Hello, I am Chyah (pronounced “hi-yah”) Weitzman and welcome to my website!
I am a school teacher by profession and an artist by vocation. I have been fortunate to have combined both these passions by working as an art teacher, and by serving as the Director of the Art Department at Saint Hilary Middle School in Marin County, California since 1998.
In addition, I work as an Adjunct Art History Professor at Dominican College here in Marin County, a university where I also received a Master of Arts degree in the Humanities.
This website offers a few glimpses into how, as a teacher, I have developed my own learning over the years, through travel and study and research in various cities in the world. Teaching and learning go together for me, and I do not think I could be an effective teacher, unless I was continually open to learning new ideas and viewing cultures and traditions through a new lens.
My career has been a constant and refreshing evolution of new views and ‘new beginnings’.
Albuquerque, Cambridge, and Negev
This website explores these new beginnings: I was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and attended high school there. I was fortunate to have been accepted to Harvard College after high school and so moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. In the interim between high school in Albuquerque, and college in Cambridge, I worked in a kibbutz in Israel, in the Negev.
I have documented this in the menu option in this website entitled “Early Years”.
Kyoto and Copenhagen
Through a fellowship from Harvard, I had the good fortune to learn textile design from Buddhist monks in a monastery in Kyoto, Japan. After Japan, I moved to Denmark, where I studied at the University of Copenhagen, and where I received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Textile Design.
I have documented this in the menu option in this website entitled “Kyoto and Copenhagen”.
Samburu and Lamu
As a school teacher, I am co-founder, together with educator Karim Ajania, of a middle school program here in Marin County called Pencils for Africa (PFA). For the past three years, I have been a teacher and mentor to middle school participants in PFA which has been a privilege and an essential educational experience for me as a teacher. My own education about Africa has also been considerably strengthened by my travel to a Samburu village and elephant sanctuary in northern Kenya, as well as to the ancient Swahili and Arab coastal town of Lamu in East Africa.
Accordingly, two additional menu options in this website are entitled: “Samburu” and “Lamu”.
I have researched art in various cities around the world and recently visited galleries in London.
I have documented my gallery visits in London in the menu option entitled “London”.
I have been based in Marin County, California for over two decades now, both as a middle school teacher and adjunct professor. Currently, I am working on a quilting project for the wonderful Nyaka Grandmothers in Uganda which I have documented under “Marin”.
My daughter Sarah is a gifted artist and a graduate art student, and I have featured some of her drawings of these Nyaka Grandmothers in Uganda under menu option “Sarah’s Drawings”.
Thank you for visiting my website and I hope you find it informative.