Our Teaching Staff
Company Director & Corporate Programs Facilitator
A graduate in Fine Arts with Distinction from RMIT, Dena Lester has a consistent exhibition history as a contemporary photographic installation artist. Founder and director of both Art Encounters and Melbourne Studio of Art, Dena takes a strong interest in the schools’ creative processes. Dena is now undertaking formal studies in Shadow Work Psychology which she is integrating into art education at the two schools.
Ignacio has a background in fine arts and sociology with recent research being in undertaking a PHD. He is well known for his talent within the Alla Prima Style of painting and his life drawing skills. Ignacio has exhibited in more than thirty solo and group exhibitions and continues to exhibit. He has worked as an art teacher in several art schools and in socially inclusive artistic programs as well as in different universities as a research assistant and project officer including at RMIT University, Victoria University and The University of Melbourne.
Ben Guy is a graduate of Visual Arts from The ANU School of Art. He specialises in traditional oil painting and drawing in a range of genres from Portraiture and Landscape to Pop Surrealism, and also has experience in illustration, completing a series of children’s books for The National Library of Australia. He currently exhibits locally and internationally.
Drawing & Painting Tutor
Geoff Dupree is a graduate of the City and Guilds of London Art School, and St Martins School of Art, London; Masters Degree, RMIT University, Melbourne. A representational teacher and exhibiting painter, Geoff is a highly respected member of Melbourne’s art community. A number of rising contemporary artists studied under the drawing program Geoff designed and developed at Monash University.
Bridget Hillebrand is a Melbourne based visual artist with over 20 years’ experience teaching and conducting workshops. She has a Masters Degree in Fine Art from RMIT University and completed her PhD in Visual Art at Monash University, Melbourne. She has won a number of printmaking awards including the Silk Cut Award and is represented in collections in Australia and overseas, including the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of NSW.
Ana is a contemporary artist originally from Cordoba, Spain. She studied fine arts for six years in Seville before moving to Barcelona to work as a graphic designer, painter. Winning scholarships to draw the Spanish National Ballet Company and to complete part of her degree in Barcelona. In 2016 she came to live in Melbourne to keep creating art through different mediums, after a year Ana went Madrid to finish her Master Degree in “Cultural Projects Management”. Ana recently moved back to Melbourne, where she still painting and expanding her life drawing and painting tutoring and skills. Her style is really particular, using fine weighted lines and mixed this with areas with watercolour.
BROCK Q. PIPER
Brock Q. Piper is a Melbourne based artist and holds an Advanced Diploma of Fine Arts, majoring in painting and drawing. His practice is primarily large Modern Australian Abstraction works, based heavily on archetypal symbolism and personal narrative. He has been practicing professionally for the past nine years, exhibiting throughout Australia in various commercial galleries, with numerous works held in private collections across Australia and the United States. He is currently represented with Metro Gallery in Melbourne, Piermarq Gallery in Sydney and Penny Contemporary Gallery in Hobart.
Michelle Molinari is a Melbourne based multidisciplinary artist. Graduating with distinction from the Victorian College of the Arts in Fine Art Honours, she has since gone onto complete international artist residencies in New York and Florence, held several solo exhibitions, has been a finalist in numerous national awards and was the recipient of the Graeme Hildebrand travelling fellowship in 2014.
Archie Barry is a first class honours graduate of Art Education from the College of Fine Arts (Sydney), and is currently studying a Masters of Contemporary Art at the Victorian College of the Arts. With a background in traditional drawing, Archie’s focus is on mastering observational skills and honing drawing techniques to achieve realism. Archie’s teaching practice is informed by Buddhist meditation, with a focus on investigation, reflection, clarity and calm when approaching the subject matter and drawing process.
Ben Howe is an internationally recognized artist specializing in hyperrealist and surrealist painting. Over the course of nearly two decades, he has explored the nature of consciousness, personal history and the incongruities of memory through his artwork. Ben holds a Masters of fine art with distinction from RMIT and is the recipient of numerous grants, awards, international residencies and fellowships. Ben is also a highly qualified art teacher with over six years experience.
Drawing & Painting Tutor
Troy Argyros holds a Bachelor of Fine Art Painting from Monash University (2012) and currently studies Drawing and Painting at The Florence Academy of Art. Troy has exhibited in many group exhibitions in Australia including the EMSLA and AME Bale, has held four solo exhibitions including Fragments of Florence at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins in 2015, and his work also belongs to many private collections. Troy is the winner of the Graeme Hildebrand Prize for Emerging Artists in 2017 in the category of Oil Paintings.
Terry Jarvis is an award winning water colour artist with work featured in collections across the globe. Based in Australia, he explores his passion for the water colour medium through a variety of subject matters that range from his European travels to working with Aboriginal groups in the Northern Territory to encourage engagement in the arts. Having written a number of feature articles for Australian Artist Magazine, and being selected as a feature artist in multiple watercolour publications, Terry is a much sought after tutor both internationally and at home in Australia.