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”.
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. Since working at the Art Studio, Jesse has become a glass fusing virtuoso, as well as running most of the behind the scenes, home school/summer camp classes, and being the event coordinator.
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.
Donald McMullen joined The Art Studio in the summer of 2016. A life long artist, Donald is teaching borosilicate lamp working (glass blowing) at The Art Studio. In addition, Donald manages the Coffee Loft serving STRONG COFFEE, works with guests in glass fusing, handles advertising and is learning this lovely website. After living in Minnesota, Atlanta GA, Winter Haven FL, and then graduating High School in Delano Minnesota, Donald followed the sun to Eckerd College in St. Pete Florida. It was there he met his wife, and followed her down to the Florida Keys after graduation in 2012. After working in the Visual Communications department at the wonderful Dolphin Research Center, Donald was lucky enough to get his dream job teaching and creating art at The Art Studio.
Tiffany Kidwell became a part of The Art Studio team in March of 2017. She has worked in numerous fields including restaurant management, sign hand-painting, teacher’s assisting, jewelry sales and design, and coffee making. She has worked with many different medias in her spare time simply for her love of art, music and creativity. After 15 years of traveling with her parents who were photographers, she settled in the Florida Keys to finish High School. Now a 32 year old mother to her 10 year old son, Kyler, she is still pursuing the many facets of her creativity and passing what she learns down to him, as he also has a passion for the Arts.
Currently, Tiffany is learning to manage PYOP (Paint Your Own Pottery) and has assisted with teaching the Homeschool classes that we offer and the field trips that we host, as she loves working with children. She is also one of our skillful baristas and makes a fantastic latte.
Tiffany feels very blessed to be able to work at The Art Studio and assist our guests with tapping into their creativity. As a part of our team, she is joyfully re-connecting with her own.