Studio Art at College of San Mateo - Meet the Faculty
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Studio Art
Meet the Faculty

Rebecca Alex
Rebecca Alex
Title: Associate Professor, Chair of the 2D Art Program
Degrees: B.A., Colby College; ME, 6 yrs. study at The Art Students League of NY and The National Academy of Fine Art, NY with Robert Beverly Hale, Ted Seth Jacobs and Ron Scherr.; M.F.A., John F. Kennedy University, CA
Teaching Experience: Since 1995
Career Highlights: Exhibits nationally and internationally. Taught for CSM in London and Florence. The best is being part of students’ growth, manifested in their art work and excitement for art making.
Hobbies: Traveling, reading, theater, going to museums…but mostly, being in my studio and being with my family.
Quote: “When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it, shows there are still more pages possible.”
– Robert Henri, The Art Spirit
Noah Buchanan Noah Buchanan
Title: Adjunct Faculty
Degrees: B.A., UC Santa Cruz; M.F.A., New York Academy of Art
Teaching Experience: Since 2002
Career Highlights: Exhibiting in New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco since 2000. First solo show at John Pence Gallery, San Francisco in 2012. 11 foot Altar pieces for the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, WI. Teaching Figure Drawing at the Art Students' League in New York City in the same room where Robert Beverly Hale once taught.
Hobbies: 25+ years guitar player. 10+ years surfer
Quote: "First we draw what we see ... Then we draw what we know ... Then, we know what we see." - Robert Beverly Hale.
Kay CarnieKay Carnie
Title: Adjunct Faculty
Degrees: B.A., Florida Southern College, M.A. San Jose State University, M.F.A. San Jose State University
Teaching Experience: Since 1996
Career Highlights: Exhibited regionally and nationally in more than 40 shows. Signature member of National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America and California Watercolor Association. Work published in several books including three of the “Splash” series books. Wrote an article for Artist’s Magazine entitled “Primary Colors”.
Hobbies: Photography, traveling, reading, playing piano, museums, theater
Quote: “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Pablo Picasso; “We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.” – Winston Churchill; “Even the most mundane object has something of the sublime in it.” – unknown
Seth Eisen Seth Eisen
Title: Adjunct Faculty
Degrees: B.A. Performing Arts, Naropa University; 4 Year Certificate, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; M.A. John F. Kennedy University, Arts and Consciousness
Teaching Experience: Since 1992
Career Highlights: Exhibits, performs, curates and teaches nationally and internationally. Recipient of many grants and residencies.
Hobbies: Going to art events in all disciplines. Travel.
Quotes: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso; “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” – Twyla Tharp; “Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Andy Warhol; “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” – Marc Chagall
Sue Matthews Susan Matthews
Title: Adjunct Faculty
Degrees: B.A. Art, University of California Berkeley; M.F.A. Art, San Francisco State University
Teaching Experience: Since 1978
Career Highlights: Teaching art constantly renews my personal vision. Exhibiting pulls my work together. Researching Afro-Cuban folklore in collaboration with a team of Cubans and Americans, traveling and exhibiting with them in Cuba and Alaska has opened my mind to more questions than it has provided answers.
Hobbies: I speak Spanish and I love to travel in Spain, Cuba, and Latin America, and more recently in Africa. I play bongo in a salsa/son band called Nuevo Mundo. Studying music with great drummers in Cuba has given me new approaches to teaching art and new insights into being a student.
Quote: "I have become a questions addict." – Robert Irwin
Paddy Moran Paddy Moran
Title: Adjunct Faculty
Degrees: B.A. Art, San Jose State University; M.F.A. Pictorial Arts, San Jose State University
Teaching Experience: Since 1991
Career Highlights: Gallery Representation: Frederick Spratt Gallery San Jose (solo and group exhibitions.) Selected group shows: San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Triton Museum of Art, McPherson Center for Art, "California Works", California State Fair, Louie Meager Art Gallery, Stanford Faculty Club, Works Gallery.
Hobbies: Hiking and reading
Quote: "The older I get and the more I master the medium, the more I return to my earliest experiences. I think that at the end of my life I will recover all the force of my childhood." – Joan Miro
Deborah Rumer Deborah Rumer
Title:
Adjunct Faculty
Degrees:
B.A., San Jose State University; M.A., San Jose State University
Teaching Experience: Since 1975
Career Highlights:
Oakland Museum Dio de los Muertos participant, 2006. Instructor of Altered Books and mixed media. Years of meeting and working with fabulous students, continued studio exploration in all manner of media resulting in large outdoor mosaics, classical landscapes and drawings and small mixed media books.
Quote: “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” – Francis Bacon
Jim Smyth James Smyth
Title: Adjunct Faculty
Degrees: B.A., University of California, Berkeley
Attended: Academy of Fine Art, Florence, Italy; Ecole des Beaux Arts, Geneva, Switzerland; Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, France; New York Academy, N.Y.; Art Students League, N.Y.; National Academy, N.Y.; Repin Academy of Art, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Teaching Experience: Since 1971
Career Highlights:Teaching every aspect of drawing and painting for the past four decades has allowed me to meet people from all over the world.
Hobbies: Studying art history and trying to improve my French.
Quote: “Art is the perfect metaphor for life.” – Anonymous
Ming Ren Ming Ren
Title: Adjunct Faculty
Degrees: B.F.A., China Academy of Art; M.F.A., San Francisco Art Institute
Teaching Experience: Since 1984
Career Highlights: Professor at Rhode Island School of Design since 1988, working as a Consultant to the President for China Affairs for California College of the Arts and San Francisco Art Institute, and also a professor teaching the MFA program at Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in China. Participated in many domestic and international art exhibitions. Received a Gold Metal Award from Florence Biennial International Exhibition of Contemporary Art in Italy in 2003, and works have been officially collected by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, RISD Art Museum, and Central Academy of Fine Arts in China.
Hobbies: Music
Quote: Art is a life long pleasure.

Nico VandongenNico van Dongen
Title: Instructor
Degrees: M.F.A., Photography, Royal Academy of Visual Art, The Hague, The Netherlands
Teaching Experience: Since 1992
Career Highlights: Founder of portfolio pilots, creative consulting; internationally published and student awards; Adobe achievement award and ADDY awards.
Hobbies: Cooking and entertaining. playing guitar, camping, playing soccer and tennis, all of the arts
Quote: "Designers are catalysts of their time; their role is to translate the changes, the mutations and evolution of society." – Jean Paul Gaultier