Our Teachers

Elizabeth Ashley
ELizabeth Ashley mug
Elizabeth has been an art teacher for 29 years, with the last 23 years at Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, Va. She feels passionately about the strength of art and the creative process for all ages.

Anne Browne, owner of Art House 7
BA, Fine Art, University of Virginia; BFA and MFA, Painting and Sculpture, San Francisco Art Institute
Anne Browne was trained as a painter and sculptor. She paints the traditional subjects like portraits, landscapes and still-lifes, but also has fun with absurd subject matter — bringing humor into her art. In addition, she enjoys experimenting with all types of media — wire, clay, felting, knitting and jewelry. Anne has been teaching art since 1996. She enjoys the children’s curiosity and enthusiasm in art-making and opening up new worlds for them to express themselves. At Art House 7, she also teaches adults and loves to introduce them to new mediums and help them succeed where they didn’t think they could.

Jane McElvaney Coonce
Jane McElvaney Coonce mug Jane McElvany Coonce has been in the art field for over 30 years. She works primarily in oil, pastel, and terra cotta. Her favorite subjects are children, seascapes, and bridge scenes. She is particularly skillful at capturing the luminescent quality of sunlight reflecting on water and on the interplay of water and sky.

Her works are held by private and corporate collectors. Her corporate collectors include the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., and the International Country Club, Fairfax, Va., and the Rickover Academy in Chicago. She has won numerous awards for both her paintings and her sculptures. See Jane’s website for more on her work.

Joanna Edwards

Media Arts & Design degree, James Madison University.
Jo is a local artist and freelance designer. She created the cover and special edition artwork for “Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton, the New York Times bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club memoir. She has murals in several buildings in Washington and the Northern Virginia area. She has created everything from preschool logos to 50-page high school media guides, and has had her graphic prints singled out by the Washingtonian Online for “Best DC-themed gifts” and Disney Baby for nursery room prints. She has sold several works in graphite, pen and ink, acrylic and watercolor. She has two young boys, Jude and Oliver, and her husband is Brock Edwards. You can see more of Jo’s work on her site, JoannaKEdwards.com.


Carson Herrington

MAT: Art, Tufts and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; MA: Art History, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Carson spent 20 years designing programs and workshops for schools and teachers in art museums around the country before yielding to her other passion — books. She’s loved selling books at Child’s Play in Arlington for the past four years but now she’s ready to get back to her original goals of making art and teaching all about it.

“It’s so fun to make something you feel pleased and proud of but, I love the process just as much and hope that I can instill that love in others. I also enjoy using my background in art history to make links with art made in the studio.”

Lauren Ashley Lachewitz

Undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech; Master’s in Education from Marymount University.
Lauren is a first-grade teacher at Taylor Elementary. She grew up in Arlington, Va., and attended Taylor Elementary as a child. She loves utilizing books to help foster creativity! Lauren loves working with children and helping them gain confidence in their abilities!

Kerensa McConnell
Kerensa studied Spanish and Art at Goucher College in Towson, Md., and started teaching at Escuela Key School in 1997. Outside of the classroom, her artistic focus is primarily photography and painting. She also loves knitting, running and reading.

“Creating art forces you to constantly reassess and change course by responding to your the work as you make it. When facing a challenging project I want my students to learn to move beyond the what they’re picturing the finished product will be, and, instead, respond to the reality by working through obstacles to improve their pieces.”


Brittany Lawrence Root
MAM (Master of Arts Management) from Carnegie Mellon University; BA from Georgetown University with a double major in History and Studio Art

Brittany is a visual artist who trained in oil painting but through her larger commissioned works retrained in acrylic painting techniques. She enjoys working in a variety of mediums including oil, pastel, acrylic, and pen and ink.  She has a passion for arts education and working with children of all ages to realize their creative potential.

Brittany is currently the lead researcher on the Otto H. Bacher Catalog Raisonné Project and creates artwork on commission for private homes and commercial enterprises. She serves on the board of directors for McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) organizing exhibition auctions, and assisting with programming for adult art education. Previously, Brittany was the Director of Project 4 Gallery in Washington. Brittany lives in Arlington with her three kids; her oldest is a student at Taylor Elementary School. 

Amy West

Teacher Amy West as “Monet.”

BA, Sweetbriar College; a “diplome” from the University Paris IV – la Sorbonne; studied at the University of Heidelberg; is now a doctoral candidate in Italian studies at Middlebury College.

Amy has been teaching in the D.C. area for over a decade. She is passionate about crafting artful and dynamic learning experiences full of stories and laughter, music and color.