Jen Kaplan, President
Jen has been president of Young at Art since 2015. She is both a teacher and the administrator of YAA. She primarily teaches the Parent-Child classes and in preschools. Jen was trained by Donna Wiener, the original owner of Young at Art, in the YAA Teacher Training Program. Her background is in nonprofit management and fundraising. She has a Masters in Organizational Change from The New School and has taken classes at Parsons School of Art. Jen has travelled extensively, living in Moscow, Russia for several years. She speaks Russian and knows several other languages. She is an artist by hobby and works in oils and acrylics. She also enjoys decorating cakes and cookies, which she calls 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.
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.
Nicole Pertelesi, Art Therapist & Teacher
Nicole is a board certified Art Therapist. She has been practicing art therapy the last ten years, working primarily with children and adults with various disabilities and autism. During the day, Nicole works in a school in NYC for children with autism. She joined Young at Art in October 2019, teaching in the evenings and on weekends. 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.
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.
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.