Elissa holds a Master of Fine Art Degree from the prestigious Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. She began as a teaching assistant and accepted a job teaching at the Delaware College of Art and Design, a partnership of Pratt in New York and the Corcoran in Washington D.C. She transferred to San Diego in 2002 and taught drawing, painting, and two dimensional design and color at SDSU, USD, and Southwestern College. She taught art appreciation at Mesa college and a class on Georgia Okeefe through UCSD extension and the San Diego Museum of Art. During these years, Elissa taught at The Athenaeum School of Art and Music in La Jolla and The San Diego Art Department where her unique course offerings built a following. She exhibited in New York and locally during this time
Elissa managed the art school at the San Diego Museum of Art in 2007,2008. In addition to creating courses in concert with museum exhibitions, Elissa supported a talented staff of teachers, and created articles and course guides for the quarterly publication while staying active with other Balboa Park Museum educators. Elissa relocated to Portland briefly but returned in 2011 and taught children at a local studio. She opened her studio to the students in 2015 as The San Diego Art Loft and has built a loyal core of students age 10 through adult in which to share her 17 year teaching career.
Elissa’s work ranges from narrative compositions to contemporary portraits. Her work holds powerful messages about the human condition. She has been shown locally and nationally.