Oakland resident, Erica Skone-Rees is the owner and curator of Rare Bird & Rare Bird Makers’ studio and doubles as a community art teacher. Erica believes that art workshops are a way to guide personal exploration. She strives to take the desires of her students and direct their creativity through knowledge and tools to freely experience and discover new mediums.
Skilled in the crafts of jewelry making, design and sewing; terrarium building, vertical gardens, Tarot, collage, painting and more, Erica offers her extensive knowledge and experience so students will come away with new skillsets and feelings of confidence. She says, “I strive to demystify creating and take out the feeling of, ‘I am not an artist’. I do not believe in the phrase ‘succeeding as an artist’ because it implies expectations. I believe in taking a journey of self-discovery using art as the vehicle.” Erica finds grounding through her art and works to integrate her mindfulness practices by incorporating these teachings into her classes.
Erica has been a maker and lover of arts since childhood and has shared her talents as a community arts teacher throughout her professional career. Erica received her education from Holy Names University in Oakland, California where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Art and Communications. She has taught in schools throughout California and continues to feed her love for the arts by teaching children and adults in various classroom settings, including Nueva School, Cedar Creek Montessori, Mission Bay Montessori, Gateway High School, Carpenter Avenue Elementary, local bead supply stores, in her home studio, and more. In addition to teaching, Erica brought her talents as a visual merchandiser to Theory in San Francisco and to the Oakland Art Museum of California where she was employed as a visual merchandiser and vendor.
Excited for the new space, she now brings her energy and passions to the workshop studio on Piedmont Avenue in the Rare Bird Makers’ Studio where she is a resident artist & teacher.