MOCA Studio School Instructors


Megan Aguilar is a certified art teacher with experience teaching art to students of all ages.  In addition to teaching at MOCA, she has taught for James Madison University and Virginia Beach City Public Schools. She holds both a Masters of Art in Art Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from James Madison University. Her background is in fiber art and printmaking. 

Lea Bennett earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in sculpture and art education from James Madison University. Lea is MOCA's Outreach and Family Programs Coordinator and teaches a selection of Art Camp classes in the studios. She enjoys working with students of all ages and believes that art is part of everyday living.

Diana Laurel Caramat graduated from VCUarts at Virginia Commonwealth University with degrees in 'Sculpture & Extended Media' as well as 'Painting & Printmaking'. From 2011-2014 she served as Associate Department Chair for Visual Arts at the Governor's School for the Art.  As an actively exhibiting and award winning artist, her practice reflects a passion for public art and an interest in finding where sculpture meets printmaking.

Judith Chauvette got her professional start in the photographic world with Lifetouch Studios in 2008. After an enjoyable experience working with their company, she moved on to open her own photography business in the Hampton Roads area in early 2009 and has since been creating custom photography sessions for families, weddings and more. One of her passions is helping photographers get a firm grasp on all aspects of photography so they can fully utilize the equipment they possess and capture the best images possible.
Visit her website at

Donna Iona Drozda, a widely exhibiting and published painter and author, has artwork in a number of corporate collections and is a frequent presenter of workshops, lectures and classes both locally and nationally. Visit her web site at

Janet Lynn Eggen received a Bachelor of Science degree from Old Dominion University and studied at the graduate level at several state universities. She has served as an art instructor of children and adults in Northern Virginia and adult education systems for the past 30 years. She currently works as a full-time artist and teaches privately. Her award-winning oils and watercolors have been exhibited in several art galleries locally, as well as Northern Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. She was recently accepted a Signature Member of the Virginia Watercolor Society from whom she has also received two awards for her work.

Kim Herman,whose current creative outlet is in altered arts, mixed media and Zentangle, has over 25 years of experience working with children through her own home child care business, as well as Student Art Start, Family Fest, 1st Art and Pre-K programs at MOCA. She teaches numerous classes and workshops for adults and children at MOCA and in the local community. Kim is also a certified Zentangle instructore.

Lauren Keim is a photographer and blogger who has been managing her own blog site, Still + Life, since 2007.  Lauren documents her family, food, and her day-to-day life through beautiful imagery and artful text. You can visit Lauren's blog by clicking here.

Karla Mann holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drawing and painting from Old Dominion University. She is an experienced teacher, having formerly taught at Tidewater Community College, and is a winner of national and international awards for her figure drawings and paintings. Karla’s work has been widely published. Visit her website at

James O’Connor earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in printmaking and the book arts from the University of the Arts. He also received certification from the Italian Government as a qualified professional of fresco techniques.

Adam Parker holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Adam has taught 3D Animation and Digital Storytelling at MOCA and is currently the museum’s new media intern. He recently completed  his first animated film. Visit his website at  

Jacqueline Poutasse has been making books for almost twenty years. She has shown her work locally and has taught many classes and workshops in bookbinding and mixed media. Another one of Jackie’s passions is photography; she has been taking photographs ever since she could hold a camera. A few years ago she left the corporate world to pursue a career on her own in photography and the book arts and has never looked back. Visit her website at

Jerry Rice holds a Master in Teaching degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He is a professional educator and currently the Head of School at Ryan Academy in Norfolk. Jerry had been involved in the ceramics arts since 1972. Working across a wide range of techniques, he has focused largely on items that can be used on a daily basis – moving art into people’s hands.  He has designed, constructed, and operated a variety of kilns over the years. Jerry served on the board of the Cellar Art Gallery in Kirkland, Washington and showed his work in several galleries in the Pacific Northwest. 

Ali Rogan has been an award-winning artist and teacher for over 25 years.  Since 1999, she has been owner of Cristallo LLC, now operating as Director of the newCristalloArtCenter, in Newport News,Virginia.  Ms. Rogan has been an instructor at the Governor’s School for the Arts,Norfolk,Virginia since 1998, an Instructor/Faculty with the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, in Virginia Beach,Virginia since 1998 and Visiting Instructor at the new Chrysler Museum Hot Shop, since 2012.  She is has been a past President and present Board Member of the Peninsula Glass Guild inVirginia.  In 2013 she  received the Cultural Alliance "Alli Award" for Individual Arts Professional.  She has studied glass under the guidance of Czech maestros Juri Harcuba and Martin Rosol, Japan’s glass casting pioneers Shin-ichi and Kimiake Higuchi,  Italian cameo engraver Michaela Rinaldo, Seattle’s glass painting virtuoso Cappy Thompson, Mixed Media Sculpture Artists Tim Tate & Christinia Bothwell, VCU’s past glass professor, Kent Ipsen, plus many others.  Visit her website at

Dede Schmidt earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts as well as a teaching certificate from Eastern Michigan University. She taught at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Grand Rapids Michigan. Having shown her work locally as well as nationally, Dede has won awards for her ceramic design and excellent craftsmanship.

Rachel Singel grew up on a small farm in central Virginia. Her work is inspired by the natural forms she saw when working outside with her family or on walks around nearby properties. Her mother, a gifted artist and teacher, has always been her inspiration for wanting to pursue art. Rachel recently graduated with her M.F.A. in printmaking from the University of Iowa and taught and assisted printmakers at the Venice Printmaking Studio in the summer of 2013.

Suzanne Stevens holds a Master of Arts degree and is an award-winning painter and instructor with experience in a variety of media. She is a five-time recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award at the Governor’s School for the Arts, Richmond, most recently in 2006. Visit her website at