Student Artwork by Junjie Shen
Student Artwork by Junjie Shen


Gnomon’s leadership team and advisory board members bring their expertise in a variety of subjects to support and advance the college’s institutional mission and strategic plan.


President & Vice President

Alex Alvarez Headshot

Alex Alvarez

Founder | President

Alex is the Founder and President of Gnomon. After attending the Art Center College of Design and the University of Pennsylvania, Alex worked as an Applications Engineer for Alias|Wavefront, the creators of Maya. The mid 90's marked a paradigm shift as computer graphics burst on the scene and forever changed how visual effects and video games would be created. While working onsite at scores of studios around southern California, Alex was in the midst of a rapidly growing demand for a new breed of artist.

In 1997 Alex founded Gnomon, a vocational art school that would find itself at the crossroads of art and technology. In the years that followed to today, Alex has guided Gnomon's evolution through his passion for the entertainment industry and collaboration with the professional community.

An accomplished artist and teacher, Alex has taught thousands of students on campus, online and at events around the world. He has been published and interviewed by industry magazines, websites, podcasts and books, as an authority on vocational education, creature development and environment art. His credits include Star Trek, Prometheus, Super 8, Green Lantern and Avatar.

Darrin Krumweide headshot

Darrin Krumweide

Vice President | Chief Administrative Officer

Darrin is the Chief Administrative Officer of Gnomon. He is an alumnus of the Art Center College of Design, where he studied transportation and industrial design. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Product Design, Darrin was employed as an Applications Engineer for Alias|Wavefront, where he received numerous awards, including Outstanding Technical Support.

Darrin began his teaching career at the Art Center College of Design while simultaneously working as an independent artist and consultant with entertainment companies such as Warner Bros., Honda, Sega, and MCA/Universal.

Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Alex Nice Headshot

Alex Nice

Art Department Illustrator | Lucasfilm/Disney

Alex Nice is an Art Director, Senior Illustrator ADG IATSE 800, and Visual Effects industry veteran with over 15 years of experience creating high-end content for Film, Television, and Virtual Reality. Originally trained in fine art and Illustration, his skill set includes Visual Development, Illustration, Art Team Management, Shot Design, and Matte Painting used to create film-quality visuals with a strong focus on storytelling. With an industry background as a 2D artist and 3D generalist, Alex is able to deliver art from concept to final, while maintaining a global focus on quality. His versatility in software and broad artistic style has allowed him to create some of the fantastically epic designs for Hollywood's biggest features. Alex thrives in high-stress environments and particularly enjoys interactively working with storytellers to bring their ideas to life. Past films include Underwater, John Wick Parabellum, Masters Of the Universe, Venom 2, Jungle Book, Hunger Games, Beasts of No Nation, Sin City, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Oblivion, Pacific Rim, Elysium, Tron Legacy, Amazing Spider-man, Hugo and more. Alex is currently working in the Art Department at Warner Brothers Entertainment creating visual development for the upcoming film Black Adam.


Beth Loheed


Beth was educated at the University of Arizona and UC Santa Barbara, a secondary teaching credential, an educational administration credential, and a Masters of Education. She has been teaching at the secondary level since 1996, currently at Pilgrim School in Los Angeles. During her career, she has designed a variety of curricula and assessment plans and has contributed to the English/language arts lesson plan for Los Angeles Unified School District. She also has substantial experience designing and delivering professional development for faculty and administration and has contributed her efforts to a variety of organizations that emphasize equality and fairness in education.

Cecil Kim Headshot

Cecil Kim

Art Director | thatgamecompany

Cecil Kim has been working as a concept artist in the entertainment industry for over 15 years. He received his BFA from Art Center College of Design. Upon completion, he started his career at Square USA, where he got the chance to work on Parasite Eve and Final Fantasy IX. In 2000, Cecil joined Sony Santa Monica where he worked on several hit games including the God of War series, moving up to become a visual development lead on God of War 3. In addition to creative work, he also teaches at Art Center College of Design and Otis College of Art and Design. In early 2010, Cecil was awarded the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ Artistic Achievement Award. Cecil founded Section Studios with Justin Yun and they are now working on their own IP projects.

Devon Fay Headshot

Devon Fay

Lead Artist for R&D | Riot Games

With his Certificate in Digital Production from Gnomon, Devon has focused on all things environment art in both games and cinematics for 10 years. Contributing to such projects as Diablo: III, StarCraft II, World of Warcraft, and Call of Duty, he has brought his passion for video games, environment design, and team building to all his roles which include: Lead Matte Painter at Blizzard Entertainment, Senior Environment Artist at Infinity Ward and currently Lead Artist for R&D at Riot Games. Over the years Devon has shared his passion and experience by speaking at conferences around the world, writing articles for magazines both print and online, and regularly providing portfolio and artist feedback to anyone who asks for it.

