Art & Design Instructors

MIRIAM ALOUF, born in Israel, is a board certified teacher graduate from WIZO teacher’s seminar and the London School of Arts where she studied Ceramics and Sculpture. Her work was shown in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and New York. She taught soldiers Arts and Crafts while she served in the Israeli army. In addition, Miriam was the founder of the Ceramic Center in Great Neck where she held art classes and parties for 25 years.

DARYA GAUTHIER received her B.A. in Dramatic Literature from New York University. Art and theatre have always been a part of her life, and she has been teaching Fine Art in a studio setting since she was 16 years old. For the past ten years, she was an art teacher at the Montessori School of Manhattan. During that time, she also worked as a stage manager, scenic painter, assistant director, director and set designer on various off- and off-off-Broadway productions all over New York City. She is currently the Associate Artistic Director of Gia Forakis & Company.

ELIZEH HAKIMI earned her Bachelor degree in Fine Art major in Interior Design from New York Institute of Technology in 2003. She has been a fine artist and professional illustrator . Her art work is known for its fearless use of imagination, color, abstract and design. She has been teaching Art for the past 13 years influencing the mind of many kids in Great Neck and Queens school district. In addition she is approved owner of her own interior design and jewelry making business for the past 10 years. She enjoys teaching students about art and it’s connections to their world. It is her intention to provide a welcoming environment of individual attention and creative expression.

KAREN HUBELA has her Permanent Certification in Art Education. She has extensive experience teaching art to nursery through high school students, portfolio development to Adult Ed watercolor painting. She has also developed art programs for disabled adults and seniors. Her students have won NYS Scholastic Art Scholarships. She is a John Lidstone Award recipient and a Brooklyn Museum Summer Teaching Fellow. Karen loves connecting students to art and nature. Her own artwork ranges from drawing, painting, illustration, mixed-media collage, murals to woodworking.

JESUS MODESTO has a B.F.A., Long Island University and his Certification in Art Education. He has taught and presented in the state of New York and Atlixco Puebla, Mexico. During his travels to Mexico, Jesus taught in elementary and secondary schools such as Heroes del 4 de Mayo and Melchor Ocampo. He has experience working at the Nassau County Museum of Art, teaching at the elementary level. Jesus also taught at the Hillwood Art Museum located in Brookville New York serving as an art educator and working with curators as well as other artists. He is currently working with children with special needs for the Great Neck Public School District. Among his many artistic talents, Jesus is proficient in Photoshop CS6, Maya 3D animation software, & digital photography.

REBECCA MONTOYA received her BFA from Cooper Union and her Master’s in Art Education from Queens College. She started as a realistic portrait painter and currently explores nonrepresentational and minimalist art. She worked for a decade in fashion before having a career change and becoming an art teacher. She encourages students to be creative and think outside of the box. She brings real world experience to her classes and stresses the importance of learning the basic building blocks of art.

ELLEN SCHIFF has a BA in Fine Arts, Queens College and a MFA, School of Visual Arts, Hunter College. She was the Creative Director and Artist for ES DESIGNS, specializing in branding. As Associate Creative Director for BrandEdge, she developed corporate campaigns, logos and product branding. She teaches multimedia classes in GNAC’s Outreach Programs; Children’s Art Studio Whitestone; YMHA ‘Children’s Art’; and painting at YMHA, ‘Adult Ed’. She has exhibited her artwork at the 9th New Century Gallery, NYC; PS 122 Contemporary Art; Fordham Art Gallery, Texas; Lincoln Center Art Gallery NYC; and numerous other NYC venues. She has received several awards including Art Directors Club Video and Print awards and is a member of Art Initiatives, NYC. Currently she teaches Intermediate Art  and Advanced level 11 Art Portfolio class at the Gold Coast Arts Center, as well as acting director of the school of the arts.