Art Plus Academy - Meet our Art Teachers

Founded in 2008 by Austin artist Monica Araoz, Art Plus Academy is dedicated to meaningfully improving students drawing and painting skills. We offer classes and summer camps for children as young as four years old, teens and adults.

In Art Plus Academy, we believe drawing and painting are two important skills which support the creative and innovative thought process. Helping art students to learn how to "see" beyond the obvious, appreciate subtle differences in shade or color and dare to experiment are just a few examples of what we are passionate about.

Monica Araoz

Founder & CEO

I am an active artist in Austin TX. You can see my work at my website or at any of the galleries that represent me. I started teaching in 2008 following a request by a close friend for art instruction. The experience helped me discover my grand passion for teaching and marked me forever. From that first class with a few students, word of mouth put me in the position to open this academy in 2009 and in 2013, my second location in Cedar Park. I believe that everyone can learn to draw and I believe I can teach you.

Morgan Williamson

M.A. Art Education

I grew up in Austin and have always had a passion for creating. I believe art is a creative area of life that people should feel excited to explore and I find joy in helping people develop their artistic skills. I graduated from Abilene Christian University with a BFA in Studio Art where I discovered an enthusiasm for teaching. I went on to receive a Masters in Art Education from the University of Texas at Austin. There, I learned practical ways to apply different teaching methods to fit the needs of the student. After teaching at Art Plus Academy since 2015, I can say that I have found a place that is fulfilling to me professionally and creatively. I am excited to be a part of this community and look forward to contributing to the development of my students’ art.

Rosemarie Good

BFA in Surface Pattern Design

I grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania where I started taking art lessons as a young child. During high school and college, I was an art instructor for all ages at the very same studio where I began. I graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in Surface Pattern Design. For seven years following, I worked designing and styling wallpaper collections for both of the two largest and oldest companies in the US. After moving to Austin in 2006, I realized that, while I loved many aspects of working in a design studio, my real passion was in helping to teach and inspire both young and old on their creative paths. I have been blessed with many wonderful mentors and teachers who have helped me to continually add to my creative toolbox. I consider it a joy and a privilege to be able to help pass on that knowledge and encourage others in their creative adventures.

Marlene Llanes

M.F.A. in Illustration

I am an artist and illustrator. I have an MFA in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a bachelors in Graphic Design from Universidad Vasco de Quiroga. I have worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for newspapers, printing companies and advertising agencies. I have also taught bilingual classes as well as art. I have participated in numerous exhibits and festivals, mostly in Texas and Mexico. My first children's book "Paty y los Payasos" was published in 2002 by Los Libros de El Nacional in Venezuela.

Anna Allen

BFA Art Education

I grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and was lucky enough to have parents that always encouraged me to follow my passion for art. I attended Virginia Commonwealth University where I received my BFA in art education. VCU is the number one public art school and it was there that I learned a multitude of skills from formal drawing, to ceramics, to woodwork. I have teaching experience in a wide range of schools; I have even taught in a public school in Costa Rica. It is my belief that everyone can be an artist if given the tools and the confidence. I have worked with many students who went from drawing smiley faces to high skill portraits in just one session. I love teaching art and I can't wait to meet my new students here at Art + Academy!

Marcia Breternitz

Art Teacher

As an Artist and Art Teacher with international experience, I have been drawing and painting for more than 20 years at the Bauhaus and SENAC Art Schools in Brazil. In 1998, I moved with my family to Austin, Texas, and soon started making portraits and participating in Art events, including an exhibition for Latin week at Motorola. I also became a member artist of the famous La Villita Gallery in San Antonio. I taught Face Drawing and Fashion Design Art for The University of Texas Informal Classes program and have illustrated a children's book published in Brazil. I enjoy teaching art to children and adults because I believe one of the best way to see and understand the world is by expressing ourselves through drawing and art.

