Masters School of Art

Christian Center for the Arts

Masters School of Art - Staff



Laura Fishkin


Director of Education/Personnel, College Director, & President

Painting, Portrait, Figure Drawing and Teacher's Training Instructor

Laura Fishkin has over 15 years of experience as an art instructor. She began teaching alongside her Mother at age 15 both classes and camps from home, and in a variety of locations. Disillusioned with the post modernist artistic influence on art schools in the USA today, Laura continued her art education on her own.

Evie and Laura officially began Masters School of Art (MSOA) in 2003. MSOA was born out of a desire to see an art school with an emphasis on technique in the USA. 

Laura is a well rounded artist with skill in a variety of media including but not limited to: Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Mural Painting, Pen and Ink, Color Pencil, Photoshop, and Drawing. She is skilled in a range of subjects including people, animals, landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes. She is adept to all skill levels, and is dedicated to quality results, and student growth. Evie and Laura Fishkin have both drawn from others techniques and developed their own techniques and curricula in the classroom which laid the foundation for MSOA today.

Email: [email protected]

**Click on Laura's picture to see her personal art gallery.**



 Evie Fishkin



Executive/Regional Director and Vice President

Painting, Drawing 301, Composition, and Color Theory Instructor

Evie Fishkin, who has a B.A. in Fine Arts assisted her daughter in beginning an art school that favored not only representational art, but all the arts. She is visionary and driven to see the school develop. Evie is very creative, and has an unusual ability to motivate students. 
Her new book is now available, "I'm Not Stupid, I'm Right-Brained", understanding right-brain intelligence and gifting. She has taught art for 12 years at schools and in her home. Being an extremely right-brained person and the class as her lab along with her research has brought a unique perspective on those who are right-brained.
Evie has written several other books she hopes to publish in the near future. Writing and teaching are talents she possesses.

Email: [email protected]  


Lisa Barnes  


Director of Administration

Color Pencil and Animal Drawing Instructor

Lisa has been working with MSOA since Fall 2004 but has had a passion for the arts from a very young age. She started drawing from a book of animals as a child and hasn't stopped working on art since. Another one of her passions is writing, and has had a poem published in the National Library of Poetry. She is currently working on a variety of writing projects including, but not limited to, her first novel and her first children's book. Cartooning is also a passion and she now has her own cartoon strip called Lucy-Goosey, which is published on her personal website. She loves a variety of art mediums, but Color Pencil and Animal Drawing are two of her favorites. You can see samples of her artwork in the art gallery. 

"I feel truly blessed to be a part of Masters School of Art and I look forward to learning more how I can use my art for Christ. " -Lisa

Favorite Bible Verse: Psalms 3:3 But You, Oh Lord, are a shield about me; My Glory; and the One who lifts my head.

Email: [email protected] 

**Click here to see Lisa's art gallery**



Melissa Elsasser


Anime and Color Pencil Instructor


Melissa has always been drawn to the arts ever since she was young; particularly Film and Anime. She spent two and half years at the Art Institute of Portland building her experience in Digital Film and Video while also pursuing anime on the side. In 2013 she transferred to Masters School of Art after deciding to chase her biggest dreams; to become an art teacher, to create her own christian based anime/manga series, and to illustrate storyboards for films.

Melissa gains inspiration from hearing the stories of others and enjoys lending a helping hand wherever she can. In her spare time she loves playing guitar, taking her rat terrier Molly on walks, and puppeteering.


"I cried to the Lord in anguish, and He answered by setting me free." ~Psalm 118:5



 Anna Harrison

MSOA Certified - Fall 2010



Oil Painting, Pastels, Watercolor and Pen & Ink Instructor

Anna is an MSOA Certified Instructor, with a Masters in drawing and painting. Her passion lies in working in all the classical art forms. She desires to share with others the love of drawing and painting in the style of the old masters.

