, respect for diverse aesthetic and intellectual views, and the pursuit of excellence.  

The School of the Arts currently offers weekly classes and weekend workshops during fall, winter, and spring sessions. Summer classes are typically scheduled in one-week blocks. Courses include drawing, painting, (oil, watercolor, acrylic, encaustic), sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, letterpress, book arts, photography, mixed media, floral design, and new media. The School publishes a quarterly brochure, listing scheduled classes, workshops, and other Athenaeum events. The class schedule is also listed online.