MEET OUR STAFF
Michelle Motley Giddens
Michelle is the Owner and Creative Director of The Art Studio. Prior to opening The Studio, Michelle worked as an artist while staying at home with her children. She taught elementary and middle school art at Fellowship Christian School in Roswell, GA. She developed the art curriculum and established a school wide Art Club. Michelle holds a BFA in Art Education from Georgia State University and her Alabama Teaching License with an endorsement in Art. She has a BA in Communication from Auburn University. Michelle has expertise in drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, and art history. She studied art in Cortona, Italy and traveled to Rome, Florence, Naples and Venice. Michelle lives on a farm outside of Auburn with her husband, James, and 2 children, Thomas and Andrew.
Lillie Whitaker Willingham
Lillie is our Studio Manager and Teacher. She is our unicorn! Lillie has a BA in Studio Art from Auburn University. She received her Associates Degree in Graphic Design from Lawson State Community College. Prior to The Art Studio, Lillie taught art camps at Shannon Harris Art Studio. She loves working with kids and finds their drive and imagination inspiring. She enjoys working with anything that creates texture. She believes that art should be valued at an early age, so she teaches art to help set a foundation. Some of her favorite artists include Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Joan Mitchell.
Erin is the Marketing and Events Coordinator and Preschool Teacher for The Art Studio. She has a degree in Art History from the University of Alabama and studied in Florence, Italy. Erin founded a nonprofit community art studio in Montgomery, Alabama and has a passion for art education and the community. She taught art in the Montgomery area for many years and has recently moved to the Auburn area. She loves working with children and adults alike and agrees with Picasso’s statement, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Although she has a child of her own now, she hopes she never grows up. She wants to make sure that everyone in the community has the opportunity to express themselves through art.
Rebecca is a Teacher for The Art Studio. Rebecca has been the Art Teacher at Richland Elementary School for the past six years where she was named Teacher of the Year. She was recently named Art Teacher of the Year by the Alabama Art Education Association. Rebecca has worked in the art field for over twelve years, in design firms, museums, and public schools. Along with art, she has also taught first and second grade as a regular classroom teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree from Columbus State University and her Master’s at the University of Florida in Art Education. Rebecca is from a small town in Georgia but loves living in Auburn with her husband, Steve, and their cocker spaniel, Biscuit.
Trina is a Teacher for The Art Studio. She is the Art Teacher at Cary Woods Elementary School. She has been teaching art in private and public schools since 2011. Trina received her Bachelors of Fine Art degree from Auburn University with a concentration in painting and her Masters degree in Art Education from Auburn University at Montgomery. Her favorite mediums to work in are painting and printmaking. Trina loves to travel and visits art museums wherever she goes. She enjoys visiting thrift stores, estate sales and antique shops in search of treasures for her home and for art projects.
Sarah is a Teacher with The Art Studio. She has been a teacher with Ogletree Elementary for 15 years. She has been a Technology Instructor, First Grade Teacher, Fourth Grade Teacher, and Art Teacher. Sarah has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a minor in Graphic Design, and a Masters Degree in Elementary Education. She has taught art through camps at Auburn University. She has three children who inspire her daily. Two are currently attending Auburn University, and one recently graduated. She has traveled to many places, the Netherland being one of her favorites. Sarah enjoys painting, framing, spending time with her children, and playing with her pet pig, Hazel.
Andrea is a Teacher for The Art Studio. She is the K-2 Art teacher at Dean Road Elementary School in Auburn. Andrea has a degree in Interior Design from Auburn University and began her career as an interior designer in Atlanta, Georgia where she was the owner of Andrea Newman Interior Design. After earning a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Oglethorpe University, she taught first grade at St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Atlanta; fifth grade science & social studies in Thomaston, GA at U-L North; and first and second grades at Dean Road before becoming the art teacher there in 2013. Andrea enjoys painting, working with various types of clay, fiber and textile art, and drawing.