John Armstong (Founder/Owner/Instructor) - Drawing, Painting, Voice
John's key objectives in founding the Open Arts Studio with his wife Lucy is to provide students with a classical foundation in music, visual and performance arts while creating a safe, noncompetitive and enjoyable classroom atmosphere. He teaches the Open Arts Drawing Method, singing, voice overs and improv. He has a Bachelor of Music from Central Washington University and received his Masters degree in Music & Classical Vocal Performance from the University of Colorado. John has created and studied art since his childhood.
John teaches with passion and excitement to all ages but has a special talent with children. He encourages each student to build their drawing and painting skills with a fun manner that keeps the children wanting to learn more.
Mikko Freeman (Instructor) - Drawing, Painting
Mikko studied multimedia and fine art at the Northwest College of Art and Design with a focus on oil painting, as well as art history, business and philosophy at the Evergreen State College. For several years he recorded and performed music professionally while maintaining his passion for painting. While traveling in Europe he rediscovered traditional painting for himself after spending days studying Sargent, Leighton, and Waterhouse paintings in the Tate Britain. Deeply moved by these historic works Mikko decided to return to his artistic training in a traditional manner. He moved to Italy and studied classical drawing and painting at the Florence Academy of Art. Steeped in tradition, history and a community of burgeoning realists he began to develop his voice as a representational artist. Currently, Mikko lives, paints, and teaches in the Pacific Northwest.
Peter Giardina A.K.A. "PECO" (Instructor) - Guitar, Piano, Ukulele
Peter Giardina has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Youngstown State University in Ohio. He earned his Master's degree in Education Technology from City University. Peter has been working as a public school teacher for 15+ years and has a background in the Orff and Kodaly teaching methods. He has taught guitar privately for 20+ years. Peter has experience in many areas and styles of guitar such as fingerstyle, classical, electric rhythm and blues as well as rock. He has participated in many cover bands, tribute bands and original bands. Peter is also an aspiring singer and songwriter.