Meet Our Teachers

Weekly & Monthly Teachers 

These are the teachers you will see most often when you visit our studio. They teach classes that are on our usual class rotation schedule throughout the year.

Jennifer MacIsaac
For those who don't know me, my name is Jen. I am the co-owner and manager of the Basement Community Art Studio. I have a degree in Textiles, Merchandising, and Design as well as minors in Art and Human Sciences. I have also done some training in Montessori, though I ultimately did not continue with that path. I still love and am inspired by both the Montessori and the Reggio Emilia methods for teaching children. I have always loved working with children, and I teach the majority of our Kid's Art classes here in the studio. I believe in fostering a creative spirit through a mixture of structured art lessons and artistic free play. I try to incorporate plenty of both in all of my classes. I also enjoy teaching classes that focus on a bit of creative play and self expression for our adult artists...and non-artists in the Knoxville community. I believe that all people are creative beings and can benefit from fostering their creative side. You can read all about my teaching influences HERE.

Karen Byars
Karen Byars has worked and taught workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg and has recently retired from teaching art in Sevier County School System. She is excited to get more involved in community settings like The Basement Community Art Studio working with children, teens and adults through art. She believes that the creative process of artmaking helps us get in touch with our true self and helps us open up to share our gifts with others. Karen will be teaching our weekly Teen, Expressive Art Journaling Class as well as various special classes and workshops for both children and adults throughout the year.

Mimi Knight

Mimi Knight is a local artist based in North Knoxville, Tennessee. She attended Appalachian State University where she studied art education, and upon graduation taught art in schools in North Carolina and Virginia before moving to Tennessee. She is thrilled to be bringing clay to the Basement Community Art Center and introducing new makers to her favorite medium! When she isn't - teaching classes, Mimi is busy taking care of her family and creating one-of-a-kind ceramics and watercolor paintings out of her home studio, Junebug Designs.

Gayle Hansen Browne
AKA: Mama Gayle
Gayle is a professional retreat leader and inspirational speaker with more than 30 years of experience in leading guided meditations for large gatherings, small groups, and individuals. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Master of Arts degree in Theology, Gayle has also studied contemplative meditation techniques in various spiritual and secular traditions. Her approach to meditation includes some of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) practices developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. She enjoys helping people of all ages become more mindful of the beauty of life both within themselves and in the world at large.  Gayle is also a storyteller and musician and has worked extensively with children of all ages.  Gayle co-hosts the Creative Self-Care Classes each month as well as many of our children's art camps throughout the year.

Dorothy Verbick

Dorothy is in her 7th year teaching and is currently an art teacher at Vine Middle Magnet School. She earned her Bachelors in Fine Arts and a Masters in art education from The University of Tennessee. In 2011 she was introduced to Transcendental Meditation and since then has come to believe that art and meditation truly can heal. She has started to develop mindfullness art classes with her students but hopes to share these beautiful techniques outside her classroom. Dorothy co-teaches our Creative Mindfulness retreats and summer camp, and will be working with us for our Creative Self-Care series. She will also be one of the co-hosts for our upcoming women's circle meet up group. She also teaches periodic adult art workshops in our studio.

Amy Broady, CZT

Amy is our resident Zentangle Instructor. She hosts our monthly Zentangle club as well as teaching the various Zentangle classes we offer throughout the year. Amy is an art teacher with many years teaching experience in Knox County Schools. She completed her Certified Zentangle Teaching certificate and eventually branched out on her own. 

Frequent Guest Teachers

These teachers may not be here all the time, but they teach several workshops, classes, or camps each year so you are likely to see them from time to time as well!

Jody Collins
Jody is a professional graphic designer and the owner of Feral Giant.  He is also the President of the Knoxville chapter of AIGA, a professional association for graphic designers. Jody has a passion for giving back to the Knoxville community and part of that passion extends to the education the next generation of graphic designers. Jody teaches a periodic, Basics of Graphic Design class for kids here in the studio. 

Melody Allen 
Melody is one of our more recent instructors. She is a local artisan and crafter with a specialty in leather work. She teaches beginning leather crafting classes here at the studio including leather bracelets and slim wallets. We look forward to more leather working classes in the months to come!

Interested in teaching in our studio?

Throughout the year we often host other local artisans and crafters who come in and teach a one time class or workshop. If you would like to teach a class or workshop in our studio for either kids, teens, or adults please email me at the studio so that we can set up a meeting to discuss your ideas. We love hosting guest teachers! You are welcome to host a one time class or even become a regular guest teacher in our studio. Class spaces are offered on a first come first serve basis as available on the calendar. I advise you to set your class up at least one month in advance to give time to promote and share the class prior to the day.

Also if there is a specific class you are looking for and you don't see it on the calendar send me a request, chances are I might be able to get one of these awesome artists to teach it if there is enough interest!

email inquiries to:

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