Art & Soul

A Journey Through Art


1003182_10153083737035057_1566097848_nVanessa Huff
Owner & Teacher

Masters in Elementary Education from Texas State University
Bachelors in Fine Arts from College of Charleston


Extensive educational experience in teaching & assessment.

“I have always had a passion for working with children and art. After receiving my Bachelors degree in Fine Art I worked at a preschool for two years. I loved integrating art into the classroom and was given the opportunity to run an after- school art program. I decided to pursue a Masters in Elementary Education and continued to teach Art to children of all ages. I have always wanted to own a traveling art enrichment program and Art School and just this past year I was able to make my dream a reality.” – Vanessa Huff


My name is Dominique Garcia and I grew up in small town Texas and was raised by my grandparents who owned one of the two dry cleaners in town. I played softball, climbed trees and languished in the field across the street, where I studied and spoke to the wildflowers, chased horny toads and cupped  butterflies in my hands.  I took my first art classes after I was directed to cease all other forms of singing (jazz, blues, folk) in the name of advancing in the classical realm. I chose to keep singing the blues, which lead me to visual art. As a singer-songwriter I’ve found painting to be an outlet for the expression of those things that I cannot write or sing.



Elena VelascoElena Velasco is owner of Pottery Class on Wheels and is pursuing her MFA in ceramics from San Diego State University. Installation sculpture and hand building is her specialty, but she also highly enjoys wheel throwing. Art making and education has been her passion for over 10 years and she is excited to be a part of the Art and Soul team!




Andrea Website Pic

Hi! My Name is Andrea D’Avignon! I remember my love for art beginning in Kindergarten. Being a very shy child, art helped me to open up and gain self-esteem. Since then, I have picked up a pencil or paintbrush at any given opportunity. I began my formal pursuit of art at the University of North Texas, and completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Texas State University. I have lived in Austin for 11 years, and during this time have worked as a freelance artist, creating mostly acrylic pieces for individuals as well as some commercial work for Hula Hut and Facebook. Currently, I am finishing my Masters in Education at Texas State, and am looking forward to my graduation in December 2013.


NateJensenMy name is Nate Jensen. I loved to draw as a kid, I went to UT for my degree in fine art, and I’ve been working for the 23 years since graduation as a freelance illustrator, oil painter, animator and muralist. In that time, I’ve painted a 60′ tall feed mill tower and murals for numerous Austin homes and businesses, animated for ‘Waking Life’ and “A Scanner Darkly’, illustrated 18 children’s books, and developed my own unique style of oil painting.

It is such a pleasure to give back by teaching someone the fundamental skills of art or enabling someone to achieve the next level of their talent. It is an interesting challenge to me to go through the process of discovery with my students as we find out what works for them. I love to see the understanding in their eyes and the joy of creating a piece of art they can be proud of.



My name is Lori Lockhart, and as an Austin native, I’ve been a part of the unique and ever-growing art community here for years. After I received my Bachelors of Fine Art in Painting and Drawing at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, I returned to Austin to continue my work in the arts. These past four years, I’ve discovered my passion for teaching art to both children and adults. My goal as an art teacher is to inspire and motivate individuals by allowing their own artistic voice and confidence to grow.




Samantha website pic

My name is Samantha Garfield and I am currently working on my masters in art education at UT. Before moving to Austin I lived in Houston where I received my bachelors in art history from the University of Houston. I worked at the Glassell Jr. School of art and was a docent at both the Museum of Fine Arts and the Blaffer Museum. I’m currently writing my thesis on how to use art criticism to teach contemporary art to school-aged children. My goal as an art educator is to empower people by showing them that art is personal expression and can mean something different for everyone.



CoryMy name is Cory Sorel and I was born and raised in western Massachusetts. I discovered my love of art in high school and pursued it to my BFA at Montserrat College of Art near Boston. Starting at school as a photographer and shifting to printmaking halfway through, I’ve built a love for almost all art-making processes, but printing remains my passion. Whether it be monotyping, etching or lithography, I have a love of the process, ink, and paper that will stay with me and drive me for a long time.




My name is Kyrie Valtair. I grew up in Austin, received my BFA in Painting from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and my MFA in Fine Art from the University of Illinois. I believe developing our creativity is integral to fulfilling our potential. Teaching art to children, teens and adults over many years, I have observed that most young people embrace art making as naturally as breathing, with joy and without hesitation. Over the years different things can cause people to feel inhibited or disconnected from their creative selves. Embracing one’s creative voice and power is a life changing experience. Teaching art is the work I was born to do. I love it!