Born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA, LeAnne Iverson headed north to Spokane, WA to earn a B.A. in Arts Administration at Whitworth College. After operating her own dance company and Performance Art Dance Club, she relocated to New York City where over the next 30 years she immersed herself in the city’s creative environment. From working as a makeup artist at Bloomingdales to opening her own jewelry and tabletop design company, there were no limits to defining herself. Fourteen years later, Leanne took her design passions and showcased them in a funky, theme-roomed Bed and Breakfast in Brooklyn. With a growing desire to give back, she returned to school for her teaching credential and spent the next 10 years at Parson’s School of Design teaching art, digital art, and ceramics, while running the Bed & Breakfast, and raising her three children. With a Master’s Degree in writing from Excelsior College, LeAnne combines her knowledge of traditional mixed media techniques with the idea that there are health benefits to defining oneself by any “messy means necessary.” Approaching art and writing as a place of discovery and adventure both in her personal work and teaching style, Leanne has returned home to Santa Barbara to fulfill her lifelong dream of opening her own studio—The Woods Art Studio. She is determined to strike a balance between her love of teaching and creating art professionally. When not teaching at Laguna, LeAnne offers private instruction, social paint nights for groups, and a Kids Art Camp at her studio. She sells her art exclusively through her personal website and hopes to leverage her experience in art, writing, and business to finish up an Enhanced book series called “Sansarian Scripts,” which will include an interactive app and a hands-on Art Prompt Journal. LeAnne is excited to be part of the Laguna community and is passionate about finding fun and unique ways to inspire and uncover our students’ artistic gifts.
Visual Arts Instructor & Visual Arts Department Chair
Chris Johnson was born in Santa Monica, California, which might explain his natural affinity for surfing. He lived in Southern California until his family moved to Australia. He found his way back to California after high school and attended junior colleges in southern California. Chris was in the Air Force for four years and was stationed in southern Italy where he was able to travel and surf throughout Europe. In 1974 after his tour of duty, Chris moved to Santa Barbara to attend UCSB.
Chris graduated from UCSB with a BA in Art, and received an MFA from UCSB in 1979. From 1980-1984, Chris taught art at Cate School in Carpinteria. In 1984, Chris began teaching at Laguna Blanca School and became Director of The Physical Plant in 1985, a position he retained for twenty years. While he was Director, he continued to teach photography, ceramics, and other art classes. Chris has also served as Chairman of the Art Department at Laguna. As a teacher, he inspires students to be self expressive through their acquired skills in the arts.
Chris has two children and two grandchildren. His family enjoys camping and trout fishing in the Sierras. His favorite past time continues to be surfing and taking a yearly summer surf/photography trip.
Mr. Uyesaka's quizzical outlook on life and love of the arts germinated while growing up in the 1950s and 60s in the fertile San Joaquin Valley. Living out in the boondocks provided many, many hours to roam the country side and appreciate the slow side of life and fueled his passion to draw and make “stuff” from his imagination. Dug pursued painting and silk screen while at UCSB and went on to study graphic design and multimedia at SBCC. He also worked at a local film production company providing graphic design and media management. Dug has been a working artist and involved in the community arts scene since the 1970s. In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious LBS Faculty Excellence Award and a William T. Colville Foundation grant for the arts. In 2010, he was the recipient of The Arts Fund 2010 Individual Artist Award for Assemblage and Collage. “Being able to nurture and help facilitate our students' imaginations and artistic talents here at Laguna and in the community is a gift. It fuels my spirit and hopefully enriches their lives forever. It doesn’t get any better than that.”