• Tutors


Mairangi Arts Centre employs professional tutors to teach adult classes, children’s classes, and school holiday programmes.

Our tutors are carefully selected for their ability to impart their knowledge to students of all levels, from complete beginners through to those with advanced skills. Most tutors are also currently practising artists.

Listed below is some information about our tutors and their  background as well as a brief summary of their teaching philosophy.


    Artist Belle Han welcomes you to ignite your passion for art. She has been teaching art in both Korea and New Zealand for 29 years and has successfully supported artists to find their own style.  Her group exhibition early this year at our Centre, Dreamworks, showcased the diverse range of art practices by artists she works with. 

    Join her in this studio environment to express yourself. She welcomes those interested in using water based paints such as acrylic, watercolor or gouache as well as dry mediums such as pencil or pen. If you are a beginner, she is happy to assist you on the start of your creative journey as well.

    See her work here

  • Mac Brian Millard


    Brian Millard is one of New Zealand’s leading watercolourists with an international reputation as a master of this challenging medium. He is represented by major galleries at home and overseas. His work has recently been featured in the publications, New Zealand in Watercolour and New Zealand’s Favourite Artists, edited by Dennis Robinson. Brian has taught at Mairangi Arts Centre since its inception and served for several years as a board member. Most recently he represented New Zealand at the acclaimed Salon de L’Aquarelle at Saint-Laurent sur Gorre, France. His work is held in the Thai Royal Collection and in private and corporate collections world wide. He has won numerous awards amongst them The Rai Hammond award for watercolour, the KG Frazer Art Award and awards from The Australian Artist and The International Artist magazines.

    BM03. Taking Control of Watercolour (ADULTS)
    BM04. Watercolour (ADULTS)

  • MAC Chloe Lam Profile


    Chloe Lam is an artist who recently moved to Auckland. Besides her bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication (Graphic Design), she is also a holder of a master’s degree in Art and Education from Birmingham City University. She completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Education in Visual Art at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    CL05. Foundations of Painting and Drawing (ADULTS)

  • MAC Estell Profile


    Estel Slabbert is a highly respected art educator who has taught at Mairangi Arts Centre since 1997. Over the past two decades, she has given numerous workshops in primary schools around the Auckland region. Before immigrating to New Zealand in 1997, Estel ran a design company that produced silk screen prints for interior decoration. The business printed silk screen designs on fabric, with colours being hand-painted to create unique items. As a professional artist, Estel has worked for Intona Design Studios (Johannesburg) and the Library and Museum Services (Pretoria). Estel is committed to sharing with her students all that she has learned and discovered on her own journey as an artist and tutor to encourage students to explore and extend themselves as far as possible.

    ES02. Intermediate Painting (CHILDREN)
    ES04. Teens Mixed Media (CHILDREN)
    ES05. Exploring Acrylics (ADULTS)
    ES03. Creative Painting & Drawing (CHILDREN)


    Emma Jane Ormsby is an award winning New Zealand Māori artist of Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Porou descent. In 2020, her mural with Westlake Girls won first place in the Resene Mural Masterpieces in 2020.

  • MAC HArri C Profile


    As soon as I was able to hold a pencil, I was drawing wobbly faces and bodies. That interest never left, and I have been drawing portraits ever since! While illustration has always been my primary focus, I dabble in all kinds of creative processes including watercolour, jewellery design, resin-pouring, mixed media sculpture and installation work. My degree in Visual Arts and Minor in Game and Play Methodology combined into a love of making playful art that can be enjoyed by anyone. After working full-time for a few years and squashing art in on weekends, I have spent the last year working on my own practice full time, and developing an online presence. https://www.instagram.com/ladyleliel/


  • MAC Jackie Ziegler Profile


    I have been stirring my soap pot for over 30 years and teaching soap making and other courses for the past 15 years. Making my own skin care products has always been my obsession and I love to pass on my knowledge and passion to others.

    With a degree in science from Massey University, my courses focus on both theory and practical experience, because I strongly believe that when you understand the processes of soap making, it will allow you to make better soaps, both in quality and design. I have taught as varous community colleges, centres and schools. I also advise and help companies create and improve their own formulations. I have helped found and am currently the (interim) chair of the New Zealand Soap Makers Association.


  • MAC Jame Lawrence Portrait


    James Lawrence is a practising artist based in Auckland. His practice involves a strong intuitive process and expressive brushwork and layering which allows for chance discoveries. Interested in the autobiographical nature of painting, James often re-works his paintings, creating a layered history of the process. Energy, movement and color are core aesthetic principles in James’ work and classroom. His lessons are often experimental, with an emphasis on colour and composition while showing students basic painting skills.

    JL01. Expressive Acrylics (ADULTS)

    JL02. Expressive Acrylics Evening (ADULTS)

  • MAC Jill profile


    Teaching Philosophy:
    All students, children and adults, can learn and succeed, but not in the same way and not in the same day. It is my role as a Teacher to recognise each individual’s skill, to inspire and encourage so that they find their own paths. This brings about confidence and the more confident they are, the more they are able to bring their creativity to their projects.

