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Hatanaka, Kristine » Home


Mrs. Kristine Hatanaka has been teaching at Culver City High School since 1995. She currently teaches Drawing and Painting, Studio Art, Advanced Placement Studio Art, and Art Production. Mrs. Hatanaka is one of the founding members of the AVPA holding the positions of Creative Director for the Academy’s Visual Art Department and Co-Executive Director of the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts. Mrs. Hatanaka has established internships, educational programs, and student exhibitions with Center Theatre Group, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, UCLA Fowler Museum, Santa Monica Museum of Art, and Ryman Arts at OTIS College of Art and Design. She has implemented college-level art classes through The Santa Monica College Outreach Program, West Los Angeles College Jumpstart Program, and The Santa Monica College Summer Institutes and Launchpad Program. 

Mrs. Hatanaka's art students have received scholarships, award recognition, and participated in exhibitions on the local, regional, and national levels. With the support of Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Museum of Contemorary Art, AVPA art students have exhibited their artwork at MOCA's Geffen Contemporary, Pacific Design Center, MOCA Grand Ave. and many venues and local art galleries including: Corey Helford Gallery, SPF:architects, Known Gallery, and Walter Maciel Gallery. Her students have exhibited their artwork at The Museum of Contemporary Art, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, UCLA Hammer Museum, The California African American National Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Latin American Museum of Art, OTIS College of Art and Design, The Armory, The Kirk Douglas Theatre, The Wende Museum, and many more.

Mrs. Hatanaka was the recipient of the International Teaching Program in Japan and received Teacher of the Year honors from Otis College of Art and Design. She is currently serving on the UCLA Fowler Museum Education Advisory Committee. In 2003, she received Mentor Teacher of The Year from The Ryman Arts Program. In 2004, Kristine was a recipient of the SURDNA Arts Teacher Fellowship. She was also the Winner of the 2005 California Association for the Gifted May V. Seago Memorial Scholarship. In 2005, Kristine received the Sony Pictures Teacher of the Year Award for CCUSD. She was also the recipient of the Teacher Institute of Contemporary Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2009, Kristine Hatanaka was selected to participate in a nationwide teaching initiative called, Art21 for Educators. In 2010, Mrs. Hatanaka was selected for the Alumni Session for the Teacher Institute of Contemporary Art at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. In 2012, she received a PTA Honorary Service Award. Mrs. Hatanaka was awarded "Teacher of the Year" by OTIS College of Art and Design for the second time in 2015.

Recent Posts

Azalie's Academy Testimonial for Visual Art

Having the opportunity to spend these past four crucially formative years creating art, being surrounded by art and artists--this has changed me as a person more than anything else I know. Yes, the AVPA has allowed my technical artistic skills to steadily improve beyond all of my expectations.  But the AVPA did  not just teach me how to draw and paint. The AVPA taught me to create and, through creation, to realize and trust my own worth as a person. In high school, so much of what we do is passive and based on superficial goals--sit in class and take notes to get a good grade, obey your parents to stay out of trouble, follow social norms to avoid being teased. But passiveness doesn’t pull the potential from inside of us and put it right in front of us for all to see. Creation does. When I see something I made with my own two hands, I see direct evidence of my capacity to produce beauty and express ideas. I think this must be one of the most empowering feelings a person can experience.  Through the challenge of creation encouraged by the arts-- not through the comfort of passiveness encouraged by so many other influences on my teenage life--I have learned to understand myself and the world in a wonderful way, and I have grown more than I ever thought I could. In making and viewing art, I have been lifted; I have been transported; I have been handed the most precious treasures of the human experience.

I’ve learned that it’s not always easy to grip what’s in your mind and soul and wrench it outward with your hands, and it is definitely not always easy to dedicate time and energy to helping others do the same, as Mrs. Hatanaka and all the other wonderful teachers and supporters of the AVPA do. But, through the AVPA and especially through the unfaltering encouragement, life-changing opportunities, and selfless guidance that Mrs. H has given me, I have come to understand that dedication to art, though not always easy, is  always worth the struggle.

And I wish there were words to explain to you  why I believe this, but words will never prove enough. If you need proof that the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts is worth every possible bit of support, please take me as proof.  Like the other AVPA students around me, I am transformed and I am transforming and that is more valuable than anything else anyone could have given me. Take all the amazing students of art, dance, music, theatre, and film that are onstage and offstage tonight as the most tangible and stunning proof that this program is priceless, its effects profound, and its teachers heroic.

I have never seen anything more beautiful than this. I see everyone in this room coming together to create a kind of beauty fearlessly liberated from the mundane, its essence so powerful that it has left our many lives wordlessly united, more radiant, and brighter ablaze with the experience of being human.