Our Teaching Staff

DENA LESTER

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 ROJAS

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

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.

GALLERY & WORKS

THOMAS C. CHUNG

In 2004, Chung completed his BFA at the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales. He is currently applying for a Master of Counselling to further his conceptual practice. In the last several years he has represented Australia at 5 international Biennale’s and won residencies to Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, China, Switzerland, Germany and Japan. His recent exhibitions have included the 40th Alice Prize; The 65th Blake Prize, Korea Through the Lens, South Korea; Central Russian Zen, National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Russia and YIA Art Fair #10, Basel Art Centre, Switzerland with works in public and private collections throughout the world.

GALLERY & WORKS

GEOFF DUPREE

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.

ROMAN SCHOENI

Drawing & Painting Tutor

Roman Schoeni is a well-established artist from Switzerland who moved to Melbourne in 2016. He holds a Diploma of Fine Arts and studied in Art Therapy at the IAC Integrative Education Centre in Zurich. Roman Schoeni is interested in the psychological aspect of creative work. He studies the influences of colour, form and sound and likes to experiment with visual and auditory elements. In Switzerland he is represented by the Gallery Uferzone in Zurich.

GALLERY & WORKS

BRIDGET HILLEBRAND

Printmaking Tutor

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.

GALLERY & WORKS

ANA MATURANA

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

Painting Tutor

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.

GALLERY & WORKS

MICHELLE MOLINARI

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.

GALLERY & WORKS

ARCHIE BARRY

Drawing Tutor

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.

GALLERY & WORKS

BEN HOWE

Painting Tutor

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.

GALLERY & WORKS

TROY ARGYROS

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.

GALLERY & WORKS

KOHL TYLER-DUNSHEA

Watercolour Tutor

Kohl Tyler-Dunshea is an artist and art-tutor with a Bachelor of Fine Art from Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design (Auckland). For the last two years Kohl has been exhibiting, developing and teaching watercolour classes for Whitecliffe’s Short Course Programme, as well as at various other contemporary art institutions and galleries..

GALLERY & WORKS

TERRY JARVIS

Watercolour Tutor

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.

GALLERY & WORKS