Art Academy of Westchester


About Us

Atelier Method of Instruction

"Atelier method" is a form of fine art instruction modeled after the historic 19th century private art studios of Europe. This method of art tuition is based on the transfer of skills and knowledge from an experienced educator who is accomplished both as an artist and as an art instructor. A discipline-based fine art education, it is centered on realism and the acquisition of skills that are fundamental in the understanding of all other artistic styles. Drawing and painting from direct observation are at the core of our teachings and they contribute to the enhancement of the student’s creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities.

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Painting of a Mandolin

Vicente Saavedra

An award winning artist, Saavedra holds a MA from New York University and a BA from UMASS Boston. He attended the Sorbonne and the IEP in Paris and is currently an Art Faculty member at The Masters School, Dobbs Ferry. He has been exhibiting in Westchester and Manhattan since 1999 and has been teaching since 1992, sharing experiences in France (Lycee Montaigne) and Venezuela (University of Zulia, Art Faculty). He is a sought after portrait artist and a passionate musician, leading two music duos (French music and Latin American music). He is the founder and director of this school, Art Academy of Westchester, and an art faculty at The Masters School, Dobbs Ferry NY.

Watch "Leaping Dragon", a 10' x 24' mural at The Masters School.

Painting of a pear with a red background

Helen Elliott

Helen Elliott has a bachelors degree in Art History from De Montford University in the UK and is a practicing artist specializing in oil painting. Helen works as head teacher and art specialist at Good Shepherd Early Childhood Center in Irvington and is the program director for RiverArts SummerArts Workshops. She has worked with children K-7 and adults through various organizations including The Irvington Children’s Center, Westchester Community College, WAEYC Workshops, RiverArts and through her private studio.

School Policy



These are profoundly uncertain times, and thus our plans for teaching in person may be subject to revisions based on the changing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote learning will be considered should local governmental health authorities and experts advise us to do so. The decision to change to remote learning and/or resume in-person instruction, will be informed by, but not limited to federal, state and local guidance.
Should remote teaching become necessary, classes will take place at the same time of the class for a duration of 50 minutes. Students will continue to learn drawing and painting techniques from the instructor via an online platform (Google Meet and/or Zoom). More details will be provided should this change of circumstance occur.

Cancellations/Make-Up Policy

Emergency closings, weather related or otherwise, will be announced through and announced in our answering machine, and sent to e-mail addresses provided on the registration form. The Art Academy will be closed when Dobbs Ferry school closes due to inclement weather. We cannot guarantee a makeup class for every weather related closing as we are limited to the number of makeup classes we can provide.

Classes missed due to the teacher's absence will be made up at the end of the session. Classes missed due to the student's absence are non-refundable. Students can makeup up to two classes per session by attending another class, space permitting.

Adult Classes: adults are given an additional two free weeks of classes in their tuition. These two additional weeks can be used for weather related cancellations or personal absence. Should there be an additional adult class in progress on a different day, adult students are welcome to make-up a class in that other session, space permitting.

Withdrawals and Refunds

The Art Academy reserves the right to cancel class and will refund Tuition or remaining tuition accordingly. Students who withdraw from class prior to or after the first class receive full refund, less $35 processing fee. There are no refunds for withdrawals after the second class. Students that must withdraw from class for other reasons (misconduct or medical reasons, for example) will receive the remaining of the tuition.

For more information write to or call our office (914)844-9063

Amended 08/13/20