** Click here to see Anna's Art Gallery **

Cheri Holman



Photography, Drawing 201, and Art History Instructor

Cheri discovered photography when her five year old son and husband (who coached him) disappeared out of her daily life to play sports. After complaining to God, He put a camera in her hand and told her to go join them. Cheri discovered the joy of capturing players in mid-air. Soon, the angst of losing or the exuberant expressions of winning a hard fought battle on the players and spectators faces turned her lens toward them. Since 1992, Cheri has photographed almost half the world and is passionate about teaching others how to photograph the rest of it.

Cheri discovered art when she felt God elbow her to sign up for a volunteer Art Literacy Program at her children’s grade school. While preparing for a watercolor pumpkin lesson, she broke out of the box with a Picasso-like pumpkin and a cartoon character emerged. Winkle, a darling whale, captured the fancy of her teacher, who called the Oregonian. Winkle is published and her story is a work in progress. Cheri pursues the art of drawing and painting with watercolor.

At the age of 48, Cheri discovered kayaking. With the help of God and a very patient teacher, she got over her fear of water and learned how to paddle roll in a hard shell with a spray skirt. She kayaks up to class III whitewater and is certified through the American Canoe Association to teach and guide on flat water and swift water at eNRG Kayaking.

Mark 10:27  “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”



Kayla Howard


Anime Instructor


Kayla Howard has had a passion for drawing her whole life. Kayla's love of drawing has lead her down a path to write and illustrate a Christian Manga Series and she has already started her first book.  She enjoys sharing her passion for drawing with others and that is why she loves to teach. 

** Click here to see Kayla's personal gallery


Cindy Ives

MSOA Certified - Spring 2014


Drawing, Animal Drawing and Portrait Instructor; Salem Satellite School Director

It’s never too late to enter the world of art, something Cindy can testify to, not having discovered it until Evie convinced her to take a few classes when enrolling her son at MSOA just as it was getting started in 2003. She completed her MSOA Certification of Instruction in 2014 and is feeling grateful to have progressed under the instruction of MSOA’s fabulous teachers to the point of now getting to participate in teaching the students that continue to come through MSOA's doors. She and her husband, Gary, served on MSOA’s board of directors in the early years helping them achieve their non-profit status. She is very appreciative of this door God’s opened into His creative arts and plans to continue to be a learner along with teaching.

Cindy was a piano major in college and loves playing and accompanying choral groups. She also enjoys cooking, hiking with Gary, and now that her family has extended to grandchildren she has fun bringing art into their lives as well.

 Jacob LaTray

Film and World View & Art Instructor


Impacting lives, culture, and the world is Jacob's passion. One of his highest goals is to bring the art world back to a God-fearing worldview, particularly in the film industry.

Jacob graduated in 2013 with a BA in both Communications and History. He has filmed several events, TV shows, and performances since 2006, some of which air globally. In addition to working with MSOA, Jacob umpires youth baseball and has been working in the radio industry for the past year.

2 Timothy 2:1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.


 Sondra Stephenson



Acrylic Painting Instructor

Sondra has been drawing from a very early age. When out to eat at restaurants she wouldn't color on the part of the kid's menu with cartoon characters for coloring. She flipped the menu over to the blank side and asked her mother for a pen so she could draw her own subjects to color, claiming it felt like cheating otherwise. Obsessed with animals—especially horses— she spent her free-time studying and drawing napping house pets.

She works with many medias, particularly large-scale narrative charcoal drawings, oil paintings, and hand-drawn animation. Her work is characterized by her use of bold lines-- stylistically similar to Mexican muralist art, a full range of color harmonies, and dreamlike imagery.
She received her BFA in drawing and painting at Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, OR.  Sondra says teaching art is one of the best ways to sharpen her own skills as an artist. At the end of the day she believes we should make our lives fit our purpose, not our purpose fit our lives. 

 Tammy Whitlock


Marketing Your Art Instructor

Tammy has a B.A. in English and has worked on marketing in a variety of arenas including art fairs and bazaars, website design, online advertising and social networking. She’s also an ebay power-seller.