Celebrating 10 years in Northwest Austin, art instructor aims to create confidence through drawing and painting

The Northwest Austin studio hosts gallery events for student art.

The Northwest Austin studio hosts gallery events for student art.

Image description
Art + Academy
Image description
Art + Academy
Image description
Art + Academy
Image description
Art + Academy
Monica Araoz, founder of Art + Academy, said her business came from “humble beginnings.”

When a fellow parent at her child’s school asked Araoz, a painter, if she offered lessons 10 years ago, she set up shop for her first few clients. According to Araoz, the first location of Art + Academy was so small that her students’ easels touched the ceiling.

Today, Art + Academy has 15 teachers across four locations, in Cedar Park, Southwest Austin and Northwest Austin, where a location opened in 2009, as well as a new facility in Lakeway that opened Sept. 3 of this year.

One thing has not changed: Art + Academy is still focused on the core artistic skills of painting and drawing, skills that Araoz said she believes everyone should have. In the decade she has been an art teacher, Araoz has operated with a central belief: She can teach anyone to draw.

“There’s no magic gene,” she said, “It’s something you can learn.”

No matter the skill level of a student when he or she starts classes at Art + Academy, Araoz said she and her staff hone in on technique and progress, with a goal of giving students measurable results. The business’s website displays before-and-after examples of self portraits sketched on day one compared to now.

Araoz said she showcases these before-and-after snapshots to highlight her goal to inspire confidence and a sense of “self-achievement.”

“When you see that in the eyes of a little guy, a little kid, it just makes your day,” she said.

Most Art + Academy students are children as young as 4, with some continuing classes throughout their years in school. Many adults also enroll in classes. According to Araoz, the oldest Art + Academy student is 86.

All students, old and young, can participate in gallery showcases at

Art + Academy facilities each semester, putting their creations on display. Each student drops notes on fellow students’ work, giving compliments to the artist, some of whom entered classes with only “stick-figure” drawing skills, according to Araoz.

“We see the transformation, and it’s priceless,” she said.
Art + Academy-Northwest

8650 Spicewood Springs Road, Ste. 118, Austin
512-415-8267
www.artclassesaustin.com
Hours vary based on class schedules
By Olivia Aldridge
Olivia is the reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition. She graduated from Presbyterian College with a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing in 2017. Olivia was a reporter and producer at South Carolina Public Radio in Columbia, South Carolina before joining Community Impact in Austin.


MOST RECENT

The first three weeks of the Round Rock ISD fall 2020 semester will be held virtually.
JUST IN: Round Rock ISD announces plans to start first 3 weeks of fall 2020 semester virtually

In light of surges in coronavirus cases in the Round Rock-Austin area, district staff stated plans to start the 2020-21 academic year remotely.

Steve Math announced July 13 that he will resign from his position as a Round Rock ISD trustee, effective Nov. 2. (Courtesy Round Rock ISD)
Steve Math to resign as Round Rock ISD trustee, opening fourth seat for November election

A fourth seat on the Round Rock ISD board of trustees will be up for grabs in November.

A graphic that reads "today's coronavirus updates"
Travis County coronavirus indicators still hovering at upper end of Stage 4 risk

Travis County saw 657 new cases and 68 new hospitalizions July 13.

The city said residents should make sure they are only watering on their scheduled days based on address. (Courtesy city of Georgetown)
Georgetown faces watering restrictions, SW Austin private school closes: News from Central Texas

Read the latest business and community news from Central Texas here.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, shown here in March, announced July 13 the U.S. Department of Defense would provide additional resource to help Texas combat COVID-19. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Department of Defense task forces deployed to help Texas combat COVID-19

Gov. Greg Abbott announced July 13 the U.S. Department of Defense would provide more resources to Texas to combat the rise of COVID-19.

The proposed fiscal year 2020-21 budget includes an $11.3 million reduction in police spending, achieved largely by eliminating 100 vacant positions within the Austin Police Department. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's $4.2 billion proposed budget includes 2.5% reduction to police department funding

Community groups and some Austin City Council members have called for a police department budget reduction of at least $100 million.

More than 20,000 early voting ballots cast in Williamson County primary runoff election. (Community Impact staff)
More than 20,000 early voting ballots cast in Williamson County primary runoff election

Check out where you can vote on election day with our interactive map.

Thousands marched from Huston-Tillotson University to the Texas Capitol on June 7 to protest police brutality and systemic racism. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Where Austin's mayor, 9 City Council members stand on police reform, funding, leadership

With decisions coming soon on the city's fiscal year 2020-21 budget, all but one City Council member sat down for interviews on where they stand on various policing issues in Austin.

Travis County has added 3,069 new confirmed cases over the past week from July 6-12. (Community Impact Staff)
Travis County adds 3,069 new coronavirus cases over past week

Travis County has added 3,069 new confirmed cases over the past week from July 6-12.

A sign directs voters inside Ridgetop Elementary School in North Central Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
11.8% of voters in Travis County have voted early since June 29, exceeding 2018 primary numbers

More than 97,000 Travis County residents have voted in person or by mail. The turnout far surpassed the combined early and Election Day totals in the 2018 primary run-off election.

A photo of the potential Tesla property
Travis County updates Tesla incentive package, pushing for $1 billion-plus investment from the company

Poised for a possible July 13 vote, Travis County has released a refined incentives structure proposal with electric carmaker Tesla.