Art Instructors



Nancy Barasch has taught for over 35 years in the public schools and with small groups. Her talents lie in integrating people of varied backgrounds into a cohesive whole and bringing technology into the classroom.

Candace Birchfield’s ceramics path has taken her from learning bare basics on her own to studying in groups and privately with a teacher. “I love creating artwork by myself, without distractions. However, teaching others about the wonders of working with clay is a very rewarding and satisfying experience for me; I need both worlds. Creating my own works and sharing my experience and enthusiasm with others is a wonderful combination that keeps my work fresh and ever evolving.”

Mark Edwards has been teaching art in the Bay Area for 20 years including the EXCEL program at Sonoma State. He has illustrated three children’s books. He has been teaching here at the Arts Center for many years.

Barbara Golden was born in Basel, Switzerland, and lived in Germany and Canada before settling in Northern California. She has taught enrichment classes, summer camps and a variety of cartooning classes in multiple countries and is writing a Cartooning book based on all the experience she gained from her past 8 years of teaching and all the fun learning materials she has gathered over the years.

Christopher Newhard is a full time artist and part time art teacher who lives and works in Petaluma. Primarily a figurative and landscape painter, he graduated with an MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art and has taught figure drawing and portraiture at the San Francisco Academy of Art University for 16 years. For the last two years Chris has discovered the joy of teaching younger students at Meadow and Corona Creek Schools. This new and rewarding experience has allowed Chris to return to the basics of art-making and exploration of fundamental art concepts.

Evelyn Dolowitz Nitzberg holds a Fine Art Degree in Painting and Drawing from SFSU, 1975. She is a Signature Artist with Society of Western Artists. Ms. Nitzberg studied super realism with Charles Becker 1985-86 and taught Art for many years for the Petaluma and Santa Rosa City Schools and in the Presidio, Arts and Crafts, SF. She is currently teaching for Petaluma Community Education and in her studio; she has hosted Art Parties since 1995. Her award winning paintings and drawings hang in collections across the U.S. Evelyn’s extensive portfolio includes biological illustration for SRJC and for Ron Patterson, mural painting for International Typographical Union, graphic design for musicians Norman Greenbaum, Steve Adelson and the band Signia. Her students say that she’s a natural art teacher, that it gushes out of her; that she doesn’t let her students stop working on a piece until they’re proud of the work they’ve done.

Catherine Richardson was born in Yorkshire, England, and lives/works in Sonoma County. She grew up near the moors and dales of northern England and attended art college in London for her BFA. Her own sense of belonging to two separate countries serves as a portal into the greater human experience. Referencing history, particulars of place and time become her poetic layering of imagery. Her paintings juxtapose influences gleaned from being in the untamed rural with those of an urban course. After graduating with an MFA from John F Kennedy University, Berkeley, CA, Catherine was grantee of the Sonoma County Emerging Artist award.

Denise Ward

Jacki Yurth moved to Petaluma from SF in 1992 to raise her two children. She started doing art projects in their playgroups and when they started school, she volunteered as an art docent. She was hired by the Waugh School District to teach art in 1999. There, she created her own art curriculum to give children a solid foundation in art techniques, different mediums and art history. She is currently teaching art at Sonoma Mountain and Old Adobe schools. She has taught summer camps and after-school classes at the PAC for seven years. Teaching art to kids and watching their joy at trying new things and making cool art is one of her favorite things.

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  • Current Exhibition

    Current Exhibition

    April 14 through June 16
    Curated by Kate Blakeslee