The instructors are Ashley Woods and Nancy Huitzil; they work for the Prison Arts Collective, which is based at California Sate University—San Bernardino. The project this day was to create a totem pole, using iconography that is relevant to each artist.
Yes, the lizard is real, and alive; she is the pet of one of the artists.
Also attending this class was Cait Ahearn; she is also a member of the Prison Arts Collective.
The class is part of Arts in Corrections (www.artsincorrections.org), which is funded by California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and administered by the California Arts Council.
At the request of several artists, prints of these images are available at cost. At the top/right of the image, find and click on the shopping basket. If the FOTOMOTO site does not open right away, please try again.