Our new Get to Know Your A2AC Instructors! Series dives into who the amazing A2AC instructors are, what they do outside of the A2AC, their favorite teaching moments, fun facts, and more.
The next instructor in this series is Irene Mokra!
Click on the Questions to see Irene’s answers!
“Art provides me with a safe space, a refuge. It is a powerful tool through which we can understand many contemporary issues.”
Tell us about yourself.
I am Ukrainian, originally from Lviv. I came to the US to study anthropology and business. Currently, I work in Gutman Gallery as a gallery coordinator. Previously, I taught preschool and elementary art. Fun fact – I worked as a producer in London, BBC World Service.
What does your creative practice look like?
I use colored pencils, acrylic, charcoal, and pastels as my media. Depending on the still life, I work from observation; for portraits, I use a live model; for abstraction, I meditate and am spontaneous. My studio space is a dining table.
What is next for your artistic career?
Exploring contemporary issues in depth, i.e., the war in Ukraine.
What are your favorite teaching moments?
I have been teaching at A2AC since the spring of this year. A field trip with preschool kids to see the A2AC murals inspired me to have a broader audience. I love teaching the 4-5 age group.
I teach sculpture and mural classes. Even though I am not a sculptor or muralist (but I did work on some window painting), I love offering this class to the children. art provides me with a safe space, a refuge. It is a powerful tool through which we can understand many contemporary issues. A2AC is a great place to start one’s art education and fall in love with the arts!
What would you say to someone interested in art but nervous about taking a class?
Art instruction offers many tools to start someone off with a project. Find something that you are passionate about and discuss it with an instructor. With excellent guidance, you can figure out how serious you want to be with your artistic journey. My first classes were with Janet Kohler (at the A2AC) and Mary Thiefels (rec and ed) ten years ago, and here I am, teaching art myself!