2 weeks, July 11-15  & 18-22 / 10 am- 3:00 pm  / Teens Ages 13-17

We are partnering with Positive Images to provide a safe and inclusive space for teens to find their artistic voice through radical self expression. In this two week camp students will explore themes that matter to them through a variety of unconventional art forms led by local and visiting artists.  Students will also learn how art can be used as an outlet to communicate issues important to them and to make change. 

This camp will offer an artistic community of inclusion for all identities of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity.

(Positive Images is a grassroots organization whose mission is to provide support, advocacy and education to Sonoma County’s LGBTQIA+ community. We nurture positive self image through creating an affirming environment where everyone can explore their identities, develop leadership skills and participate in building a just and equitable society)



1. Do students have to identify as LGBTQIA + to attend the Self Expression Camp? 

No, this is an “All Inclusive Camp” which is art focused giving students the opportunity and tools they need to explore what they believe in.  It is intended to be a safe space for those who identify as LGBTQIA+ as well as their allies to be themselves and to honor each other’s differences. 

2. Can you elaborate on the themes or issues that will be explored? 

We are providing the vehicle for their self expression. We are dedicated to giving students the agency to explore what it is that they think, feel and believe. Some of the themes that will come up are community, hope, fear, empathy, communication and more.

3. Who are the Instructors? 

We hand select specific artists for their creativity, experience working with youth and their artistic bravery to provide the participants with a variety of unique art forms that aren’t offered elsewhere. This is special! Artists include poets, zine artists, theater and movement artists, ceramicists, muralists and more.

Meet the Instructors 

Eric Jackson (he/him), Sonoma Community Center’s Creative Programs Manager & Fiber Arts Department Head, has been a Costume Designer for Sonoma Arts Live, and participated for over 8 years as a Director, Choreographer, Costume Designer, Props Master and Performer with Transcendence Theatre Company.  NYC performing credits include television, film, and commercial work and Broadway and National tours. Eric has also been a Guest Instructor at the University of Alabama, Birmingham and Siena Heights University and has taught workshops and masterclasses in New York City with the Broadway Student Lab, Broadway Artists Alliance, and the Broadway Classroom.  He graduated with a BFA from the University of Michigan.  

Ash Hay

Ash Hay (they/she) grew up in the San Fernando Valley among a large family of makers and creators who nurtured their interest in art from a very young age. Ash moved to Sonoma County to attend Sonoma State University where they received their BFA in printmaking and is currently living and working in Santa Rosa.

For Ash, visual art is the most natural way to explore and express ideas of identity and communication in a way that connects them to the skills and craft that they have been honing since they were a child. Ash continues to expand their work among a supportive network of local artists who create opportunities for themselves and others. 

Ash has created work for SOMO Village, has participated in numerous community craft fairs and festivals, hosted a local Drink & Draw program, and was a 2019 Creative Sonoma Discovered Award grant recipient. Ash’s deep connections to community play a large role in their work and they are often asking “ How does the experience in my body reflect that of the collective body?”

Chelsea Rose Kurnick

Chelsea Rose Kurnick (she/her) is a writer and multimedia artist. received the 2019-2020 Discovered Award for Emerging Artists and Writers from Creative Sonoma. Chelsea’s poetry was featured in the Discovered group exhibition at the Museum of Sonoma County, where she co-taught workshops on creating poetry to respond to visual art. She is the LGBTQIA+ film programmer with Alexander Valley Film Society. Chelsea won two 2020 awards from the California News Publishers Association for her reporting in the North Bay Bohemian.

Chelsea is most passionate about producing arts events by and for the LGBTQIA+ community. Highlights include The Party of your Dreams (Seattle, 2014), Father’s Gay: a queer music festival (Santa Rosa, 2019) and Subversive Submersive: a trans-positive, fat-positive swim party (Santa Rosa, 2019).

Chelsea joined the board of Positive Images in 2018 after volunteering with the organization for about a year. With Director of Programs Jessica Carroll, she co-founded and facilitates the weekly LGBTQIA+ Adult peer support group.

Maria Paz

Maria Paz (b. Quilpue, Chile) (she/her) is a self- taught Latinx sculptor based in Oakland, California. Her work explores the bond broken with her home country and how her experience as an immigrant in the United States has shaped a multiplicity of identities within her. By painting visions of Chile, her ancestors and her higher self, Paz archives her personal history on her ceramic vessels as an act of resilience. Each piece tells a different story, often telling several, many of which are brightly colored in an homage to the palette of Latinx culture in the Americas.

Robert Coury

Photographer – Fine Artist – Explorer.   Artist Robert Coury (he/him) was born and raised in South Florida where his love of art began early in life, learning to paint and draw while he was young. This continued into primary school where, after being taught his way around a darkroom, he fell in love with the art of photography. Now, this artist focuses his creativity on a variety of medium; acrylics, oils, gauche, mixed media, found objects, collage, and of course film and digital photography. Influenced by nature, spirituality, design, and his extensive travels, Robert attempts to incorporate many of these elements into the art he creates. Currently the artist resides in Sonoma, California.

Taira Creager

Taira (she/her, they/them) grew up in Sonoma County and attended Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University to pursue a degree in art. In 2019, she received her B.A. in Studio Art with a concentration in Printmaking. She now lives in the Portland metro area where she now continues her art practice.
Taira practices a range of art mediums, including printmaking, illustration, and fiber art. She enjoys blending crafts and fine art to create pieces that are bright, colorful, chaotic, and filled with texture and patterns.
She also enjoys making zines (small press publications). Her zines often reflect on small moments of life or are filled with fun and cute illustrations. Taira enjoys being part of the zine community and the connections she makes with other people through it.   Instagram @tairabeara


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