Meet Our Staff!
NINA BARBUTO, DIRECTOR
Nina’s passion for art, new media and social learning led her to found Assemble, a community space for arts + technology, in 2011. On her own, Nina works in a variety of media including architecture, film, sound, and installation and often explores the idea of recycling noise into a system or elevating the vernacular to the spectacular. Nina co-founded I Made It! Market in 2007. An idea based on urban acupuncture, this nomadic market partners with community, arts and non-profit organizations to raise funds and awareness to assist in improving their communities while allowing local artists and crafters to sell their wares. Nina holds degrees in architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture and Carnegie Mellon University, where she is also adjunct faculty. Contact: nina (at) assemblepgh (dot) org
ADESHEWA METZGER, PLATFORM PROGRAM MANAGER
Adeshewa Metzger loves teaching science. Before moving to Pittsburgh, she worked at the Michigan Science Center. She is a graduate from Central Michigan University with a major in Business Management and minors in both General Science and Art. Contact: adeshewa (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
HANNAH SAUDER, PLACE OPERATIONS MANAGER
Hannah Sauder is a photographer and visual artist who appreciates storytelling through art. Hannah organizes Assemble’s Queer Craft Market, a local craft market that features queer makers in Pittsburgh. They studied communication, graphic design, and international studies at Goshen College. Contact: hannah (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
ANNA AZIZZY, TEACHER
Anna Azizzy is a performance artist, video artist, and experimental musician from Pittsburgh. Azizzy’s work creates a space where laughter leads to learning, and they strive to process their identity by performing absurd exaggerations of their life. In addition to teaching at Assemble, Azizzy organizes DIY art and music events, is a gymnastics/ aerial silks coach, and loves to play dress up and tell jokes. Contact: annaa(at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
ANNY CHEN, TEACHER
Anny Chen is a teaching artist with a background in media arts, technology and architecture. She is a textile artist focused on slowing down with simple techniques based on traditional sewing, reusing and reinventing materials, and limiting equipment. She volunteers at Prototype; a transgressive maker-space that focuses on providing access to women and marginalized members of the Pittsburgh community. She lives in an attic with her partner, three cats, two guinea pigs and a fish. Contact: anny (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
JAYLA PATTON, TEACHER
Jayla Patton is a Teaching Artist and Arts Educator living in the city Pittsburgh. She enjoys creating comics and illustrations using traditional mediums and digital ones such as Photoshop. She is also an animator, and wishes she had more hours in the day to sleep. While she’s not making art, she’s teaching in a different section of the city almost every day of the week. Contact: jayla (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
MIMI PLATT, TEACHER
Jameelah “Mimi” Platt is a Pittsburgh native and graduate of the Pittsburgh School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). She attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia for 3 yrs. She has grown an interest in investigating the playful nature of color. She is also interested in exploring different methods used to illustrate the interactions of color and its relationship to the content presented. She enjoys creating visual narratives that allow the viewer to nurture an innocent almost childlike curiosity. When she is not painting she can be found studying the vast species of flora, adorning spaces with plant life and writing poetry. Contact: mimi (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
PAUL PENG, TEACHER
Paul Peng is a drawer, comics artist, and printmaker from Allentown, PA. As an artist, Paul is interested in how today’s internet cultures extend into the physical world and transform our beliefs on what our bodies should and shouldn’t be, specifically through the lens of cartoon stylization. As a teaching apprentice, he believes in open-ended curriculums and learning-by-doing, allowing students to feel out and achieve their own educational needs through the resources Assemble provides. Paul moved to Pittsburgh in 2012 to study art and computer science at Carnegie Mellon University and has happily called the city home ever since. He has also helped teach for the Summer Academy for Mathematics and Science at CMU. Contact: paul (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
SARAH BIRMINGHAM, TEACHER
Contact: sarah (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
SHANNON THOMPSON, TEACHER
Shannon Thompson is a practicing artist and educator. Her teaching practice is informed by a strong background in social justice and activism. She believes that fostering supportive, collaborative creative learning environments is vital to the health of all communities. Shannon has a Masters of Education in Community Engagement from Merrimack College. Contact: shannon (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.