Many of Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington’s instructors are professional artists and art educators who have achieved the highest degrees in their field. MoCA Arlington instructors teach regularly at the museum, as well as at local elementary schools and universities.
Sarah Emily Balough is a visual artist and art educator based in Alexandria, Virginia. She received a M.F.A in Oil Painting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and holds a B.A in Studio Art from the Robert E. Cook Honors College. Inspired by The Golden Age of Illustrations, Balough’s watercolor and ink illustrations draw from popular culture, folklore, and her own experiences to convey the complexities of the concept of home and the act of homemaking. Depicting women engaged in strange, and often precarious tasks, Balough’s work is concerned with the sedimentation and evolving components of the idea of “home.” Mainly, how the act of being “at home” or not having a “home” has become a stock measurement for our lives. When not teaching or creating art, Balough dreams of living in an old house in Maine with many donkeys.
Eliza Clifford is a designer, arts educator, and multidisciplinary artist based in Washington, D.C. Her work focuses on ideas surrounding womanhood, mental health, ephemeral identities, and evolving social/political environments. She utilizes a variety of mediums, including intaglio, serigraphy, book arts, comics, and textiles. She currently works as a Designer and Bookbinder at Distinctive Bookbinding and Leather works and as an instructor and studio artist at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center. She also owns and operates a small online store, Lavender Lizard Press, that makes handmade prints on paper, textiles, and other hand sewn goods.
Anjelika Deogirikar Grossman
Anjelika Deogirikar Grossman loves typography, design and color theory and draws inspiration from textiles, political posters, and patterns found in nature. She explores her creative pursuits through many mediums: including watercolor, collage, printmaking, calligraphy, fiber arts, and photography. She is an instructor at Case for Making, a San Francisco-based watercolor supplier and online studio community. She is a scientist, researcher, and educator; by day, Anjelika is the Associate Director of the Massive Data Institute at Georgetown University. Anjelika’s Portfolio.
Jade is a visual artist specializing in non-traditional drawing and painting—with a warm place in her heart for portraiture and realism—and who has been teaching these concepts to children and adults, alike, since 2013. Jade is also an accomplished songwriter and vocalist who brings her experience with stage performance to her captivating style of instruction. She holds both a BFA in Art & Visual Technology; and her beloved cat, Picasso, as often as his spoiled self demands.
Robert French has taught at MoCA Arlington since 2014. With a background in studio art and art history, Robert has also taught art for Arlington Public Schools and currently teaches art history at Northern Virginia Community College. Robert’s own artistic focus has been on sculpture and in particular, ceramics. He feels that art is a necessity for any culture to thrive.
Becca Kallem is an Arlington-based artist and art educator. She is a resident artist at MOCAA, where her artistic practice focuses on painting and drawing abstract symbols and motifs from life. Her work has been shown at the Heiner Gallery (DC), Artisphere (VA), Washington and Lee University (VA), the College of William and Mary (VA), Boston University (MA), and the Bowery Gallery (NY), in addition to other galleries and art spaces in the DC area. She has held a Fulbright fellowship in Madrid, Spain, as well as artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She currently teaches art for MoCA Arlington and Arlington Public Schools. Becca’s teaching experience also includes classes and workshops for Arlington County Parks and Recreation, the George Washington University, the Luce Center of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Knowledge Commons DC.
Originally from Wisconsin, Melanie Kehoss received an MFA from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007 and a BA in Art from Lawrence University in 2002. Her multimedia papercut art has appeared in over eighty exhibitions throughout the US, and she serves as VP of Membership for the Guild of American Papercutters. Melanie joined MoCA Arlington as an instructor in 2012, and has also taught at Georgetown University, Carthage College, US Arts Center, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Cecilia Kim is an artist and educator living and working in Washington D.C. She received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her practice draws from various backgrounds and is based in video and multi-media installation. Kim was awarded The 19th Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards. Her work has also been shown in solo and group shows including Hamiltonian Gallery (Washington D.C.), The Immigrant Artist Biennale (NYC/virtual), 0 GALLERY (Seoul, Korea), Target Gallery (Alexandria, VA), The Anderson Gallery (Richmond, VA), and Hume Gallery (Chicago, IL). Kim has been a resident artist at Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency, Corsicana Artist and Writer Residency, VisArts Bresler Residency, and Busan International OpenArts Residence. Kim is currently a 2021-23 Hamiltonian Artists Fellow and teaches at American University and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Stephanie Lane brings more than 30 years of fine art experience to MoCA Arlington. From 1982 to 1989, she served as picture researcher and editor for the National Geographic Society. From 1999 to 2004, she studied abstract art at the Corcoran College of Art and Design under William Christenberry, participating in all of Christenberry’s master classes. Since then, Stephanie has become a commercial muralist and continues her fine art practice in the DC area. Her paintings and drawings have been included in numerous juried exhibitions and have received a number of awards. Stephanie’s photography has been featured in National Geographic magazine and her photo work is represented by National Geographic Creative. Stephanie lives and works in Bethesda, MD where she maintains a studio.
