About Us

Art Muse Los Angeles is a community of art historians, artists and educators who offer small groups private art tours – in museums, galleries, artist studios and private collections – throughout the LA region.

We are dedicated, enthusiastic scholars who enjoy sharing our knowledge of art with audiences of all levels of expertise, from the novice to connoisseurs and collectors. Our tours draw on current research and a range of approaches to inspire curiosity, encourage close looking and invite dialogue. In an increasingly virtual world, we promise an authentic real-world encounter with works of art. 

Clare Kunny, Director & Art Muse Clare is an art historian and museum professional with extensive experience developing educational art programs for museum visitors of all ages. She conceived of and launched Art Muse Los Angeles in 2013, after serving ten years as head of Public Education and Teaching at The J. Paul Getty Museum. Clare held the same position during the latter part of her seventeen years in the Department of Education at The Art Institute of Chicago. Clare’s long career guiding visitors in viewing, thinking about and discussing the art found in great museums has prepared her for the mission she’s undertaken with Art Muse LA. She holds an MA in Art History from the University of Chicago and has completed doctoral coursework in colonial Mexican art at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Clare is founding director of Art Muse LA. 

Clare Kunny, Director & Art Muse

Clare is an art historian and museum professional with extensive experience developing educational art programs for museum visitors of all ages. She conceived of and launched Art Muse Los Angeles in 2013, after serving ten years as head of Public Education and Teaching at The J. Paul Getty Museum. Clare held the same position during the latter part of her seventeen years in the Department of Education at The Art Institute of Chicago. Clare’s long career guiding visitors in viewing, thinking about and discussing the art found in great museums has prepared her for the mission she’s undertaken with Art Muse LA. She holds an MA in Art History from the University of Chicago and has completed doctoral coursework in colonial Mexican art at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Clare is founding director of Art Muse LA. 

Sarah Jones, Assistant Director & Art Muse Sarah is an artist and arts educator with a special interest in contemporary art. She holds a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Houston and a MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Sarah has held positions at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and The El Segundo Museum of Art. Her exploration of the artistic landscape of Los Angeles is guided by her belief that contemporary art can enhance our perspective on the times in which we live.  Sarah joined Art Muse LA in 2014. 

Sarah Jones, Assistant Director & Art Muse

Sarah is an artist and arts educator with a special interest in contemporary art. She holds a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Houston and a MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Sarah has held positions at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and The El Segundo Museum of Art. Her exploration of the artistic landscape of Los Angeles is guided by her belief that contemporary art can enhance our perspective on the times in which we live.  Sarah joined Art Muse LA in 2014. 

Robin Trento, Associate Director & Art Muse A Los Angeles native and fourth-generation Californian, Robin earned her BA in Italian and Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, after having studied at the University of Padua (Italy) and the University of California, Los Angeles. Working for the past twenty-seven years, first in the Education Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum and currently as a research associate for the Department of Drawings, has allowed Robin to develop an unparalleled expertise in the Getty collection. At the same time, her extensive experience of many other museums gives her the ability to place any collection or exhibition she addresses in the broader perspective of art history.  Robin is a founding member of Art Muse LA.

Robin Trento, Associate Director & Art Muse

A Los Angeles native and fourth-generation Californian, Robin earned her BA in Italian and Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, after having studied at the University of Padua (Italy) and the University of California, Los Angeles. Working for the past twenty-seven years, first in the Education Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum and currently as a research associate for the Department of Drawings, has allowed Robin to develop an unparalleled expertise in the Getty collection. At the same time, her extensive experience of many other museums gives her the ability to place any collection or exhibition she addresses in the broader perspective of art history.  Robin is a founding member of Art Muse LA.

 
Dylan Otterbein, Social Media Coordinator & Art Muse Dylan completed her BA in the History of Art and Architecture at Middlebury College, where she concentrated on contemporary art and critical theory with particular attention to post-colonial theory, queer theory, and the identity politics of the 70s, 80s and 90s. At the Middlebury Museum of Art, Dylan served as an educational assistant and docent. She continues her art historical education as an Art Muse and writer for School of Doodle.  Dylan joined Art Muse LA in 2016.  

