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
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.

Diane Felice

BS, Design and Marketing, Drexel University; MA, Secondary Art Education, George Washington University.
Diane is a part-time art teacher at Swanson Middle School in Arlington County. She has also taught elementary art and high school studio art, as well as adult art workshops. She exhibits and sells her ceramics and precious metal clay jewelry throughout the Metro area.

“Art has opened a new world for me — a new way of seeing, thinking, and communicating. I’m excited to share my love of art and expose students to a variety of art experiences in hopes that they too will find a whole new world through art!

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.”

Marcia Klioze

Studied fine art at the Corcoran School of Art and design and graphics and illustration at Montgomery College.
For the past 25 Marcia has enjoyed creating portraits and interpretive paintings and illustrations for noted clients, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the National Institutes of Health, and DC United.

Marcia’s oil painting journey began in 2012 when she traveled to Italy for a painting workshop led by acclaimed artist Kurt Schwartz. She realized then that she could wait no longer to pursue her passion. She followed her muse and the experience changed her life. Marcia continues to study with Kurt, and also has added the tutelage of renowned artists Danni Dawson and Ted Reed.

“After enjoying a long and successful career as both an editorial and medical illustrator—illustrating magazines, newspapers, and institutional publications—I’ve recently returned to traditional oil painting. My strength and my passion have always been in my ability to capture a person’s likeness, as well as their personality, or “essence”.… I’m fascinated with discovering what makes someone look like they do; going beyond just the physical features.… I prefer capturing the subjects ‘story’ or moment, not just mirroring their features.”

Lauren Ashley Lachewitz

Lauren is a first-grade teacher at Taylor Elementary. She grew up in Arlington, Va., and attended Taylor Elementary as a child. Lauren went to Virginia Tech for her undergraduate degree and Marymount University for her master’s in education. 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. 

Monica Stroik

Monica Stroik was born in Philadelphia, PA and grew up in Reston, VA. With her father and two of her brothers being architects, Stroik grew up surrounded by the language of lines, space, and place, which now influences her current work. She has an MAT as well as an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in the interdisciplinary program, Mt. Royal School of Art. In August 2016, Stroik was part of the studio residency program (VAP) at the Torpedo Factory. She has also participated in a summer painting residency at School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York and was a resident studio artist for six years at the Arlington Arts Center in Virginia. Stroik has exhibited across the DC metropolitan area including Artisphere, Glen Echo Stone Tower Gallery, Glenview Mansion, Hillyer Art Space, GRACE, and the Arlington Arts Center. Her work is collected internationally as well as state side. Besides painting, Stroik also mixes video for live musical performances and collaborates with her husband, Doug Kallmeyer, a musician and a composer.

She currently teaches art at Taylor Elementary in Arlington.