Get to Know Us

Get to know our world-class staff and see why we’re one of the top arts universities in the country.
Want to get in touch with us? Visit the Directories.

School of Jewelry & Metal Arts Faculty

Charlene Modena

Director, School of Jewelry & Metal Arts

Charlene Modena received her MA in Metal Arts from San Francisco State University and MFA in Sculpture from Academy of Art University. She has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout the world, including the American Institute of Architects, the University of Guanajuato (Mexico), the Butler Museum, Elements Gallery, Velvet da Vinci Gallery, the Biennale Internationale-Limoges (France), and the Ueno Royal Museum (Tokyo). Her work is included in the collections of the Xerox Corporation, the American Crafts Museum, and Ann Rockefeller-Roberts. She is also listed in World Who's Who of Women and was a Marin Arts Council Grant prize winner. She has been published in Design Magazine, American Crafts, Metalsmith Journal, several Lark Books 500 Series, and more.

Karen Chesna

Online Coordinator, School of Jewelry & Metal Arts

A native of Chicago, Karen Chesna earned her MFA in Sculpture/Metals from Academy of Art University and holds a BA in History of Art and Architecture, with a concentration in Indigenous Art, from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She spent many years working in the Anthropology Department at the Field Museum of Natural History and considers this immersion in humanity’s cultural past a major influence on her sculptural jewelry, artist books, and small metal-based mixed-media sculptures.