Instructor: Jess Peña

A bit about me: Jess Peña is an artist and arts administrator. Born and raised in Fairbanks, she studied painting, drawing, and vocal performance at UAF and is now immersed in creating spaces for and raising awareness of the arts through her work as both director of the nonprofit organization Fairbanks Arts Association ( and adjunct instructor of art appreciation courses at UAF. Peña’s professional and personal projects are driven by a passion for creating opportunities for arts engagement, arts education, and promoting the arts as a key facet of community health.

Instructor: Jesse Hensel

A bit about me: Jesse Hensel is an artist and teacher. Born in Bethel and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska he focused on studying art and education. Hensel received a Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Master of K12 Art Education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Hensel currently teaches 1st Grade at Pearl Creek Elementary in Fairbanks, Alaska. For Hensel, being an artist and teacher are entwined. Curiosity and creativity should be part of every lesson.

Explorations in Art

Grades: 2-4

Dates: Session 2: March 24 - April 21 - This course has been cancelled. Please contact Summer Sessions with any questions. 

Zoom Times: Fridays, 5 PM - 6 PM

Cost: $195

Description: Art is foundational and fun! Over the course of four weeks, students will explore strategies, materials, and techniques for making and understanding art. Explorations will include exposure to a variety of artists and art concepts, expression through drawing and painting, and the importance of individual and group reflection in a developing art practice. Each week will begin with asynchronous online lessons introducing concepts and project information and will conclude with a Zoom meeting to share and discuss artwork.

Course Kit Content: TBA