More than just an art class.

Teacher Bios

Jen Kaplan, President
Jen took over as president of YAA in 2015. Her background is in nonprofit and small business management. She has a Masters in Organizational Change from The New School and has taken classes at Parsons School of Art. Jen was trained by Donna Wiener in the YAA Teacher Training Program. Jen has lived and worked in Moscow, Russia. She has travelled extensively and speaks several languages. She is an artist by hobby and works in oils and acrylics. She also enjoys making bakery art.

Kören Beck Tomlinson, Art Teacher
Kören is an accomplished artist and knitter who has lived and worked in London, Minneapolis, Düsseldorf, and New York. She has been working with Young at Art since April 2019. Kören has an MFA from Parsons School of Design. She is an art and knitting teacher for children and adults and owns Edgemont Art Barn in Westchester. She has taught in both Waldorf and Montessori schools as an enrichment specialist and is a visiting artist at Greenburgh Library and Mt. Sinai Hospital. Her classes are designed to enhance whole learning and personal development. She creates open-ended, process-driving projects that allow the students to develop their ideas and personal communication skills as well as their art skills. She works with students in drawing, collage, assemblage, and more.

Jon Berry, Art Teacher
Jon joined Young at Art in January 2018. He has had a wide range of teaching experience from young children in head start to the undergraduate level. Jon received both a BFA in Printmaking and an MFA in Digital Media from the Rhode Island School of Design. He is an active muralist and has had work featured in multiple publications. While Jon works in all types of media, he believes it all starts with a strong foundation in drawing.

Jackie Greenfield, Art Teacher
Jackie began teaching at Young at Art in July 2007. She participated in YAA Teacher Training Program. She has a Master’s degree in Art Education K-12 from Manhattanville College and a BFA from Syracuse University, School of Visual and Performing Arts. Jackie enjoys making 3D art. She also ran a family luxury bath and gift manufacturing business for 13 years.

Melissa Listwan, Art Teacher
Melissa has been working for Young at Art since August 2015. She has been trained by veteran YAA teachers and has been working with young children for 7 years. Melissa's personal artwork has primarily been in woodworking. She is working towards a teaching degree at Westchester Community College.

Katya Meykson, Art Teacher
Katya received her Bachelor's of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a multidisciplinary artist working in painting, drawing, and fiber sculpture. Katya has been teaching art for over nine years, she has taught at Manhattan JCC, Art Fairy Education, L2COLAB, and other schools in New York area. She began working with Young at Art in May 2017.

Nicole Pertelesi, Art Teacher
Nicole is a board certified Art Therapist. She has been practicing the last ten years, working primarily with children and adults with various disabilities and autism. She joined Young at Art in October 2019. Nicole has an MA in Art Therapy from Hofstra University and a BA in Art Education from SUNY New Paltz. Her classes consist of creating art using multiple media, such as watercolor, collage, and paint. She provides guidance and structure with the flexibility to allow each person to grow in their own creative way.

Ashley Veselis, Art Teacher
Ashley has a BS in Art Education from the University of Vermont and an MA in Art Business from Sotheby's Institute of Art. After a brief stint working in the art world as an art advisor and creative program manager, Ashley has returned to her first love, teaching. She has four year of experience instructing adults and children as young as four-years-old in art making. She joined Young at Art in September 2020. Ashley loves all creative endeavors and is constantly exploring new medias and ways of working. From painting and printmaking to embroidery and ceramics, she is always looking for her next creative adventure.

We hire professionals with many years of experience who are truly committed to helping children develop a positive sense of self-esteem. Our teachers work side-by-side with your child to help them get in touch with their innate creativity, to improve artistic skills, to build a positive community in the classroom, and to deal with the frustrations and joys of making something look just as they want it too.