Dylan Otterbein, Social Media Coordinator & Art Muse

Dylan completed her BA in the History of Art and Architecture at Middlebury College, where she concentrated on contemporary art and critical theory with particular attention to post-colonial theory, queer theory, and the identity politics of the 70s, 80s and 90s. At the Middlebury Museum of Art, Dylan served as an educational assistant and docent. She continues her art historical education as an Art Muse and writer for School of Doodle.  Dylan joined Art Muse LA in 2016.  

Nancy Ganiard Smith, Travel Associate & Art Muse Nancy spent nearly two decades escorting art enthusiasts on custom-designed trips throughout the world when she served as associate director of member programs at The Art Institute of Chicago. This is where she and Clare Kunny, Art Muse LA director, first met and were colleagues. After relocating to Los Angeles, Nancy turned her attention to writing about art and architecture, authoring many feature articles both as a newspaper staff writer and freelancer.  She is a public touring docent at the Getty Center and LACMA where she recently served as Docent Council Chair. Nancy has a degree in art history from the University of Michigan.  She joined Art Muse LA in 2014.

Nancy Ganiard Smith, Travel Associate & Art Muse

Nancy spent nearly two decades escorting art enthusiasts on custom-designed trips throughout the world when she served as associate director of member programs at The Art Institute of Chicago. This is where she and Clare Kunny, Art Muse LA director, first met and were colleagues. After relocating to Los Angeles, Nancy turned her attention to writing about art and architecture, authoring many feature articles both as a newspaper staff writer and freelancer.  She is a public touring docent at the Getty Center and LACMA where she recently served as Docent Council Chair. Nancy has a degree in art history from the University of Michigan.  She joined Art Muse LA in 2014.

Sophie Chen, Art Muse Sophie Tianxin Chen was born in China and resided there until the age of 15. She has lived in three countries and five different cities since then. Sophie received a BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Film, Video and New Media and a MFA from University of California, Los Angeles in Photography. Her artistic practice was influenced by her identity as a bi-lingual person with multi-transnational experiences.  Sophie joined Art Muse LA in 2015.

Sophie Chen, Art Muse

Sophie Tianxin Chen was born in China and resided there until the age of 15. She has lived in three countries and five different cities since then. Sophie received a BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Film, Video and New Media and a MFA from University of California, Los Angeles in Photography. Her artistic practice was influenced by her identity as a bi-lingual person with multi-transnational experiences.  Sophie joined Art Muse LA in 2015.

 
James Fishburne, Art Muse Focusing primarily on the Italian Renaissance, James received a PhD in Art History from UCLA. He has taught Renaissance and Baroque art history courses to undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students at UCLA and California State University, Long Beach. He has presented his own scholarship at conferences that span an array of disciplines, including history, art history, archaeology, and Italian studies. In 2014, he worked in the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and he is now a Research Associate in the Scholars Program at the Getty Research Institute. In spring 2015, James joined Art Muse LA as our first male muse.

James Fishburne, Art Muse

Focusing primarily on the Italian Renaissance, James received a PhD in Art History from UCLA. He has taught Renaissance and Baroque art history courses to undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students at UCLA and California State University, Long Beach. He has presented his own scholarship at conferences that span an array of disciplines, including history, art history, archaeology, and Italian studies. In 2014, he worked in the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and he is now a Research Associate in the Scholars Program at the Getty Research Institute. In spring 2015, James joined Art Muse LA as our first male muse.

Deana Hight, Art Muse Deana received her BA from University of California Los Angeles and earned her MA in Classical Art History from California State University, Northridge. Her research area is Ancient Roman Funerary Rituals and their tradition. She is currently working as a Professor of Art History at Mt. San Antonio College, an Associate Professor at Los Angeles Valley College, and a Museum Educator at the Norton Simon Museum.  She helped pass a 2011 initiative at the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges supporting art history as a recognized discipline in the curriculum.  Deana joined Art Muse LA in 2014.

