Staff​

Yvette Contois; Founder/Director and Art Instructor

With an early love for Art and Art Education, Yvette began her formal education in Philadelphia, starting as a high school student attending Moore College of Art. She went on to receive her Degree in Visual Communications & Graphic Design at The Art Institute of Philadelphia and soon after, received her BFA & K-12 Art Teaching Certification from Rosemont College, PA.

Yvette has been giving art lessons to adults & children since 1990. Her guiding passion is bringing art into the lives of her students. You will also find her teaching at the Cabrillo College Extension and at Santa Cruz Montessori. When not in the studio/classroom, Yvette continues her freelance career as a technical illustrator and commercial artist.The Art Factory has been Yvette’s creative vision, long before it opened in the Spring of 2009. She enjoys the studio’s continual growth and looks forward to the future expansion of it’s programs, to serve more of our county’s youth, teen and adult community.

Danielle Lewis; Art Instructor

​Danielle is graduating from Cabrillo Community College with three degrees in Studio Art, Liberal Arts and Science and Art History. She will be working towards getting her bachelors degree so she can become a highschool art teacher. She has her photography in multiple books and has been selling her whimsical ceramic chickens in the gallery A Sense of Place in Fresno. She has always had a passion to learn about art and art history and loves sharing her knowledge with others. “I love that moment when I see a kid's face light up when they see their creation come to life.”

Olivia Ronan; Fiber Arts Instructor

Olivia Ronan is a local fiber artist, creative mender, plant enthusiast and holds a BFA in Art from University of California Santa Cruz.

She discovered embroidery while studying Art at UCSC and instantly connected to  the meditative and versatile nature of the craft. The act of stitching is a deliberate process which helps her slow down, reflect, and appreciate the intricacy of the world around her.

As a teacher, she loves sharing her passion for embroidery with students of all ages, encouraging self expression and creativity through the art of needle craft.

Cassie Steele

Cassie began her journey as an Art Educator in 2014, starting in Boston and making her way to Santa Cruz in 2018. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Therapy, she has facilitated creative projects in a wide variety of settings including camps, schools, mental health facilities, community art centers, and online. In 2019, she began her role as an Art Guide to adolescents at Santa Cruz Montessori. She enjoys practicing art in all its forms, and strives to present creative expression in a way that is accessible and inspiring to people of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels. In her free time, she can be found practicing watercolor + ink, illustrating nature and fashion, biking around Santa Cruz, and staring at the ocean.

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