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Our Staff

Gigi has been a teacher and director at Spark Arts since its inception in 2017. Gigi completed her B.A. in Psychology and her Masters in Social Work, both at NYU. She spent eight years working as a Social Worker with high-risk children and adults in a variety of settings including inpatient psychiatric units, soup kitchens, supportive housing residences, shelters and public schools.  From 2011 to 2021, she taught at Studio Creative Play preschool and assisted at the Roberts Field School elementary school in Park Slope. Gigi is deeply committed to providing children with a joyful and nurturing learning environment that celebrates each child’s inner spark of talent, kindness and creativity.  

As a child of a diplomat, Gigi grew up in Europe, Asia and the United States. Her exposure to a wide variety of cultures greatly shaped her worldview and appreciation of arts and traditions from around the globe. Her goal as a teacher is to cultivate in students global awareness, open-mindedness, compassion, and respect for diversity.

A nature lover, Gigi often integrates natural elements into her work with children. She received her Permaculture Design Course certification in upstate NY in 2009 and attempts in her daily life to honor the 3 permaculture principles: earth care, people care, resource share. In 2010, in an effort to offer urbanites greater access to nature and food, Gigi co-founded Get Dirty NYC—a non-profit that connected New Yorkers with volunteer opportunities at city farms and gardens.

In her free time, Gigi enjoys spending time with her daughter, a middle schooler and a Spark veteran!  Gigi is an avid reader, meditator, forager, crafter, dancer, and perpetual student of life. Her interests include ethnobotany, wilderness survival skills, mythology, as well as philosophic traditions from around the world.

Gigi Chew,  LMSW
Director, Co-Founder, Teacher

Angus Davidson
Co-Founder

A musician and educator, Angus Davidson holds a B.A. from Hampshire College in piano performance and orchestral conducting studies, and brings many years of teaching experience to Spark Arts.

 In addition to his work at Spark Arts, he is the Assistant Director of Studio Creative Play and the Roberts Field School, a creativity-centered arts enrichment program and elementary school in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where he has also taught music curricula.

 He has served as Choral Director and head of the Music Department at Camp Lanakila, an outdoor camp in Fairlee, Vermont, where he also built and taught nature and outdoors curriculum as the Head of the Exploring Department. In 2017, Angus attended the Yarn/Wire Institute at Stonybrook University as a pianist, and was a candidate for the 2017 Ottorino Respighi Prize in Conducting at the New York Conducting Workshop.

Raised in Rhinebeck, New York with a passion for the outdoors, Angus is an avid whitewater canoeist and enjoys hiking and wilderness exploration. 

He lived in Gwangju, South Korea in 2015, serving as an ESL instructor at ECC Namgwangju, teaching English and completing studies in piano and Korean language at the Gwangju International Center. He incorporates his love of the outdoors and exploration of other cultures into his teaching and musicianship.

Maamoun Tobbo stands at the vanguard of interdisciplinary art and psychosomatic practice, weaving together elements of Design, Performance Arts, and public engagement into immersive sensory experiences that foster deep connections, societal rejuvenation, and individual transformation. His method integrates meditation, breathwork, and movement, marking him as a pioneer at the confluence of art, activism, and wellness. 

By moving beyond conventional artistic limits and expressions, Tobbo creates a unique narrative.

His academic achievements, encompassing a Master of Arts in Architecture from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Scenic/Production Design from NYU Tisch, combined with extensive training in experimental theater, archetypal studies, and movement practices, lay the groundwork for his creative endeavors. Research and experimentation aiming to provoke reflection, stir emotions, and spark creativity.

As a leading figure navigating the realms of art, therapy, and mindfulness, Tobbo’s influence extends globally, spearheading an innovative movement towards transformative art rituals.

Maamoun Tobbo
Summer 2024 Assistant Teacher & Artist

Jonelle Austin
Summer 2024 Assistant Teacher & Artist

Jonelle Austin is a queer Guyanese-born practicing artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work is fluid and surreal, encompassing forms of portraiture of those she holds close, as well as her own figure. She brings into reality a joyous portrayal of tender and raw love in its purest forms. With a focus on found materials, acrylic, pastel and airbrush mediums, she renders her pieces with vibrant tonal qualities, using color blocking and wispy lines. She has 3 years experience as an Artist Instructor and has taught in the NYC/ NJ public school system for the last 2 years. In her own practice she enjoys putting on workshops for different intuitive art practices and community based projects.

Fox Fagan is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist. Raised in Alabama, she has an appreciation for nature and the outdoors. Spending most of her childhood gardening and studying under her mother as a painter instilled in her a passion for creative expression.

 

Fox’s travels throughout adolescence, which took her through Southeast Asia, Ecuador, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand, impacted her perspective and deepened her appreciation for diverse cultures and traditions. From these experiences, Fox developed a profound sense of connection to the world around her, which she channels into her art.

 

She received a BFA from Pratt Institute with a focus on painting. Her artistic vision is characterized by exploring the intricate web of repeating patterns that permeate life while emphasizing the significance of human connection and the value of shared experiences.

 

In recent years, Fox has expanded her artistic scope by completing an apprenticeship in silversmithing and stone setting. This hands-on training has enabled her to explore experimentation within Fine Art installation, new mediums, and techniques, which she now shares with fellow artists through workshops. As a passionate advocate for community-based care and artist support. Fox is also dedicated to fostering a sense of community among artists through workships, curating group shows, and participating in local art initiatives. Through these efforts, she aims to create a supportive network that celebrates creative expression and promotes mutual growth and inspiration among artists. Fox also co-runs a Bed-Stuy-based artist and flea market partnered with Little by Little, a local performance residency, where she continues to nurture these values and connections among artists.

Fox Fagan
Summer 2024 Assistant Teacher & Artist

 

Inbal Sella
Teaching Assistant Summer 2023

Inbal (they/them) is an artist and designer pursuing clinical herbal studies. They have always loved working with kids, ever since their Hebrew school teacher days, and are excited to bring their passion for art and plants to the Spark Arts kiddos! Inbal lives in BedStuy with their cat, Frida.

Mae Monga
Teaching Assistant

Mae Monga is a multicultural and multilingual student born in Washington D.C., raised in both Maryland and Vienna, Austra. Since her childhood, she has traveled the world and learned about many different cultures, especially the significance of music in certain countries. She is currently studying Education Studies at NYU. Learning about the properties of plants and their historical relationship with people is very important to her, coming from a Cameroonian background as a first-generation African American. It is in her tradition to build a relationship with the land and to be grateful for all it provides. Mae makes sure to continue this practice wherever she is, especially while living in New York City. As a Montessori school graduate, she knows the importance of providing a nurturing environment to support the innate gifts every child has to share with the world. Mae has been helping with Spark classes for over two years and it always brings her so much joy!

Want to Work with Us?

Reach out to us at sparkartsbk@gmail.com!