Deana Hight, Art Muse

Deana received her BA from University of California Los Angeles and earned her MA in Classical Art History from California State University, Northridge. Her research area is Ancient Roman Funerary Rituals and their tradition. She is currently working as a Professor of Art History at Mt. San Antonio College, an Associate Professor at Los Angeles Valley College, and a Museum Educator at the Norton Simon Museum.  She helped pass a 2011 initiative at the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges supporting art history as a recognized discipline in the curriculum.  Deana joined Art Muse LA in 2014.

Chelsea Hogan, Art Muse Chelsea is a museum educator with experience teaching a variety of museum audiences.  She has worked as an educator at the ESMoA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Villa, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, the National Children’s Museum, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and the Newseum. Chelsea earned her MAT Museum Education from George Washington University, in Washington D.C.  She is a founding member of Art Muse LA.

Chelsea Hogan, Art Muse

Chelsea is a museum educator with experience teaching a variety of museum audiences.  She has worked as an educator at the ESMoA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Villa, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, the National Children’s Museum, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and the Newseum. Chelsea earned her MAT Museum Education from George Washington University, in Washington D.C.  She is a founding member of Art Muse LA.

 
 Kristen Kido, Art Muse Kristen received her BA in Art History from University of California Los Angeles and her Master's degree from University College London Institute of Archaeology. Prior to her time in the UK, Kristen spent four years serving as a museum educator at the J. Paul Getty Villa. She is currently a PhD student in History of Art at UC Berkeley, studying the history of art in empires across antiquity, its importance of the ancient world in the modern museum, and the politics of art and cultural heritage in the context of globalization.  Kristen joined Art Muse LA in 2014. 

 Kristen Kido, Art Muse

Kristen received her BA in Art History from University of California Los Angeles and her Master's degree from University College London Institute of Archaeology. Prior to her time in the UK, Kristen spent four years serving as a museum educator at the J. Paul Getty Villa. She is currently a PhD student in History of Art at UC Berkeley, studying the history of art in empires across antiquity, its importance of the ancient world in the modern museum, and the politics of art and cultural heritage in the context of globalization.  Kristen joined Art Muse LA in 2014. 

Jennifer Li, Art Muse Jennifer received her BA in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MA in Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a specialist in Contemporary Chinese Art. Her professional experience in museums includes previous positions at The Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. She also oversaw the daily operations and exhibition programs at the Michael Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles. Currently, she is the LA Desk Editor for ArtAsiaPacific, the leading English-language periodical covering contemporary art and culture from Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East. She also contributes to Art in America among other publications.  Jennifer is a founding member of Art Muse LA.

Jennifer Li, Art Muse

Jennifer received her BA in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MA in Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a specialist in Contemporary Chinese Art. Her professional experience in museums includes previous positions at The Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. She also oversaw the daily operations and exhibition programs at the Michael Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles. Currently, she is the LA Desk Editor for ArtAsiaPacific, the leading English-language periodical covering contemporary art and culture from Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East. She also contributes to Art in America among other publications.  Jennifer is a founding member of Art Muse LA.

Regina Mamou, Art Muse Regina Mamou is a visual artist and arts lecturer with specialization in photography and contemporary art. She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to her formal art training, she received a Fulbright fellowship to Amman, Jordan, to complete a research project in photography. Regina worked in the Department of Education at The Art Institute of Chicago, where she lectured on a wide variety of art topics and special exhibitions. She continues to work independently with the Art Institute as a study leader for the museum’s travel programs to Cuba and Morocco. Regina joined Art Muse LA in 2014.