    The beauty of children working with clay is that it stimulates the child’s curiosity. That curiosity engages imagination, excitement and lighting of a fire of discovery.



    “Liam Addison is an Auckland-based creative, heavily influenced by Cinema and interactive media, expressing his passion for Film, Writing, Animation, Illustration and Music.
    A graduate of Animation college and Southsea’s Film school, Liam continues to learn and improve on his skills through the various projects he and others create.
    As someone who expresses themselves through art, Liam wants to share his knowledge with confidence, fundamental skills and creative expression In support of young artists.”

    LA02. Wednesday Comic Club (CHILDREN)

    LA01. Thursday Introduction to Comic Drawing (CHILDREN)


  • Lou Profile


    Lou Pendergrast-Mathieson is a practising glass artist based in Auckland. She has been glass casting for over 20 years, and currently works out of her studio at Mairangi Art Centre, where she also runs a successful crystal glass class. She exhibits widely in New Zealand and overseas. Teaching is something Lou enjoys because students bring with them a wide variety of skills and life experiences to the class, which enhances her own practice. She also loves to share her knowledge and skills with others, and enjoys getting others to experience such a unique material. Glass is not only a beautiful, tactile material but it also plays with transparency and light.

    LP01. Crystal Glass Evening (ADULTS)
    LP02. Crystal Glass Morning (ADULTS)
    LP03. Crystal Glass Afternoon (ADULTS)


    Louise is an aspiring set designer for Film and TV. After living overseas in the UAE for a number of years, Louise returned to New Zealand in 2016, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Music studies at Victoria University of Wellington, and more recently gained a Certificate of Arts and Design at South Seas Film and TV School in 2022. In her spare time she loves sewing new clothing with recycled materials, creating zines, as well as experimenting with new mediums and techniques. She currently works at an after school daycare where she provides fun activities for children in a safe and welcoming environment.

  • MAC Melissa Mead profile picture


    Melissa Mead is an American born New Zealand potter. After being mostly self-taught for 10 years she has immersed herself in the Auckland Ceramics Community. Through the generosity of some of the best New Zealand potters she has learned techniques from coiled forms to printing on clay. Melissa has experience with a multitude of firing methods, glaze theory and surface decoration. She draws inspiration from the inspiring Aotearoa and our connections to one another. While she mostly creates functional wheel thrown pottery it is often altered and refined with handbuilding. Melissa works in two clay worlds – the rich dark raw clays fired in atmospheric conditions and the more contemporary translucent colours on fine clays fired in oxidation.


  • MAC Michelle Male profile


    Michelle was interested in art from an early age, sketching portraits of family and friends and then, in her teens, going on to study languages and art at college.

    Michelle is a full time artist and tutor and can often be seen sketching and painting in and around Devonport. She draws her inspiration from New Zealand’s vibrant colours and stunning coastal scenery. Passionate about sketching and painting people and animals, capturing movement and that moment in time. Enjoying working in pencil, ink pen, water colours, and oils, her paintings are bold and rich in colour.


  • MAC Mike Peebles profile


    Teaching Philosophy:
    Developing and expanding an artist’s creative talent, exciting the viewer with an array of colour, moods, emotive forms and a multitude of creative themes. As artists we are visual entertainers for others to experience.


  • MAC Noe profile


    I have always been a creative person with a desire to learn. My time in technical high school taught me to work with tools and different materials. Later in college, these skills helped me in my fashion design career, where I also learned about drawing, photography, sewing, and digital art.These tools have allowed me to express myself in different ways over time and that is why I am constantly learning.

    These days I mainly use watercolours and digital techniques, to create characters and my own little universe.



    Nutty Scientists is a community that has always been passionate about providing children with a positive education experience, Auckland understands the importance of making learning fun – especially when it comes to teaching science.

    The innovative Nutty Scientists® teaching techniques and curriculum is an effective way to get kids excited about science. Fostering the minds of today’s youth through hands-on activities and interactive activities, Nutty Scientists Auckland is a great benefit to the families and children of the greater Auckland community.

  • MAC Ricki Meaker profile image


    I am a self-taught, practising artist and sculptor. I enjoy all kinds of creative outlets such as renovation of old furniture, mosaic, recycle art, sculpting with various mediums, painting and mixed media. I love trying new techniques and learn through my own mistakes. I thoroughly enjoy children and love to inspire them to tap into their own sense of creativity.


  • MAC Russell Ness


    Russell has always been fond of drawing and originally trained as a graphic designer.

    Russell moved on to qualify as a teacher and taught art in Waimate and Alexandra where he
    was head of the art departments. He also taught art in Kristin School, Auckland.
    Over his 9 years as a teacher and since leaving teaching in the 90s, he has undertaken a
    range of art and design projects. He has illustrated 3 children’s story books and a number of
    technical texts. Russell has painted in oils, acrylics and mixed media. He has also created a number of prints using printmaking techniques such as intaglio, serigraph or screen printing, etching,
    engraving, linocut, woodcut, monoprint and dry point. He continues to draw and paint whenever he can find the time and these days prefers landscapes in watercolours. He combines a wealth of knowledge with an ability to connect and relate well to his students.