Jack Fulmer Headshot

Jack Fulmer

Head of Environments | Walt Disney Animation Studios

Jack Fulmer's list of credits and awards include Academy Awards for Encanto and Big Hero 6 (Best Animated Feature) as well as The Golden Compass (Best Achievement in Visual Effects). He’s also worked on films such as Frozen 2, Wreck-it Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet, Moana, Frozen Fever (short film); Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Red Dawn; Hop; Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked; Night at the Museum; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Elektra; Garfield; Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. His broadcast credits include CSI, CSI: Miami, Crossing Jordan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, Angel, and The Dead Zone. He also has done commercial work for Cox Broadcasting. Jack is a graduate of UCLA and Gnomon.


Jessica Dru Johnson

Senior Cinematic Artist 2 | Blizzard Entertainment

Jessica Dru Johnson graduated from Gnomon's Certificate program in 2009 and began her career as a 3D Artist. She started work as an environment artist for the Cinematics Team at Blizzard Entertainment and has made that team her home ever since. Her role transitioned from environments to characters to project modeling lead. Outside of work, her love of sculpting and costume design has aided her immensely on the job, and she still finds a lot of joy in the creative design and direction of all things fantasy. Her work is seen in many Blizzard titles such as World of Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Starcraft, and Heroes of the Storm. For BlizzCon and countless presentations, she shares her love of digital art, especially topology, hand-painted textures, digital sewing, and cloth simulation.

Jonathan Berube Headshot

Jonathan Berube

Director/Senior Art Director | Hello Giant

Jonathan Berube is a Senior VFX Concept Designer at Lightstorm Entertainment, currently working on the Avatar sequels. Previously he worked as a VFX Art Director in Blizzard’s cinematics division. His work includes the original World of Warcraft cinematic, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, StarCraft: Ghost, Diablo III, and Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams. Born in Quebec, Jonathan started his creative path with a degree in classical animation filmmaking from Sheridan College in Ontario and a certificate in computer animation from Cyclone Art and Technologies in Quebec. After working on feature films at Hybride Technologies in Montreal, Jonathan joined Blizzard’s cinematic team where he assembled and founded the Matte Painting Department, which he continues to supervise.

Kirk Shintani Headshot

Kirk Shintani

Head of 3D | A52

A Los Angeles native, Kirk Shintani earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCLA prior to completing Gnomon’s Generalist program in 2004. Over the last 12 years, he has worked on hundreds of commercials for clients such as Nike, Lexus, and Coca-Cola, and numerous title sequences including the award-winning “Game of Thrones” for HBO. Kirk is currently Head of 3D at A52, a boutique visual effects studio, assists the company balance growth, finding efficiencies through new technologies and innovative pipelines, and works with multiple artists to maintain a collaborative and supportive environment.

Michael Lane Headshot

Michael Lane

Educator, USC School of Cinematic Arts

Michael Lane currently oversees the MFA Program in Writing for Screen and Television at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he also advises students enrolled in the school's Minors in Comedy and Screenwriting. Following stints as a development executive and a literary manager, he produced the award-winning feature documentary Rock Paper Scissors: A Geek Tragedy about the World Championships of the children's game Rock Paper Scissors. Prior to studying film, Michael's focus was outdoor and environmental education.

Ross Blocher Headshot

Ross Blocher

Training Project Manager at Walt Disney Animation Studios

Ross Blocher currently serves as Training Project Manager for Walt Disney Animation Studios where he and his team are responsible for providing a variety of training content, including content ranging from guest speakers and subject matter experts to software trainers and online resources. Responsibilities also include the scheduling of training sessions for Disney Animation Studio employees as well as ensuring the availability of the collection of recorded materials. He has been in his current position for more than 3 years. Ross is a graduate of Woodbury University where he earned a BFA in Animation in 2004. After graduating, he served as an assistant to the Animation Department at Woodbury University until 2006. Before moving into his current position, Ross worked as a Compositor and Technical Director on various movies including The Simpsons Movie, The Princess and the Frog, and Winnie the Pooh.

Tefft Smith Headshot

Tefft Smith

Co-Founder/Supervisor | Opsis

Tefft Smith II is a distinguished Visualization, VFX, and Animation Supervisor with over 25 years of experience in the industry. His career boasts extensive work on feature films, TV shows, commercials, and themed entertainment, having sharpened his skills at leading studios such as Pixomondo, Halon Entertainment, and Zoic Studios, among others, before co-founding OPSIS in 2020. Recognized for his creative prowess and exceptional client service, Tefft has earned membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and contributes as an Advisory Board member for the Gnomon School of Visual Effects. His diverse talents extend into Digital Fine Art and Industrial Visualization, alongside producing acclaimed short films showcased at SXSW. Tefft's remarkable contributions to projects like “Wicked,” "The Mandalorian," "Midway," and "KONG: Skull Island," underscore his significant impact on the visual effects and animation landscape.