Michael Symber is the Head Instructor and owner of Michael Symber Studios. A native of Elmhurst, he attended York High School where amazing art teachers inspired him to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, and for the next six years worked as a weldor and sculptor's assistant for the Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt.
Ever drawn to teaching, Michael attended Northeastern Illinois University and received his teaching certificate from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. During a 28 year career in public school, Michael was recognized for his incredible ability to give artists of all ages his amazing knowledge of the art experience, but also the confidence to move forward as artists themselves.
Throughout his career, Michael has been a working artist sculpting in welded steel, cast bronze ,clay, plaster, and painting in oils. He has shown his work at the Walker Fine Arts Gallery in Denver Colorado, the Foothills Art Center in Golden Colorado, as well as acted as juror for many exhibitions. His ability to recognize his students' needs, and bring his own excitement and enthusiasm to their learning makes his studio indeed a uniquely, safe and nurturing environment for passionate artists to learn.
Jodi Kushik-Sinclair has been a teacher for 23 years working as a learning specialist for diverse populations of every ability and background. Her creative strength lies not only in the arts, but in recognizing learning styles to develop academic behaviors that will allow her students to shine as confident artists. Jodi works diligently with each student to ensure that they are fully experiencing and owning the artistic process based on his or her needs.
Jodi has taught Special Education & Literacy in Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado and Illinois. She earned her Master’s degree in Special Education at the University of Colorado Denver, and has been certified to teach English Language Learners through Denver Public Schools. She is very knowledgeable in the curriculum development of Social-emotional Learning, Mindfulness, Learning Disabilities, English Language Learning, Differentiation, Autism, and Down Syndrome. Jodi has won the Teacher of the Year award, once in the Steamboat Springs School District and once as a co-recipient of the “Mile High Teacher of the Year” in Denver Public Schools, Colorado.
It was Jodi’s outstanding AP Art teacher in high school that ignited her passion for painting, sketching and jewelry making. As a teacher, she focuses on the abilities of each student, and celebrates the learning differences, believing that ALL students can become the artist that they have always wanted to be!
Jodi is most proud of being River Lilly’s mom. Not only does her beautiful, vivacious daughter drive her passion for life, she provides her with the first hand experiences of Down Syndrome. River is without a doubt, an incredible unique gift who furthers Jodi’ s empathy & understanding as a teacher to address the special needs in all of us! Her thoughtful, differentiated instruction provides a dynamic learning experience for students of all abilities!