Firstlight  Art Academy

Firstlight Art Academy

1 hire on
5 employees
16 years in business

About this pro

Become the artist you've always dreamed about.

Kids, teens, and adults. 

Beginner to advanced. 28 classes to choose from.

Over 200 students a week come to Firstlight, and most return year after year. We have small classes with a long-term approach. Our goal is to teach art with encouragement while unlocking doors for students with insightful concepts that are easy to understand.

The world needs happy artists.

Changing the way art is taught - away from the critical approach - to a fun and exciting approach. While maintaining a serious and comprehensive curriculum. It's a big task, but this is what we do. 

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Franklin, TN 37067
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

We take new students all the time. Every lesson stands alone, so you can jump right in, but we have such small classes that it allows us to spend time one on one and help new students even more. 

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Dennas, Firstlight's founder, has illustrated 23 children's books with over 5 million in print in many languages. He ran a design studio in Nashville for two decades, earning top awards and doing work for Disney, Forbes, Neiman Marcus, Nabisco, RCA, and more. He currently paints large panels in acrylics, and teaches in Franklin at his art school. We have developed all of the curriculum in our 248 separate lessons, and Dennas or senior teachers coach our advanced students. 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

We operate on the idea that to enjoy art, you need to avoid frustration. Bad instruction, cheap tools, and not understanding the many different aspects of art can all be factors that cause students to become discouraged. So many artists quit simply because they do not have the training and encouragement they need. That means a long term course with mentoring is best.

We have school-year courses with our basic Foundations lessons spanning 2 years. Students sign up for one year at a time AT ANY TIME DURING THE YEAR because each lesson stands alone and can be a first lesson. Foundations are great for beginners and more advanced students. There are 36 lessons each year.

The 2016-17 tuition is $1172 and is prorated from your starting date. Classes are once a week and nearly 2 hours long. It works out to $31.50 per week, or around $17/hour

The monthly payment plan is $123 each month. 

How did you get started teaching?

I began Firstlight because there was no place for artists to get the long term training that is needed to realize personal goals. 

What types of students have you worked with?

Everyone from 4 year olds to 70 year old beginners, as well as intermediate and professional artists who needed more training. We also coach many students in high school who desire to make a career in art. 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Our advanced teen class painted a car from top to bottom this Summer. We named it Frank and auctioned it off to benefit Franktown Open Hearts which works with disadvantaged youth. 

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

We ask our students, (and parents), "do you love art?"

If your answer is yes, that means you are an artist at heart. Don't ever believe the lie that artists are always born with obvious talent. We see talents and gifts emerge all the time from people who did not display it at the beginning. Practice comes from passion, and practice leads to improvement. 

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Are you enthusiastic? That's all you need. 

Lessons offered

Drawing Lessons Painting Classes Acrylic Painting Lessons Oil Painting Classes Illustration Classes Watercolor Painting Lessons Abstract Painting Lessons Cartooning Classes