Regina Mamou, Art Muse

Regina Mamou is a visual artist and arts lecturer with specialization in photography and contemporary art. She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to her formal art training, she received a Fulbright fellowship to Amman, Jordan, to complete a research project in photography. Regina worked in the Department of Education at The Art Institute of Chicago, where she lectured on a wide variety of art topics and special exhibitions. She continues to work independently with the Art Institute as a study leader for the museum’s travel programs to Cuba and Morocco. Regina joined Art Muse LA in 2014.

 
Carter Mull, Art Muse Carter Mull’s photography is in numerous museum collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  Recent exhibitions include solo shows at the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen in Switzerland, CAPC Bordeaux, France, and Fused Space, San Francisco. His work is included in the L.A. Exuberance: New Gifts By Artists, an exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has taught at college and graduate levels, most extensively at the University of Southern California.  Mull spent key formative years in New York, and he has been based in Los Angeles since 2004. Carter joined Art Muse LA in 2016.

Carter Mull, Art Muse

Carter Mull’s photography is in numerous museum collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  Recent exhibitions include solo shows at the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen in Switzerland, CAPC Bordeaux, France, and Fused Space, San Francisco. His work is included in the L.A. Exuberance: New Gifts By Artists, an exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has taught at college and graduate levels, most extensively at the University of Southern California.  Mull spent key formative years in New York, and he has been based in Los Angeles since 2004. Carter joined Art Muse LA in 2016.

Nancy Real, Art Muse Fluent in English, Italian, French and Spanish, Nancy offers art tours in all four languages. As a museum educator, she has taught at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles for one year and then at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She currently creates in-gallery lessons for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s program Evening for Educators. As a gastronomy specialist, Nancy also offers culinary courses at the Getty Center, Getty Villa and the Italian Cultural Institute linked to different periods in the history of art. Nancy is a founding member of Art Muse LA. 

Nancy Real, Art Muse

Fluent in English, Italian, French and Spanish, Nancy offers art tours in all four languages. As a museum educator, she has taught at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles for one year and then at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She currently creates in-gallery lessons for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s program Evening for Educators. As a gastronomy specialist, Nancy also offers culinary courses at the Getty Center, Getty Villa and the Italian Cultural Institute linked to different periods in the history of art. Nancy is a founding member of Art Muse LA. 

Betty Seid, Art Muse Betty is an independent curator, writer, and lecturer living in Chicago and Santa Monica. She was a Research Associate and Exhibition Coordinator for South Asian Art in the Department of Asian Art at The Art Institute of Chicago, and the consulting curator for an exhibition of modern and contemporary art from India at the San Jose Museum of Art. She has traveled extensively in India and Southeast Asia for research and often as the study leader for Art Institute of Chicago tours. She continues to lecture about the art of India and has participated in symposia in both the US and India.  She is a founding member of Art Muse LA.

Betty Seid, Art Muse

Betty is an independent curator, writer, and lecturer living in Chicago and Santa Monica. She was a Research Associate and Exhibition Coordinator for South Asian Art in the Department of Asian Art at The Art Institute of Chicago, and the consulting curator for an exhibition of modern and contemporary art from India at the San Jose Museum of Art. She has traveled extensively in India and Southeast Asia for research and often as the study leader for Art Institute of Chicago tours. She continues to lecture about the art of India and has participated in symposia in both the US and India.  She is a founding member of Art Muse LA.

 
Julio Sims, Art Muse Julio Sims is an artist in multiple disciplines whose specialty is site-specific public art. He holds BFA and MFA degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been exhibited in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and various venues in Texas. He currently teaches studio art at Long Beach City College. Previously he was employed in exhibitions and curatorial departments at The Art Institute of Chicago, the Getty Research Institute, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Hammer Museum. Julio joined Art Muse LA in 2015.

Julio Sims, Art Muse

Julio Sims is an artist in multiple disciplines whose specialty is site-specific public art. He holds BFA and MFA degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been exhibited in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and various venues in Texas. He currently teaches studio art at Long Beach City College. Previously he was employed in exhibitions and curatorial departments at The Art Institute of Chicago, the Getty Research Institute, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Hammer Museum. Julio joined Art Muse LA in 2015.

