About us

What began as one, after-school art class taught from my home studio has grown into a thriving creative community for children, their parents and teachers. artKids developed out of my passion for the creative process and how best to reclaim it in adults and nurture it in young children.

artKids is a small business, sharing our small-but-dedicated team's love of art-making with your children. 


All artKids Art Tutors have current Working With Vulnerable People cards and First Aid certification. Find out more about our fabulous team below.

Our Art Tutors

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Robyn Thurecht

Robyn believes everyone is creative - they just have to be given the time, the space and the encouragement to re-discover the joys of creating. Teaching art and art-related subjects over the past 15 years, Robyn founded artKids with a focus on building skills and confidence in creativity while insisting on the fun element at all times. She loves that there is no one 'right' way to draw. As a writer in a previous life, Robyn also encourages the children to develop the story behind what they draw on their page. She lives by the statement: "There are no flops in art, only flopportunities!"


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Akka Ballenger

Akka Ballenger is an artist who loves mixing old and new, traditional and contemporary, digital and analogue. Akka has over 20 years’ experience in photography and alternate processes, including drawing, mixed media, printmaking and spoken words. After a successful Artist in Residence at Playing Fields Studios last year, Akka enjoys printmaking and writing poetry, in between raising two children of her own. She is passionate about making art accessible to everyone through community workshops and she volunteers her expertise to several local organisations and charities.


Jenna Poore

Before joining artKids, Jenna worked in ACT public schools, specialising in K-Yr 2. She discovered her love of art and took leave to study full time at the ANU. While completing her Fine Arts Degree in Drawing and Printmedia, she has been sharing her passion and skills with artKids students. 


Sophie Ryan

Sophie is a student at the ANU School of Art and Design studying Art History, Curatorship and Visual Arts. Practising abstract expressive painting, Sophie isn’t afraid to experiment with new materials. She encourages students to embrace their material, not to be afraid of it, and to ultimately approach art with a sense of freedom. She is passionate about all mediums and strives to see every child succeed in their in their own individual style.


Jennifer Procter

Jennifer Procter was involved in music, theatre and visual arts from a young age, and completed postgraduate studies in dance at the VCA. She worked professionally creating performance pieces in Melbourne and Canberra. She completed a Diploma of Visual Arts in 2019, winning the opportunity for a solo exhibition at Tuggeranong Arts Centre, now postpooned to 2021. Jen believes in the transformative power of art and aims to bring art to life in fun and accessible ways. She loves to facilitate art-making for kids and adults, and watch them grow in confidence as they learn to express their unique way of seeing the world.


Chelsea Robbinson

Teachers aid by morning, art teacher by afternoon - Chelsea Robinson loves working with kids of all ages. Studying art through her high school years, she has a passion for the creative arts and the power of the artistic process. Chelsea is completing her final year of a Bachelor of Psychology and undertaken training in working with children with challenging behaviour. She sees the benefits art can bring to a child, such as building their self-esteem and releasing tension. She is passionate about helping children fulfil their potential.

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Kiah Zeller

Kiah is following her creative passion and enrolled in a Photography course at CIT, after she completed Year 12 with majors in Art, Media and Photography. She loves working with children and volunteered as a Scout leader, keeping the 5 - 7 year olds busy with arts-based activities and outdoor play. She’s a natural leader holding the role of School Vice Captain, and often was in the position of providing motivation and inspiration to her fellow students. She loves the opportunity of working with the children at artKids! Follow Kiah's photographic journey at:

Kiah Lea Photography

Peter Gedeon

Studying Design at ANU, artKids was a natural fit for Peter. He loves working with kids and volunteered in many school-related activities over the years. His love of and participation in Drama has helped in building his rapport with the children. 

Peter enjoys the hands-on learning process of artKids and enjoys facilitating the art experience for children.

Christian Fietz

Christian Fietz strongly agrees with our artKids belief that learning art should be fun and inclusive. With a lifelong love of drawing, particularly cartoons and works inspired by movies and TV shows, painting and drama, Christian believes that expressing individuality and being inclusive are essential. He encourages students at artKids to find their own artistic style and learn at their own pace. Christian is currently studying at ANU with the aim of becoming a teacher as he enjoys sharing what he has learned and watching students reach their full potential.

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Bridget Baskerville

Bridget is completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts - Drawing and Printmedia at ANU. She enjoys combining her love of colours and patterns with exploring different forms of printmaking including lithography, screen printing, relief printing and etching. Her love for art isn’t solely print based - she is also experienced in textile art. Bridget enjoys working with kids as a wonderful opportunity to be around people who share her art passion.


Rashmi Wijesinghe

Rashmi is currently studying expressive painting and art history at ANU, with a Masters in Education to follow. High school art class was always her favourite time where she could let her mind go free and explore her own style. Learning the captivating history of each art movement and the stories behind each artwork is something she enjoys sharing with the children. Rashmi is fascinated with young minds and their endless possibility to imagine and be creative. She loves encouraging and guiding children in their art, to keep that interest alive as they grow.

Debbie Paton

A local Canberra artist, Debbie has studied both Interior Design and Visual Arts. She has a love of colour and textiles, as well as birds, which she often combines in her art. She has been studying ceramics for the past four years and continues to explore Australian birds and animals. Debbie has had a solo exhibition as well as participating in numerous group exhibitions. She also volunteers as an art facilitator for Wellways Australia, teaching art and interior design to adults in O’Connor. Teaching children was a natural extension for her and she is loving working with our artKids.