Ashley Stuewe

BFA in Drawing and BA in Art Education

I am an artist and an art teacher. I received both a BFA in Drawing as well as a BA in Art Education from Kansas State University in 2015. During college, I also worked two summers as the Arts and Crafts leader at a summer camp in New York called Iroquois Springs. After graduating, I moved to Austin TX where I became a K-3 art teacher at a charter school. Currently, I am also going to school online to obtain my MA in art education from UF ( University of Florida). As for teaching one of my main passions is to learn about each student and to find out what they find interesting and to apply it to their artwork. Students know when you care about them and take the time to get to know them. By fostering a bond students, are more apt to have an environment where they feel free to be expressive and create in their way. I love seeing the joy and wonder in my student's faces as they learn new techniques and tricks to create new and exciting works of art. I can't wait to see more new passions for art created through my teachings at Art + Academy.

Erin Johnston

BFA Drawing and Painting

While receiving my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing and Painting from the University of Southern Mississippi, I quickly realized that learning how to draw was undoubtedly about learning how to see the intimate details of our surroundings. As a two-time recipient of the Foundation Art Scholarship Award, I have worked diligently to develop a purposeful insight to understanding the concepts of drawing and design. Being able to draw is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. It helps you to appreciate and value so many wonders that exist around us. As children, we innately experience art with such a pure and honest approach. I am excited to help foster these elements as we continue to harvest the vitality of the human spirit.

Ann Miller

BFA focus in drawing and paper making

As a native Austinite and avid art enthusiast, I've had an obsession with all things creative since before I could remember! I love all forms and media of artmaking including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and many others. I acquired my BFA with honors from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi with a focus in drawing and papermaking, and since then I've been instructing and tutoring young artists in the Austin area. I love nothing more than showing others their unlocked inner creativity through art-making, as there's no better feeling than seeing the light in someone's eyes when they've learned to draw. That passion and fire is what keeps me working as an artist and provides the drive to show others young and old their own creative potential.

Danny Grant

BFA in Illustration

Danny Grant (b. 1979) was born and raised in Garland, TX. He received his BFA in illustration from the Academy of Art University in 2003. At the Academy, he was most influenced by instructors Lee Ballard and Kazuhiko Sano for their superb draftsmanship and fine art approach to illustration. Upon graduating, he relentlessly sought to improve his skills in drawing and painting. In 2006, Danny moved to New York City to study with Jacob Collins at his Water Street Atelier. In 2008 his studies continued with Mr. Collins at the Grand Central Academy. There, he enjoyed a rigorous curriculum of cast drawing and painting, figure drawing and painting, and still life painting in the tradition of the European ateliers of the mid to late 19th century. Danny currently lives in Austin, TX where he paints and teaches drawing and painting. He is represented by Quent Cordair Fine Art in Napa, CA.

Alexis Eibel

BFA in Media Arts and Animation (Graduating June 2019).

I am a current student at the Art Institute of Austin working towards my bachelors in Media Arts and Animation and will graduate June 2019. I was drawn to art ever since I could pick up a pencil. I remember as a kid sketching my pets and my surroundings over and over again. Since then I've been always trying to learn and grow from my fellow peers and role models. I enjoy watching people grow and helping them learn. It's rewarding in so many ways, from their smiles seeing how far they've come in their craft, to a thank you hug. My favorite things to draw are landscapes and figure drawings. I think art is a skill anyone can learn with a bit of love, a guiding hand, and dedication. I am honored that I have the opportunity to combine my love of art and helping others here at the Art Plus Academy and am looking forward to helping as many students as I can improve their craft and love for art.

Rachel Sellars

B.F.A in Studio Art

After getting a B.F.A from Southwestern University with a focus in painting, I went on to Texas State University where I obtained my Teaching Certification in art. Since then I have taught privately, in addition to teaching K-12 in public school, while still pursuing my own art. I have exhibited my art around Texas in solo and group shows since 2002, throughout various galleries, restaurants, theaters and other places. I have experience in many different mediums, but have primarily focused on the mediums used in drawing and painting. It was while I was being taught how to draw and paint when I was young that I first realized my path lay in teaching art, in passing on what I had learned so that I could help others find the joy and expression that comes with creating art, and be successful in doing so.