Noelle Valentino, Art Muse Noelle earned a master’s degree in Art History at University of California, Riverside, where her coursework and thesis explored design and style in the decorative arts. Whether it’s architecture, art or design, Noelle delights in it all, though antique furniture is her greatest passion. In addition to her role as a lecturer for Art Muse/LA, Noelle has worked at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Hammer Museum; she's also the owner of Saco + Nova, Vintage Fine Arts and Antiques. Noelle is a founding member of Art Muse LA.

Noelle Valentino, Art Muse

Noelle earned a master’s degree in Art History at University of California, Riverside, where her coursework and thesis explored design and style in the decorative arts. Whether it’s architecture, art or design, Noelle delights in it all, though antique furniture is her greatest passion. In addition to her role as a lecturer for Art Muse/LA, Noelle has worked at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Hammer Museum; she's also the owner of Saco + Nova, Vintage Fine Arts and Antiques. Noelle is a founding member of Art Muse LA.

Julie Weitz, Art Muse Julie is a visual artist and educator specializing in contemporary art. She holds a BFA from the University of Texas in Austin and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Before moving to Los Angeles, Weitz held the tenured professorship of painting and drawing at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She currently teaches at UCLA Extension, Whittier College and East Los Angeles Community College. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, the L.A. Times, and the New York Times and on KCRW.  Julie joined Art Muse LA in 2015.  

Julie Weitz, Art Muse

Julie is a visual artist and educator specializing in contemporary art. She holds a BFA from the University of Texas in Austin and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Before moving to Los Angeles, Weitz held the tenured professorship of painting and drawing at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She currently teaches at UCLA Extension, Whittier College and East Los Angeles Community College. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, the L.A. Times, and the New York Times and on KCRW.  Julie joined Art Muse LA in 2015.  

 
Amber Wells, Art Muse Amber is an historian of ancient Mediterranean art and culture and a museum educator. Amber’s museum work includes serving as an assistant to the curators of the exhibition Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and as a gallery teacher at the Getty Villa. Amber holds an MA in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Cultures with a specialization in Egyptology from the University of California Los Aangeles. She has taught undergraduate courses on ancient Egyptian civilization and religion at UCLA and UCLA Extension and has participated in archaeological excavations in Illinois, Virginia, and Egypt. She is a founding member of Art Muse LA.

Amber Wells, Art Muse

Amber is an historian of ancient Mediterranean art and culture and a museum educator. Amber’s museum work includes serving as an assistant to the curators of the exhibition Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and as a gallery teacher at the Getty Villa. Amber holds an MA in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Cultures with a specialization in Egyptology from the University of California Los Aangeles. She has taught undergraduate courses on ancient Egyptian civilization and religion at UCLA and UCLA Extension and has participated in archaeological excavations in Illinois, Virginia, and Egypt. She is a founding member of Art Muse LA.

Linda Aldrich, San Francisco Associate & Art Muse Linda has wide-ranging experience as an art professional. She managed two San Francisco art galleries, helped manage the San Francisco Office at Christie’s Auction House and, as a freelance Art Consultant, educated and advised a variety of clients on art acquisitions. She is also a published art writer authoring art reviews, articles and book chapters for Artweek, Art of California, Westphal Publishing and private clients.  Linda joined Art Muse LA in 2016.

Linda Aldrich, San Francisco Associate & Art Muse

Linda has wide-ranging experience as an art professional. She managed two San Francisco art galleries, helped manage the San Francisco Office at Christie’s Auction House and, as a freelance Art Consultant, educated and advised a variety of clients on art acquisitions. She is also a published art writer authoring art reviews, articles and book chapters for Artweek, Art of California, Westphal Publishing and private clients.  Linda joined Art Muse LA in 2016.