Frequently Asked Questions
Where are classes held?
All classes are held at our studio here in Elsternwick at 544 Glen Huntly Road. We are located between Orrong and Kooyong Roads. The closest side street is Hoddle Street. The studio is located next to stop 48 on the number 67 tram which leaves from both Elsternwick and Glen Huntly Stations.
What do you teach in your children's classes?
We offer a multifaceted program that gives children technical tools enabling them to express their creativity in an imaginative and playful way.
Each term is divided into a number of projects (2-4) which look at drawing techniques, painting methods, collage and multimedia, sculpture, printmaking and class collaborations. Some projects have a completed outcome such as a finished painting, a detailed drawing or a sculpture while others focus on giving the child a wider opportunity to experience art making and creativity.
A lot of energy and thought goes into the preparation of our curricula. We use high quality materials in class and only hire experienced teachers who have gone through a Working with Children Check.
What do you teach in your teen classes?
Our teen programs teach young artists how to observe and develop their artistic skills.
We understand that the teenage years are fraught with emotional tribulation and that art making can be a valuable tool for catharsis and self-expression. While teaching traditional methods of drawing and painting, we subtly educate our teenage students about how artists throughout the ages have expressed their emotions through their choice of subject matter, their techniques as well as their choice of colours and textures.
Art is a communication method that can sometimes work as a replacement of the spoken word. As the teenager develop artistic skills, their confidence improves. There are few places in Melbourne that offer such an advanced program – imparting skills similar to university level programs – to teens aged 12-18.
Can you actually teach my child how to draw?
Is your child showing an interest in art and wants to learn techniques for how to draw better? Perfect. Over the years we have seen that it is children with this mindset that get most out of our programs.
As with any activity, the child must be open and willing to learn. Once a child is ready to take art making seriously – while still approach it in a playful way – our programs will teach them techniques that make them better artists today while laying the foundation for further artistic development in the future.
Why are classes so expensive?
Our highly organised studios are run with the deepest of consideration for our students. That means we use professional, high quality materials and spend a considerable amount of time developing programs tailored to the various skill levels of our students.
In our children’s classes we have a ratio of 1 teacher to 12 students and we exclusively employ highly qualified teachers with a Working with Children Check.
Our programs are not a play clubs. On the contrary, we invest a lot of time creating a learning environment unlike any other in Melbourne and place a high value of this unique contribution to the community.
Is the studio a safe & secure environment for children?
The safety and health of our students is of utmost importance to us.
We guarantee that all children are fully supervised during our classes. As the studio has an indoor toilet they don’t leave the area until a parent or guardian comes to pick them up after class.
Parents are required to drop off and pick up from the studio.
We use non-toxic materials and Art Encounters is a nut, shellfish and egg free environment.
Are your teachers qualified? What are their backgrounds?
The background of our teachers varies. Our main qualification is that teachers are practicing artists and have experience in teaching.
All our teachers have a Bachelor of Fine Art, and some also have a Bachelor of Education. Classes are overseen by company directors, Dena Lester & Amanda Hare. Dena Lester has been running Art Encounters and the Melbourne Studio of Art for 16 years.
All teachers have a valid Working with Children Check.
How many classes are there in each term?
Our terms are 9 weeks long, so there are 9 weekly classes. If there is ever an exception to this, we will let you know.
What if my child can't do a full term?
Students benefit greatly from starting the term in week 1. However, if this is not possible for you, please contact the studio and we can try and work out an alternative arrangement. In our 5 – 12 year old classes we only accept mid term enrolments at the beginning of each new project.
Is there flexibility with your age groups?
We believe students benefit most from being in class alongside peers of similar age. A younger or older child in a group can change the dynamic and momentum of the class as a whole. So it is our preference to take enrolments for children within the age groups we have specified. If your child is the on the age cusp, we are happy to discuss your individual circumstances to see if it is suitable for your child move up or down an age group.
Do you offer trial classes?
We do not offer trial classes. However if you’re unsure we recommend that you enrol your child into a school holiday program session first to determine if they enjoy the content and atmosphere of the studio.
What if my child doesn't like it?
If you’re not certain that our program is the right choice for your child, we would recommend that you start by enrolling the child in a few school holiday programs. This way your child can try it out without committing to a longer course.
Under certain circumstances we may be able to arrange an obligation-free trial class, if there is availability in that group.
Once you have committed to a class we do not refund fees under any circumstances.
How do I book in?
Our class booking system is now online so just click on the class or session you are interested in and follow the steps.
If you don’t have the internet, or you have trouble booking online, you can call us (03) 9528 3392 and we can help.
Do I need to provide my child's materials?
In most cases all materials are supplied as part of your fee. If students are required to bring or purchase their own materials a list will be emailed prior to the commencement of the course.
Kits purchased through the school are priced with a 20% student discount and can be picked up at the beginning of the first class.
If students do not require the full materials kit, individual items can be purchased at the studio.
What should my child wear?
Please ensure that your child wears old clothes and shoes as paints and other materials may stain clothing.