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Art Instructor
BFA  San Jose State University
MFA Hunter College of the City University of New York
College of Alameda, 555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway
Alameda, CA 94501

My website:
Here is a video of me playing guitar:

A video about keeping a sketchbook:


I grew up in California attending public schools. I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from San Jose State. I then moved to New York City and attended Hunter College where I received a Master of Fine Arts Degree.

I enjoy being an art teacher. Each class is an adventure. I believe education can be most effective with simplicity—I strive for a clear exchange of ideas.

My vision for the art department is one of creativity, community and commitment. I believe in the profession of art for those who feel a real pull and also the easy going quality of art for everyone. I think that art should be an ever present subject in school  because it is a way for all people to educate themselves of the profound experience of life. Exploring, experimenting, and pursuing ideas is the center of what art is.


Many people say that drawing is learning to see. If you want to draw, get a sketchbook and carry it with you. Draw the world around you. Being present and seeing is a beautiful way to start.  I believe that drawing is one of the most essential ways we communicate. Drawing classes should help you find your way with methods that bring life to your ideas. Drawing can immediately help you get yourself grounded. There is something about it that is primary for us — it is a beneficial act.


There are as many types of painting as there are people. People create paintings to see, to express, and to wonder about life. With painting people share their interests. Some works of artists have a strong regard for the representational world,  some pursue works of inward feeling. Painting is like poetry or music, an exploration of expressive form. I believe there is room for all forms of expression—for me art embraces the uncontrollable and unexplainable. I laugh thinking that maybe a graduation requirement of college should include one painting.

Here are a few….

Oakland Museum of California
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
Berkeley Art Museum
de young Museum and the Legion of Honor
Museum of the African Diaspora
Contemporary Jewish Museum
The Mexican Museum
San Jose Museum of Art




Oxford Art Online–visit our library:

Dr. Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe’s site:

Museum of Modern Art New York:


BBC Arts and Culture online:

Met Media:


National Gallery of Art Images:

Tate Modern in London:

Guggenheim Museum New York:

Oxford podcasts–You can search throughout the various departments:

Annenberg Learner:

Art of the Western World:


Professor Gabriel Navar

Credentials: AA in Social Sciences from College of Alameda (1990); BA in Art from Cal State East Bay at Hayward (1992); MFA from San Jose State University (1997) Classes previously taught: Beginning and Intermediate Drawing; Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Painting; 2-Dimensional Design; Color Theory; Digital Art; Mexican Art History; and Art Appreciation. Classes Currently Teaching: Art Appreciation/Art History Introduction        Website:


Professor Susan Leffingwell

Susan Leffingwell has taught drawing, painting and art history at the college. Currently Professor Leffingwell teaches Introduction to Art History and Modern Art History.




Professor Maria Guzman
Maria Guzman
Credentials: M.A. in Art History (Ohio University), B.F.A. in Painting/Drawing (Washburn University), and a B.A. in Art History (Washburn University)
Classes previously taught: ART 1 – 3, ART 122, ART 50
Classes currently teaching – ART 1 (Summer terms), which includes an optional Study Abroad trip to Berlin, Germany
Relevant Websites: Interested in learning more about the Study Abroad trip? Check out the Worldstrides page for information and register here.