What We Do
We are an all-ages art studio located in Aptos, CA and now virtually around the world! We offer online and
small, in-person, outdoor groups. In-person classes will resume in the summer of 2023 in our NEW STUDIO SPACE in the Aptos Village Square! Join our mailing list for updates on our grand opening and special events.
Our classes are held in a positive, non-competitive environment.
Art Factory instructors bring cross curricular experience to art education, using art as a medium to explore everything from history to mathematics to science. With an emphasis on art history, technique and creative expression, students will develop or expand their art practice. Use our classes to enrich your child’s education or for your own creative retreat.
©2023 Art Factory
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 and building strong creative teams in the workplace.
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 its programs, to serve more of our county’s youth, teen and adult community.
When not in the studio/classroom, Yvette continues her freelance career as a technical illustrator and commercial artist and creative team builder.
Danielle Lewis; Art Instructor
Danielle has graduated 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 high school art teacher. Her photography is published in a variety of books and has been selling her whimsical ceramic pieces in the gallery A Sense of Place in Fresno, CA.
Danielle has a lifelong passion for art and art history and loves sharing her knowledge with others. “I love that moment when I see a child's face light up when they see their creation come to life.”
Jason Matthews; Character Illustration Instructor
Jason earned his Studio Art degree from Cabrillo College in 2020, and began his role at the Art factory shortly thereafter. He currently teaches Character Illustration, a remote drawing class that introduces students to the magical world of visual storytelling. With an inherent affinity for all things artistic, Jason brings to the classroom a lifetime of personal insight, and weaves into his curriculum the tips and tools that he feels would have enhanced his experiences as a growing artist. His professional endeavors have included graphic design, storyboarding, game development and caricature art. In his downtime, he broadens his creative horizons by capturing illustrious nature photography. Jason enjoys nurturing the creativity of today’s youth while fulfilling his own childhood dream of becoming a professional animator.
Kalil Mitchell; Drawing and Painting Instructor
Kalil received three Associates degrees in Fine Arts, Art History, and Liberal Arts from Cabrillo College in 2019 before attaining her BFA in 2021 from San Jose State University. She specializes in the realm of pictorial arts, focussing on drawing, painting, and printmaking. She has exhibited works on both the west and east coast including Sweet Lorraine Gallery NY, Theta Belcher Gallery CA, and the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center CA.
Alongside the development of her professional practice, Kalil has always wanted to teach art to various age groups. She has experience tabling at different events and working with kids from diverse backgrounds. Kalil regards art as a beautiful modality for self expression, healing, belonging, and problem solving while building confidence and a strong sense of self within a community. She intends to teach both high school and college level art after graduate school.
Reyna Gallardo; Studio Art Instructor
Reyna is a local artist who has been working with Art Factory students since 2016. She is a Cabrillo College graduate and has completedand will soon be working on a B.S. in Visual Communication Design at San Francisco State. Her creative interests include printing, painting, sewing, and graphic design. Some of these works have recently been shown at Cabrillo Gallery and Subrosa Community Space. She loves working at the Art Factory because it is such a privilege to learn and grow alongside her students in their exploration of the natural world through art.
Because community matters... here at the Art Factory we feel the ripple effect of deep community connections. We believe in the goodness that grows as we join forces to strengthen our neighborhoods, beaches, schools and communities.
Learn more about the Live Like Coco Foundation. A cause near and dear to our creative hearts, and Santa Cruz County's County Park Friends, an organization who we love to develop and deliver content for.
Thank you for donating books to our free little library in the Polo Grounds Park, for recycling pens and markers through our Terracycle box, for joining us on beach clean-ups organized by Live Like Coco and for contributing to our scholarship fund which allows students to participate in weekly after school art classes.
We have donated more than 200 art classes to local school fundraisers since 2009.
Upcoming projects to be excited about:
Children's Reading Garden at the new Aptos Library