The Art Studio Staff
Born and raised in a small rural town in the heart of the Midwest, Sheila Cook has long been a lover and admirer of the arts. After raising her beautiful daughter, Casey, and fun-loving son, Sam, Sheila decided to explore her inner artist and attended Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri where she earned a full scholarship leading to her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre. It is there Sheila met her “favorite human”, Steve Cook. Steve and Sheila married in 1997 and have been devoted residents to the community of Marathon since 2003.
Through gifting and decorating with creative pieces made in her home studio, and painting murals throughout the world, Sheila was inspired to pursue her life-long dream and start a family-oriented art studio for all members of the community and visitors alike. It is at The Art Studio, Sheila will be able to live her passion for art education, creativity, and helping others “Discover their Creator”.
Sam Stephens is originally from a small town in rural Missouri; however, he has explored living in various cities throughout the States. Business savvy and ready to take on the world, Sam chose to start a college career, ultimately earning a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Throughout his college days, Sam rekindled a relationship with his high school crush, Leah. Sam and Leah married in Marathon in 2012 and now call this beautiful town home.
While dabbling in sales and other similar industries, Sam found his true passion, marketing and advertising. With his creative mind and fun-loving spirit, Sam decided to join his mother and start a family-made dream, The Art Studio.
Leah Stephens, a small town girl from High Ridge, Missouri, is a fun-loving, passionate and family-oriented wife and dog mother. With a thirst for knowledge, Leah attended Maryville University where she graduated at the top of her class with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Science. In 2012, Leah married the love of her life, Sam, in Marathon, a town in which she fell in love with.
Leah has explored various career paths and volunteer opportunities including environmental studies, retail, and education. With a climate rich with flora and fauna and an opportunity to work with family and children, Leah was excited to move to the Florida Keys. Better yet, she’s excited to work at The Art Studio where she can explore the exciting medium of art and help make the people of Marathon and its visitors feel right at home.
Joy Elledge is originally from St. Charles, Missouri, and moved down to Marathon in May 2014. She is heavily involved with her church and the local animal shelter where she holds a position on the Board of Directors. Joy currently works in the Coffee Loft here at The Art Studio and loves meeting new people.
Jesse Vandervoort, wife and mother of two incredibly energetic boys, has called Marathon home for the past 14 years. What started off as a college internship turned into a full time position with the largest resort in the heart of the Florida Keys and provided her with a great deal of experience working with corporate groups, retreats, special events, and recreational activities.
When Jesse and her husband purchased their home in 2002, she discovered a new passion, and armed with a degree from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, she began a ten-year career in Interior Design. Ever inspired to create, working as a designer was a wonderful outlet for Jesse. She found that raising her boys has opened up new and exciting avenues for creativity, one of which has been baking. Jesse’s desire to make awe-inspiring creations for their birthdays fueled her to learn, and she looks forward to sharing her experiences with our guests at The Art Studio.
Lynn Loftus has been working as a professional potter and sculptor for over 40 years. During this time she worked in a variety of mediums, though always returning to her passion, working with clay.
Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and has been sold throughout the USA. It has also been published in a variety of publications. She has a wealth of experience in the pottery process and her work ranges from sophisticated firings to whimsical pieces that are guaranteed to bring joy to all.
Lynn has owned and operated her own gallery in Colorado and has taught numerous workshops and pottery classes. Lynn is excited to share her creativity and knowledge with the guests of The Art Studio.