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About Avril

I have had a lifelong interest in art, sparked at my first museum visit—to LACMA—where both Rembrandt’s “Portrait of Titus” and Ed Ruscha’s “Actual Size” made an impression. I also remember seeing a docent explaining a work of art to a group of visitors—these early memories have finally taken center stage in my life and work.


Born in New England, I grew up in Los Angeles and began my college education at UCLA.  I finished my BA at UC Berkeley; after a year exclusively studying Dutch literature and art, I entered grad school in Comparative Literature at UCB.  I earned an MA, focusing on English, French, and Dutch literature of the modern period.

My professional career has been varied. I have worked as a graphic designer, both freelance and as Art Director of the California Coastal Conservancy magazine, Coast and Ocean, but when my children were small, I returned to teaching, which I had done as a grad student. I have taught every possible variety of English in local colleges, including the Fall Freshman Program at UC Berkeley. After training as a docent at SFMOMA in 2010, I began teaching Humanities at Diablo Valley College. I now teach not just freshmen, but "seniors" through the OLLI program at Cal State East Bay, Dominican College, SFSU, and the Fromm Institute, and give lectures about art in local libraries and other venues. I'm also a public guide at SFMOMA and a docent at the Oakland Museum of California.

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