ACTONART fosters the relationships of learning and growth, challenge and esteem-building, creativity and expression, experimentation and risk, accomplishment and pride. Learning to "draw" only scratches the surface of what students experience at ActonArt each week. Learning a process, developing a plan, maintaining concentration, coping with "mistakes" and creating artwork are daily experiences for drawing students.
DRAWING AND CREATING ART are very personal experiences. That means the people who teach it must have skill, vision and empathy. The condensed biographies below barely hint at the richness and commitment that these individuals offer to ActonArt students every day in their studio classes.
WE COULD FILL A BOOK with glowing adjectives describing our teachers. They ARE the quality in our programs. They bring remarkable energy and creative inspiration with them every day. They learn about every student in the classes and consider each and every one's needs to ensure they are both learning and engaged. Many of us had fantastic art teachers when we were young. We want your children to feel the same way when they are grown.
John is the founder/owner/director of ActonArt, a teaching artist who is passionate in his belief that drawing is a life-skill that everyone can and should learn. He spent the early part of his career after graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences working first as a biomedical photographer/illustrator, and then as a commercial Art Director and designer. In 2003, John combined his artistic talents, scientific interests, and natural teaching ability with Joanne's business knowledge and experience to create and offer the unique ActonArt Drawing School program.
Roxanne joined us in 2006 and is the Head Instructor at ActonArt. She's a highly skilled artist specializing in graphite and pastel portraiture. She has years of experience teaching art, crafts, and art history in a variety of programs. Roxanne is a certified Art Teacher in Massachusetts with a B.S. in Art Education and has worked in both public and private schools. Roxanne embraces the arts with a desire to learn all she can and share the knowledge with her students. She also initially developed our Manga
program and our advanced drawing classes like Faces, Features and Figures
. Examples of Roxanne's own artwork can be seen here
Julie began teaching at ActonArt in 2010. She is a professional artist who works primarily in oil paint and an MFA graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She regularly exhibits in local shows including the Brickbottom Gallery in Somerville, 1581 Gallery in Brookline, and the Somerville Museum. She has also shown in various parts of the county as well as the Pompidou Center in Paris. In 2013 she received 2nd place in the John Peto National Tromphe L’oeiil competition. Julie's web site is here.
Chris is a graduate of Monserrat College in Beverly, MA. He is a skilled illustrator and sculptor capable of working in a variety of subjects and mediums. Years ago Chris developed many of his current skills as a young Manga artist and today contributes his own knowledge and experience to all of our Manga classes. His background as a sculptor has also made it possible for us to offer both workshops and more recently a full year sculpting class. Chris is also a certified Art teacher in Massachusetts. His web site is here.
Jackie is a graduate of Montserrat College of Art, and a professional illustrator and comic creator who has applied her trades to video games, book illustration and character designs for indie films! She also creates writes and illustrates comics, including two of her own. Her skills working in the field are passed on to her students in Fantasy classes and Fashion Design, as well as to prospective college-bound students in the Advanced Drawing and Portfolio classes. You can see one of Jackie’s web sites ladyskylark.com
Sahar joined ActonArt as a foundation class teacher in July 2018. She is a highly skilled artist who works in a variety of mediums including marquetry (wood veneers precisely cut and inlaid to simulate painted images) mosaic tileworks, painting, drawing and more. She has taught a variety of fine art classes at the Fitchburg Art Museum, Mount Wachusett Community College, and Leominster Library. Sahar has previously taught Kindergarten and special needs students in Iran. Samples of Sahar’s artwork can be seen at her web site
and on instagram
Joanne oversees the operations side of ActonArt Drawing School. She is a Massachusetts CPA with a Masters Degree in Accounting. She has worked at Arthur Andersen, Avid Technology, and most recently EMC where she was a senior Finance Manager. She IS the sole left brained leader among us with the skill to make ActonArt work.
Our Studio Manager has been with ActonArt in various roles since its inception as she grew up working there from a very young age. Her degree in Media Studies and Production, with concentrations in television, film, darkroom photography, and psychology, further developed her artistic and people skills. She is a talented videographer, video editor, photographer and artist. She’s taught children’s workshops in film and worked on video teams creating content for national marketing campaigns and community television. She loves working with people of all ages and specializes in getting things done.