Brian Thornhill

Art Teacher


BFA, Pictorial Art, San Jose State
Teaching Credential in Art, San Jose State

How many years have you worked at Oak Grove?

2021 was my first year teaching at Oak Grove.

Why do you work at Oak Grove?

I believe that my principles as a teacher and community member are aligned with the vision of Oak Grove. I feel honored to be a part of this school.

A quote that inspires your approach to your job.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” —Pablo Picasso

Coffee or Tea?


How do we prepare students for their life ahead?

As an art teacher, I have the privilege of teaching kids how to creatively problem solve. These skills are certainly important in art class, but perhaps even more important when navigating life in general.

What outdoor experience has been most impactful for you?

A four-day/night vision quest in the Sierras. Camping solo while fasting. It was certainly clarifying.

The best live music performance/concert you ever attended is …

Alan Thornhill at the Ojai Underground Exchange, 2018.

Which teacher in your life affected you greatly? How?

An art professor in college, Yoshimi Hayashi, helped me see and understand my potential as an artist. More importantly, he helped me realize that I was holding back.

Name something that nobody knows about you.

I secretly drum to the beat of music with my teeth.

Person (dead or alive, famous or not) that you’d most like to share a meal with.

George Harrison

Name a place you’ve always wanted to visit, but haven’t yet.


How many Patagonia clothing items do you own? How many are you wearing now?

Haha! I do have a lot of Patagonia button-up shirts. My wife worked in the preschool there for a little while and we definitely took advantage of the employee discount. Currently wearing their swim trunks :)