Art Prof Press Kit

ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts.
Our mission is to provide disadvantaged students of all ages and means equal access to high quality art education. 

Visual artist and RISD Adjunct Professor Clara Lieu has partnered with Thomas Lerra from WGBH Boston and a team of 6 Teaching Assistants to create ART PROF.  We successfully raised $30k on Kickstarter on July 19, 2016.

Clara Lieu, Visual Artist & Adjunct Professor at RISD    Thomas Lerra, WGBH Digital

In most schools, visual arts education is meager or simply does not exist.  Outside art programs are not affordable for most people, and are primarily isolated to higher education institutions.  ART PROF provides the chance for a global community to access to a high quality visual arts education for free.  People of all ages can learn visual arts at their own pace through ART PROF.

Press Release


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Meet the New Bob Ross-Clara Lieu and Art Prof
Two Coats of Paint

Online Arts Education

Site Features
visual encyclopedia of art supplies • short-form video lessons in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture • interactive video critiquestrusted advice from the Art Prof and Teaching Assistants • assignments & lesson plans • professional development resources • diverse artist community • audio critiques of user artwork •  galleries for user artwork • contemporary art & art history

Check out our Crit Quickies, Audio Critiques Portfolio Critiques and Ask the Art Prof

ART PROF Prototype preview

Our Story
Today, I am a visual artist and Adjunct Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design where I have taught for the past decade. However, I will never forget the loneliness and frustration on the way to where I am now.  I loved art in elementary school, so it was upsetting to discover that visual arts at my high school was underfunded, and that the art teachers were overworked.  The opportunities to study the one subject I was passionate about did not exist.  Eventually, I made it to art school.

In 2013, I began teaching for RISD Project Open Door, a free college access program for urban teens. These students expressed the same frustration about the scarcity of teen art programs to me. When I began my Ask the Art Prof column for Huffington Post, I was surprised that people of all ages started contacting me for help. Chronically underfunded, or non-existent in most schools, visual arts education is simply not available to most people. I saw an aching void that I realized I was in a position to fill.  I started thinking about how I could make a difference, and became determined to reach those who could never be in my classroom.  I hope that ART PROF will give everyone the flexibility to learn visual arts on their own terms. -Clara Lieu

Quick Facts
Clara Lieu generates ART PROF concept

Clara Lieu & Thomas Lerra partner to produce ART PROF
6 Teaching Assistants contribute to site & content development
Video production and prototype are completed

July 2016
Kickstarter campaign successfully raises $30k

High Resolution Images

On the set of ART PROF at WGBH Studios in Boston, MA   On the set of ART PROF at WGBH Studios in Boston, MA   IMG_0727

      Anthony_cropped   IMG_3298   IMG_0655

            On the set of ART PROF at WGBH Studios in Boston, MA   ART PROF Teaching Assistant Lauryn Welch   On the set of ART PROF at WGBH Studios in Boston, MA

        On the set of ART PROF at WGBH Studios in Boston, MA  Visual Encyclopedia of Art Supplies   IMG_6935.JPG

 Portrait Drawing in Charcoal   IMG_0480   On the set of ART PROF at WGBH Studios in Boston, MA

Clara Lieu
Clara Lieu is a visual artist and an adjunct professor in the Illustration department at the Rhode Island School of Design where she has taught for 10 years. In the past, Lieu has taught at RISD Foundation Studies, RISD Printmaking, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, at Wellesley College, and at the Lesley University College of Art and Design. For three years, she wrote Ask the Art Prof, an advice column for visual artists in the Huffington Post.  Lieu’s blog Art Prof began in 2006, and now receives about 14k unique visitors each month. Lieu was the Director of the Jewett Gallery for three years. Her studio practice explores isolation and mental illness through drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. Exhibitions have been at the International Print Center New YorkBromfield Gallery, the Danforth Museum of Art, the Currier Museum of Art, and the Davis Museum. Lieu has received artist grants from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and the Puffin Foundation.

Professor Lieu is one of those legendary teachers who still sticks with me. I find myself years later recalling her advice while I work.”

“Because of Professor Lieu,  I know that every person, no matter what
their age or background is, always has room for improvement.”

Thomas Lerra
As the Research and Development Prototype Manager at WGBH Boston, Thomas is responsible for the digital prototype and innovation team whose mission is to define, develop and deploy the next generation of digital products/experiences for WGBH’s national and local television and radio productions. With over 20 years of digital production, strategy and operations experience, Thomas embodies a team-first constitution that helps people to do more than they think possible -together. From helping Mullen become the #2 Ad Age agency, to management of global production operations at Digitas, to leading the award-winning VW digital team at Arnold during the “Drivers Wanted” era, Thomas has been riding the wave of technological innovation. He has led large multidisciplinary teams for a wide variety of global clientele.

Teaching Assistants
  square_Casey   square_Annie   square_Lauryn   square_yves   square_Alex  DM
Casey Roonan  •  Annie Irwin •  Lauryn Welch
 Yves-Olivier Mandereau  •  Alex Rowe •  Deepti Menon

Our experienced team of teaching assistants are emerging artists who work in a diverse range of fields in visual arts. Teaching assistants will review user artwork submissions, do audio critiques of selected user artworks, and respond to user questions with professional advice and support in our interactive audio forums. Casey Roonan is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist, Annie Irwin is a weaver, textile artist, and a painter, Lauryn Welch is a painter and performance artist, Yves-Olivier Mandereau is a ceramic artist and designer, Alex Rowe is a book illustrator, and Deepti Menon is an independent filmmaker and animator.

   Makoto   Annelise   Enrico   Julia
crit_Vuthy   Tatiana Florival, Intern   Olivia Hunter, Intern   Jordan McCracken-Foster, Intern   Janice

Anna CampbellMakoto KumasakaAnnelise YeeEnrico Giori
Julia Orenstein • Vuthy LayTatiana Florival
Olivia HunterJordan McCracken-Foster Janice Chun

Our interns are current art school students who collectively work on brainstorming and development of both site content and outreach strategies. Their majors include architecture, printmaking, furniture design, jewelry, drawing, painting, graphic design and installation.

ART PROF is a personal undertaking by Clara Lieu and Thomas Lerra that is not supported, sponsored, or endorsed by the Rhode Island School of Design or WGBH.