Alice Laputka is a nationally recognized pastel and water media artist. Her paintings have been accepted into hundreds of national and international juried competitions, have won numerous awards and have been included in several books and magazines. She is a member of the Master Circle of the International Association of Pastel Societies and signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club (both in NYC), and the Philadelphia Water Color Society. She teaches a course for teens and adults called Color, Composition and Creativity and is in the process of writing a book about the art lessons she has created. Her paintings are a deeper exploration of the elements she teaches in her classes.
Laputka received her BFA in Advertising Design from the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) and after turning to fine art, studied with several nationally known artists. She has also furthered her education in the arts through travel, museum visits, extensive reading and interaction with other artists. She has worked with oils, watercolor, pastels, acrylics, various types of printmaking, drawing and artists’ books. Her background in design has strongly influenced her work. She was taught that the best representational work has a good underlying abstract compositional structure, and that mantra is the basis for her work and teaching and is one reason why she does both abstract and representational work.
Born and Raised in Juno Beach, Florida; Alicia Jones has always loved the arts. Her creativity was truly awakened when she was in her 20’s when she met local artist Lynne Barletta. After studying and interning with Lynne, a fire was lit, and she helped open an art school with Lynne called Visionary School of Arts in 2010. A Graduate from FAU, she continues to teach at VSOA. Her students continue to win many local and national awards. She is currently expanding her family and taking some time to paint and explore.
Madisyn DeRita has been a Visionary Student since the age of 7. She has been the recipient for the Women Supporting the Art’s Scholarship, as well as the winner of numerous local art competitions. In 2012, one of her paintings was chosen to be the Loggerhead Marine Life Turtle Fest T-shirt design. Madisyn has also won the Congressional Art Competition and has her artwork displayed in the US Capital.
Born and raised in Stuart, Florida, her inspiration for her work comes from her surroundings. She finds her inspiration from the shore and sea and has an infiniti towards sea turtles. Her paintings have been exhibited throughout Stuart, and her work currently hangs at the Visionary Gallery and Osceola Street Café in Downtown Stuart.
Madisyn is now the lead teacher at Visionary and has been promoted to Program Director. Her love for art and joy with working with the students at Visionary is evident in her work ethic and classes.
Mike Nolan has been teaching for Visionary School of Arts since 2014. His degree is from the Art Institute of Ft Lauderdale. He has been a professional artist and teacher for most of his life and has loved painting since he was a child. Mike is well known locally and nationally for his amazing underwater paintings, reptiles, animal portraits and murals.
Alexandra Trejo (Alex)
Alexandra has been one of our past scholarship students. She has won awards since age 11 when she became a student of VSOA, including the sponsorship from Women Supporting the Arts Scholarship Award for 3 years. She completed VSOA internship courses and has been directing camps and weekly classes as an instructor for three years. Alexandra is now one of our top instructors here and is one of our prolific artists and donated her art and talent to many causes and charities including her mural work downtown Stuart on the ATT Building in 2018 to benefit Catch the Wave of Hope for trafficked victims, and most recently, her collaborative piece with fellow Visionary Chris Carnes that was auctioned for the Martin County Police Benevolent Fund at our Heroes Art Show.
Alexandra will be leaving for college in fall of 2022 with scholarships that came from her awards, academic achievement, leadership and community give-back through auctioning her original art and raising thousands of dollars for First Responders, Molly's House, The Stuart Air Show, and our own scholarship program alongside her many community service hours. Her portraits convey endless emotion and detail, and she expresses that "I am able to show the beauty in each and every race, ethnicity, gender, and religion."
Chris has demonstrated an unusual talent for the arts at a very young age. His hunger and
focus for the arts has caused tremendous growth very quickly. He went from being a student, to
student teaching and donating his time to VSOA summer camps that work with children ages 5 to
15. Most currently, he teaches the Power of Arts Curriculum for endangered kids at numerous
Boys and Girls Clubs in Martin County as part of Visionary School of Art’s outreach programs.
He has shown tremendous character as he builds up others around him, all while showing commitment and determination in his own art.
Chris has won many awards and has been the featured artist for many events such as the Martin
County Open Studio Tour, as well as the cover of Stuart Magazine. He has demonstrated a love
and heart for his community by donating his art for auctions that has raised thousands of dollars for scholarship programs. He has contributed his talent and countless hours to one of the biggest mural projects in Martin County that raised awareness in our community about human trafficking through the non-profit, Catch the Wave of Hope.
Abby was born in New Jersey, but moved to Florida with her family when she was very young. Her mother sparked her love for art when she was a child by always letting her express her creativity. She grew up painting and drawing on everything from paper to canvases, even bathroom walls. Her love of art really blossomed in high school and led her to pursue Fine Art at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, FL,where she received her degree. Abby is one of our newest instructors here at VSOA and she says teaching art is such an exciting experience. Graphite portraits and acrylic paintings are her specialty. Primarily, she pulls inspiration from the beautiful world we live in, as its beauty points to the evidence of our Creator.
Creating various forms of art and crafts started at a very young age for me, I can recall hours of drawing, gluing, painting, and designing all sorts of things! This love of creativity carried throughout my life and has played a significant role in who I am and what I do today.
Art was my favorite class in high school, so naturally I chose to attend Art School after graduating. I attended Hussain School of Art in Philadelphia, PA and so began my journey of fine art education. I also started teaching private art classes at the age of 18 while attending school and working. After my schooling, I always remained teaching, painting and exhibiting my work. For years I primarily worked with watercolor, but as of the last few years I find myself working with oils and enjoying the medium just as much.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, my business was negatively impacted and so I took the opportunity to start fresh by moving to Florida as a permanent resident. Now, I am teaching at several art schools and galleries in the area.
VSOA Student Intern Instructors: