Kami runs Austin Tinkering School. After running a preschool as well as teaching art, science, nature, and carpentry classes, she saw Gever Tulley’s TED talk, 5 Dangerous Things (you should let your children do) and realized that Austin needed a tinkering school, stat. Gever Tulley came to visit Austin and he agreed. Now she, also, has had the pleasure of putting power tools in the hands of second graders, and has loved every minute of it.
Vera is a painter and a budding tinkerer. She taught kids ceramics, painting, drawing, and collage making both in her hometown in Indiana and in Philadelphia for years. Vera looks forward to teaching art to Austin's tinkerers!
Oren is a veritable veteran of Austin Tinkering School. Born and raised in the wilds of Montana, not allowed access to father's workshop as a child, spends majority of time tinkering or sailing. Habits include: sailing, tinkering.
Olivia grew up in the wilds of Alaska. No, she did not live in an igloo, though she did have a pet polar bear. Her love of woodworking and tinkering was fostered in the Alaskan forest—building tree forts, bows and walking sticks. Olivia’s mother also influenced her love of tinkering by permitting her children to use her compound miter saw and drills to build projects like bike ramps, catapults and a very leaky kayak. This love of building followed her through her time at The University of Texas at Austin earning both a BA in Theatre & Dance and a job at the Texas Performing Arts Scenic Studio crafting elaborate sets.
Matt loves everything!
Johnny Villarreal is a collaborator, visual artist, technologist, designer and educator. His multimedia background combined with his vast community art education experience has enabled him to connect people of various interests and abilities to pixels and pigments. One example is his project The Edge of Imagination Station. TheEofIS (for short) is a mobile stop motion animation lab that engages participants with user friendly video production software and custom work spaces. Over the last five and a half years he has led workshops and classes in museums, community centers, festivals, and other crafted learning environments in and around Texas. Whether he’s painting, doodling, editing, designing, guiding, or working on the social fabric, Johnny is happiest when those around him are doing what they do best. Johnny has an amazing and loving wife, excitable Chihuahua and a big, sweet, white cat with sharp, sharp claws. His favorite shape is the octagon, he loves gesture drawing, and he doesn’t believe in coincidence. To see some of his work, please visit: https://instagram.com/jvillarrealart/
J. E. has been corrupting the youth with power tools for over 18 years in the Texas Performing Arts Scenic Studio at The University of Texas at Austin. The last two summers he served as a mentor at the Austin DeBusk Center for Academically and Talented Scholars summer camp where his students built working cardboard clocks, automata, and animation machines. He has met college students who have never held a hammer before and that just hurts his feelings.
Emily has passed the last ten years working with kids of all ages. Highlights of her teaching adventures in the arts are: painting a mural with a neighborhood of kids in Canoa, Ecuador, installing an 8-ft. sculpture in front of the Wortham Theater in Houston with a group of middle schoolers, and doing puppetry with pre-schoolers in Bologna, Italy. But she has had the most fun, by far, in her own backyard, spying on insects and crunching pecans with her two young sons. Emily currently runs Creatures Playschool and teaches art at Austin Tinkering School
Bernadette is an author, copywriter, workshop facilitator, speaker, camp director, creator of informative content and co-founder of Slow Family Living. She writes high quality copy, stories and scripts, delivered in a creative and persuasive style, that reaches out to the reader and lures them in for more. She writes to tell a story, evoke an emotional response, convey information and make sure a message is sent.
Amber Kaiser is from San Diego, CA and recently came to Austin to explore her love for art expression in a deeper way. She has a degree in Psychology and many years of experience in expressing, producing, selling, exploring, learning, and teaching various art mediums. Her favorites are jewelry and art journaling (mainly mixed media with paint and collage). The last 7 years have been working in non-profit and now it's time to make a change and put on her painting clothes on a more regular basis. On her free time she loves to cook, hike, sing, explore new places, and enjoy time with her boyfriend and friends.