Rachel Weaver Rivera
Artist and Art Educator, Founder of Imagine Art Studio

Original Artwork, Professional Development Workshops, Art Instruction


Rachel has a Master's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Michigan and a Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health from National Louis University. Rachel maintains an active studio practice as a working artist and exhibits her paintings both locally and nationally.

Rachel's art teaching philosophy is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach. She coordinated the Artabounds Studio at Chicago Children's Museum and has taught visual art for over 15 years in a variety of educational and institutional settings including The University of Michigan, The Ann Arbor Art Center, Evanston Center for the Arts, Triton College, and most recently, The John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI. 

In 2003, Rachel founded Imagine Art Studio, an art education business providing quality hands-on instruction, unique family arts programing, and professional development workshops for teachers. Rachel has presented on children's learning through art at many schools and organizations including The Erikson Institute Graduate School for Child Development Studies, Columbia College, The Hyde Park Art Center, Brookfield Zoo's Hamill Family Play Zoo, Illinois Star Net, and Chicago Public School's Department of Early Childhood. Participants in her programs learn practical ways to design and facilitate meaningful art instruction and create classroom-studio environments that inspire creativity, collaboration, friendship and discovery. 

In 2010, Rachel joined forces with Liza Sullivan, past Vice President of Chicago Children's Museum, to found ThroughPlay, a partnership promoting the power of play. Together, Rachel and Liza have provided workshops for parents, educators, librarians, and community members on advocating and articulating children's learning through play.  

Rachel works as a therapist at Thrive Counseling Center in Oak Park. She also serves as the Visual Arts Director for the Kensington Arts Center housed in La Grange's Emmanuel Episcopal Church. Rachel has been contracted by the Kensington Arts Center to explore the relationship between honoring one's creative spirit and wellness. Rachel designs classes and workshops that promote friendship, exploration of thoughts and ideas, self-expression and fun.  For more information please visit: http://www.kensingtonartscenter.org