  • MAC Susannah Portrait


    During her time as a primary school teacher Susannah focussed on nurturing art and musical skills in her young students. She spent some time as a graphic artist then returned to teaching as a music teacher. Susannah works across a range of media including aquarelle pencils, watercolour, gouache, graphite pencil and ink as well as oils and acrylics on canvas. Her practice is informed by the natural sciences, palaeontology, mythology, history and music while her themes centre around the physical world and the metaphysical. A major component of her art practice has always been illustration/cartooning and commissions for portraits. She is passionate about encouraging children to develop their art skills through observation and exploration.

    SM01 Tuesday Let’s Draw and Paint (CHILDREN)

    SM02. Thursday Let’s Draw and Paint (CHILDREN)

    SM03. Friday Creative Drawing (CHILDREN)

  • MAC Ted profile image


    Ted Sherwen is one of New Zealand’s top watercolourists. Ted’s career began as an apprentice Lithographic Artist for a large publisher in his hometown of Glasgow, Scotland. This gave him a solid foundation in the Graphic Arts and an awareness of colour and design. After emigrating to NZ in 1974 hecontinued his studies, this time under Californian Rex Brandt, where he learnt ‘Easel Painting’. His technique consists of any one of three overlapping styles in order to keep both options and mind open. He also varies his palette selection for the same reason. Ted is a long respected member at Mairangi Arts Centre with a wealth of knowledge as both a tutor and an international artist.

    TS01. Advanced Watercolours (ADULTS)


    I first acquired my mother’s love of fabric creation when I was 8 years old.  I learned to knit at her side and saw the wonderful creations she made over the years.  I returned to the creative yarn arts of knitting, weaving, spinning and some crochet while living and teaching  at International Baccalaureate International schools overseas for 17 years. When I returned to New Zealand, four years ago, I relished the opportunity to dive deeper into all the wonderful woolly arts available here. I joined the New Zealand Creative Fibres Guild as soon as I returned home where guild members always enthusiastically share their skills and passions.

  • MAC Yeonjae profile image


    Yeonjae Choi is a ceramic artist and educator from New Zealand. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from RMIT, Melbourne, where she also taught art to children. She has a love for ceramic sculpture and the calming yet fragile process of building ceramic art. Yeonjae endeavours to inspire her students to dive into the experimental world of ceramics and bring their amazing ideas into fruition by equipping them with new and fun techniques in working with clay.

    YJ01. Introduction to Clay (CHILDREN)

  • MAC ying profile image


    Art is for everyone! Ying believes everyone has a story and creative flair within that can be expressed through drawing. A lot of people give up drawing due to lack of confidence or thinking that it’s too complicated. Ying simplifies the drawing process by teaching her students to start a picture with a basic element and encouraging them to further express their creativity through various drawing techniques. She invites us to discover and appreciate the details of our everyday life through art; the movement of sea patterns, favourite stalls in the Sunday market, the beauty of the falling Pohutukawa tree leaves, little-gems around the neighborhood..

    YC01. Saturday Drawing (CHILDREN)

  • YI XIE

    Contemporary artist Yi Xie

    Her artwork has been published in multiple newspapers and magazines. In 2018, her work “Mountain Road” was named  “the art of week” by the New Zealand Herald art review section. Her works were collected by art institutions and private individuals from multiple countries.


    Surrealism artist XinLi Deng

    2003-2007 has been working as a conceptual designer, illustrator, and animator at companies such as Animi8, Binary Star, Future Skill, Computer Express, and La Luna Pictures.

🎨 Exciting news! Meet our new tutors, Xinli Deng and Yi Xie, at their artist talk on December 3rd from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM.

🗣️ Join us as they share the art that inspires them and discuss what they're excited to bring to our community in 2024.

📅 Mark your calendar, and come learn about their creative journey & get inspired!

Click here to RSVP for free: https://shorturl.at/hsZ18
🎄✨ Get into the festive spirit with Mairangi Arts Center! 
Join us next Sunday 26th November for 2 magical Christmas workshops with tutor Chloe L, where kids can unleash their creativity with festive paintings. Plus, don't miss our Artists Talk on December 3rd 10AM-11:30AM, featuring our talented new tutors, Xinli Deng and Yi Xie who will be joining us in Term 1!

Limited spots available – book your tickets now at bookwhen.com/mairangiarts or screenshot this post and click the QR codes!

 Make this holiday special with Mairangi Arts Center! 🎟️🌟
🌟 Join us for an exhibition hosted by the talented ladies of the Embroidery North Shore!

They're going to be welcoming guests every day of their exhibition and they'll also be there to assist with entries for their raffle. So, feel free to pop in and enjoy their amazing exhibition, on display until November 18th. 

Don't miss out on this wonderful display of creativity! ✨🧵😊
🎉 Exciting news! Our January Holiday Programme is now available for a sneak peek, and it's filled with fun classes for your young artists.

From making your own comic to crafting crayons and creating soap, there's something for everyone's creative side.

Bookings open this weekend on November 12th at 2PM! 🌟🎨
Visit our website to preview!

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