What Our Students and Parents Say

"…This 'Thank You' is long overdue. Over the past few years I've watched Michelle's artistic abilities blossom. She loves art class, looks forward to going every week, and always comes home in a marvelous mood…What you may not be aware of is the impact you've had on other aspects of her life. Her self-esteem has improved dramatically. She feels very comfortable in expressing her individuality and creativity. Thank you for encouraging this and for making her feel accepted for who she is. I truly appreciate the positive role you play in my daughter's life and will always be grateful."
— Patrice Martin

"…I know it's been a while but I just wanted to write you and thank you for all you have done for me. I enjoyed your classes so much and they helped me so much artistically. Next year I will be attending the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. I'm planning on majoring in animation and hopefully working for Disney afterwards. Thanks again. It's been great."
— Nick Pitera

"…I'd like to take a moment and thank you and all the staff at The Art Academy for the valuable learning experiences we've had over the past seven years. During that time, our three sons (the youngest is just two – not quite old enough to attend classes yet) and I have all taken classes at The Art Academy.

Your vision and love for both art and kids is really evident. While we began with different challenges and levels of skill, each of us has made huge progress in our abilities to draw and paint and have gained qualities of self confidence and perseverance as well. In contrast to so much of art instruction, which emphasizes creativity but not the development of skills, The Art Academy's instructors clearly communicate the techniques of the masters in ways that have progressively challenged us to push the boundaries of what we thought we could create, and those self expectations were always exceeded. That's not to say that progress always came quickly and easily. I can recall times when each of us had come to obstacles in our pieces when we thought, "I just can't get this part right." The temptation to give up was pretty strong. Happily, we received instruction in those moments that was specific, practical, and encouraging – exactly what was needed to navigate the obstacle and gain the needed skills. I personally found the time I spent drawing and painting to be a really satisfying contrast to the routine of my work week.

We are always happily amazed by what we see when artwork is brought home. And this year there was a special bonus – each of our sons had entered pen and ink drawings and watercolors in the Minnesota State Fair competition and each was recognized with at least one ribbon!

Thank you for adding this really enriching dimension of creativity to our lives."
— Bill Carr

"…My daughter Chelsea has taken classes at The Art Academy since she was 9 or 10 years old. Through the process of these classes she found a strength which has become a foundation for a positive belief in herself. This has sustained her through hard times and good times through the years. She has chosen a career in art therapy thanks to the nurturing of her talents and her spirit at The Art Academy."
— Sharon Fries

"…My 10 and 13 year olds have attended The Art Academy part time for several years. They love it. Despite many competing interests, they decided it was time to go year round.

The curriculum is rigorous, employing strict foundational studies. Even so, the teachers have caught the kids' enthusiasm. Quite a feat, I think, considering all the candy being dangled in front of our kids these days."
— Tim Lundgren

State Fair Blue Ribbon!
Becca Engdahl, Age 15

"We appreciate the great basic art instruction, but are particularly pleased with your willingness to adapt to our daughter's interests and desire for greater challenges in her watercolors. The results are outstanding and have kept her motivated to continue!"
— Raina Eberly

"We are very grateful for the encouragement and support that you have given Andrea over the last couple of years. You have not only nurtured Andrea's artistic technical skills but also her self-confidence and self esteem."
— Vicki and Tom Fields

"Thank you so much for the work you do with Ben. Your encouragement, humor, and belief in Ben has added so much to his life."
— Barb King

"Emily is very excited about starting her oil painting. She is very committed to continuing her studies with you.
Thanks to you for being such a good mentor for her and for all the encouragement she gets from all the staff."
— Kathy Tutelman

"Elizabeth is thoroughly enjoying her art class with you. She looks forward to each class and hates to miss a session. Thank you for teaching and inspiring her."
— Ann Derr

"We have been very happy with the art instruction our children have received at The Art Academy. The staff has been very helpful and encouraging for the kids. We feel they help them reach their full potential."
— Joyce Chelstrom

"Meaghan started taking classes at The Art Academy at age 9. Through the years she was involved in numerous activities, yet only art remained constant in her life. She is now graduating from high school and planning to pursue a degree in Art Education at the University of Wisconsin, Stout in the fall. The Art Academy has given her a sound solid foundation in art. She has grown up with it, and will carry that passion into her future career."
— Mary Ann O'Shaughnessy

"Thanks for another great year of art class! I learn tons of new things every week, and I will definitely be able to use what you've taught me outside of class. Thanks again for an awesome experience!"
— Kyra Rahn

"When art opens, I'm so happy! When art class is finished, I'm so sad! Thank you for awesome art lessons. I can't wait to come back!"
— Lainie Rahn

"It's been a pleasure to know you guys. The passion for art which you gave me as well as many others is one skill that is truly invaluable, that I would not have achieved elsewhere."
— Nathan Kaufman

"These past 4 years at The Art Academy have been the highlight of my high school career. You all helped me create drawings and paintings that I never thought I had the ability to do. Thank you so much for everything you have taught me. I will really miss you guys, but don't worry. I will come visit when I get the chance!"
— Jina Bute

"Thank you so much for all you have taught me these past 8 years. Because of all of you, art became a huge part of my life and it has helped in so many ways. Even though I'm not going into art, the skills I have because of you guys has helped, and will continue to help, as I go into theater. You are all such wonderful, friendly people. I really can't say thank you enough for all of the fun times I've had. You guys have been my teachers longer than any others I've had. Keep this great place going. Thank you so much!"
— Hannah Schumacher

"Thanks for opening my eyes and teaching me how to see."
— Bob Butterbrodt

"Now, with kids of my own, I realize that I have never really thanked you for being such a great role model and influence in my youth. Taking classes at The Art Academy are some of my fondest memories. Looking back, I wish I would have appreciated my time there even more. So thank you, Jim! You have been a great teacher and a great friend!"
— Mary Shea Trojak

"While other interests come and go, our children have remained steadfast and joyful in their study at The Art Academy. Both my son and daughter began lessons at age five: three years later, not only are they confident drawers and painters, they demonstrate a real appreciation for art. As a parent, it's gratifying to see children enjoying something that's also so clearly beneficial for their development as well-rounded people. On a practical level, it's lovely to see the investment in classes and supplies pay off, as the children use their art materials daily – and always have an interesting project at their fingertips. Finally, the staff at The Art Academy may be the best part of the picture: the talented teachers genuinely care about children and art, and their care is reflected in all their interactions and the work produced. We're counting the days until child #3 can join his siblings at The Art Academy."
— Mary Petrie