Theresa Morgan

BFA in Painting and Illustration

I received my BFA from the Academy of Art University for painting and illustration. Since then I have exhibited work at various galleries and have had the honor of receiving several awards. I’ve been featured in magazines such as Southwest Art magazine’s “21 under 31,” and interviewed on the podcast Savvy Painter. I am fascinated by perception, and the ways in which colors interact. I believe that drawing and painting are valuable skills that develop the ability to really see what is in front of you. The practice of art has been so rewarding to me and teaching those skills to others is even more so. The shift that happens when people discover their own creativity and abilities keeps me passionate about teaching.

Vincent Martinez

BFA Studio Art with an emphasis in painting

I am an artist, art teacher, and central Texas native. I’ve always been passionate about the arts, and after graduating from Texas State in San Marcos with a B.F.A. in studio art with an emphasis in painting, I have dedicated my life to making art and helping others to do the same. I have 9 years of art teaching experience and have spent the last 20 years as a practicing artist. I started teaching art to at-risk youth as an Americorps mentor through Communities in Schools in 2010. In 2012 I started teaching painting and drawing through Austin Parks and Recreation at the Totally Cool Totally Art after School Program, and have taught art and mindfulness at the The Asian American Resource Center for the past 5 years in their summer camps. I taught middle school art from 2014 until 2016 at Hernandez MS in Round Rock ISD. Currently I'm teaching pre-K through 6th grade art at Kirby Hall School, and I keep up with a regular oil and acrylic painting practice, and show my work in various galleries and DIY spaces in Austin. I'm looking forward to continue guiding young creatives along the artist path.

Johanna Heilman

BFA in Studio Art

I have a degree in Studio Art from UT Austin and have been teaching art for the last five years. I thoroughly enjoy watching my students learn and grow. I believe that every student has the potential to improve and I view it as my mission to give them the tools to expand their artistic horizons. I believe that studying the arts is good for both the mind and soul. In my spare time I enjoy painting, playing guitar, and spending time with family and friends.

Luz Marie Iturbe

B.A. in Design and painting

I discovered my passion for art during my youth when the only areas of school I was attracted to were areas that involved some kind of art. With this in mind, I decided to continue with and explore this passion. I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Design from the “Universidad Iberoamericana” in Mexico City and studied painting at “Isabel Lenero” school of Arts. I moved to Austin, Texas eight years ago and was able to take picture book workshop in order to illustrate professionally. I have been experimenting with several materials and techniques, and strongly believe that no matter how skilled we become, with practice, there is always room for improvement. I worked as docent 4 years as a docent at the Blanton Museum of Arts, and currently working as a freelance artist and designer besides teaching art.

Anita Laurentz

BFA in Studio Art

I love teaching art! Everyone has the capacity to improve dramatically, and it is extremely rewarding to see the creativity unleashed in a student. I have a BFA in Studio Art with an emphasis on painting and drawing, have taken graduate art classes, and have been working as an artist for decades with a primary emphasis on portaits. I have taught art classes for children in both the public and private sector for many years. As the mother of two boys with dyslexia, and with my experience in special education and art education, I am very familiar and comfortable with different learning styles. I enjoy working with these differences, and modify my approach to maximize the value of the lessons for each child. I especially love helping children realize that their individual perspectives are unique and valuable, and to carry that confidence and knowledge into all areas of their lives. It is a joy to teach them the technical skills that allow them to more fully express themselves through their artwork.

Casie Warnke

BA in Art

I've been a professional artist for the past 4 years. I have artwork displayed all across the US and even in the Texas State Capitol here in Austin. Along with my artistic abilities, another gift of mine has always been working with kids. I was a substitute teacher for a few private schools in the Austin area for almost six years and even coached a middle school girl's volleyball team one season for one of the schools I worked at. I have my teaching certificate in Art for grades K-12th and a BA in Art from the University of Texas at San Antonio. I've always desired to combine my passion for art and love for teaching into the same profession. I believe I have an innate ability to understand and communicate well with children. I'm excited to show them how to really "see". Not just what's in front of them, but all the different layers,components and colors of things that are seemingly simple and mundane at first glance. I want to help them learn to see the world as an artist and guide them into becoming proud and confident human beings.