Lindsay Mueller is an artist and arts educator based in Arlington, Virginia. Mueller received a BFA in Painting and a BA in Psychology from Boston University, and she is currently working towards an MFA in Visual Arts at American University. Mueller’s paintings and drawings consider human relationships to local landscape, often emphasizing chromatic inventiveness, ambiguous spaces, and moments of connection through mark making. Since moving to Virginia in 2019, she has exhibited her work at galleries including Gallery B in Bethesda, Brentwood Arts Exchange, and the Katzen Rotunda at American University. In 2023 she received the Bethesda Painting Young Artist award, and she is a recipient of the Carol Bird Ravenal Art Award for artistic research.
Molly McCracken was raised in a creative family in Michigan and now lives in Arlington with her own creative family. Throughout her career, Molly has worked with artists of all ages, from toddlers and preschoolers exploring materials as a first art experience, to established artists doing research in museum collections at the National Museum of the American Indian. Molly currently co-chairs a program at a local elementary school which offers art history lessons with a complimentary project to all classrooms. Her own art focuses primarily on collage and abstract acrylic painting; however, Molly loves to try everything and has experimented with drawing, oils, printmaking, ceramics, fiber arts, and bookmaking.
Natalie Regan is an arts educator, art historian, and artist. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2023 with a B.A. in Art History and Psychology. Her practice is grounded in 35 mm film photography and watercolor, with a focus on creating dreamy, abstract compositions that incorporate texture, movement, and light. Inspired by her experiences working in psychiatry and museums, she believes art is a powerful tool for connection and self-exploration. She hopes to foster a lifelong passion for the arts for all of her students.
Gabriella Rodriguez is a multimedia artist originally formerly based in Las Vegas, Nevada. She obtained a BA in Studio Art and Psychology from Whittier College in 2021. Inspired by the mundane, early formed memories, and cultural symbols, Gabriella uses many mediums such as oil painting, drawing, fabric textiles, 3D elements, and stop motion animation to create similar yet vague scenes that place viewers in a conceptual field of memory and identity. Her personal goal is to be part of local artistic communities, like MoCA Arlington, and act as an aide to bring members of these communities together through creation, education and engagement.
Marisa Stratton is a painter whose work explores contemporary portraiture in the context of screens. Marisa holds a BFA in Communication Arts with a minor in Painting + Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University. While pursuing her degree, she participated in multiple group exhibitions including Delivery Systems (Joseph Gross Gallery, Tuscon, AZ) and Made in VA (Virginia MoCA, Virginia Beach, VA). Stratton has recently been featured in New American Paintings and Oxford-based publication, The String Mag.
Emily Sullivan is a painter currently working on the east coast. She grew up in Cincinnati, OH and attended Xavier University, completing a BFA in Painting, Drawing, and Art Education. She earned an MFA in Painting at Colorado State University, and has taught both college and community painting classes. Sullivan’s most recent solo show, Moments and Place was exhibited in March 2022 at Kreuser Gallery. She had a two-person exhibition at Blo Back Gallery in Pueblo, CO in October 2019. In 2020, Sullivan was an Artist in Residence at The Machine Shop in Colorado Springs, which culminated in a solo show titled Distance, Presence. Sullivan lived and worked in Colorado Springs, CO from 2019-2022 before relocating to the Washington, DC area, where she currently paints in her home studio.
Olivia Tripp Morrow
Olivia Tripp Morrow is a visual artist and art instructor who grew up in Alexandria, VA, and currently lives in Washington, DC. Olivia earned a BFA in Sculpture from Syracuse University in December of 2012. Prior to becoming an instructor at MoCA Arlington, Olivia worked at a Makerspace where she taught laser cutting, MIG welding, media blasting and powder coating, plasma cutting, 3D printing, and metal clay classes to kids and adults. Olivia is currently a resident artist at MoCA Arlington, where she also has an installation on view in the atrium. Olivia has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally, including in solo exhibitions at Arlington Arts Center (2021), IA & A at Hillyer (2019) and Anacostia Arts Center (2019). Olivia’s installations are on permanent loan at the National Institute of Health and at the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington.
Jennifer Wilkin Penick
Jennifer Wilkin Penick studied studio art in Portland, Oregon, before receiving an MA in Italian Art History from the University of Washington. She lived in Rome, Italy, for 25 years before moving to Virginia in 2001. Her small-format collage and multi-media works explore themes of history, art history, collecting, and natural history. Her works often use vintage European paper, photos, maps, and engravings. In addition to exhibiting her work in Rome, Portland, and Arlington, she is a contributing artist to the nationwide Art-o-Mat project.