Our Story

Our mission is to fill an educational niche for art lovers — that space between enrolling in a college art course and attending a one-off pottery workshop. We are working artists and art professors based in Austin, TX who love to work with dedicated individuals and groups seeking instruction in drawing, painting, design, and other forms of the visual arts. Our focus is online live education. 

We decided to start this organization after talking to our university students in Austin, TX. We realized that there weren't many ways for alum to continue a serious pursuit of art after college, or find an art community. We hope that The Art Local can fill both of those needs: provide a space to learn and engage the mind, as well as meet new friends -- whether you went to college and majored in art or not. 


Who We Are


Sarah Fagan is co-founder and teacher with The Art Local. She holds a BA in English and Studio Art from Stonehill College in North Easton, MA. Shortly after, she received a post-baccalaureate certificate from the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, OR. In Oregon, Sarah partnered with local businesses from 2009-2017 to offer children and adult art classes. She was also a co-owner of the cooperative gallery Blackfish during this time. Sarah received her MFA in 2019 from the University of Texas at Austin, and has since taught at both UT and St. Edward's University.  Sarah has exhibited work across the US and Canada, and has attended several residency programs including the year-long appointment as Umbrella Arts Artist in Residence in Concord, MA (2015-2016). More at sarahfagan.com.

Renee Lai art

Renee Lai is co-founder and teacher with The Art Local. She holds a BA in English and Studio Art with honors from Dartmouth College, in Hanover NH, and a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Texas at Austin. Lai also studied at the New York Studio School. She now teaches drawing and painting at UT Austin and St. Edward's. Lai’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and she has work in the permanent collection of Dartmouth College. She most recently was an artist in residence at Vermont Studio Center. As a recent Austin transplant, Lai is in love with the city and wants to help support a community in the arts. More on reneelai.com.

Other Teachers

Jesse Cline is a visual designer, digital artist, and educator interested in contemporary systems of representation and production, as well as the appropriation and diversion of those systems. How do people use language and signifiers to define themselves? How do these systems overlay and augment meaning? 

Jesse received his BS in Electronic Media, Art and Communication from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and my MFA in Design from the University of Texas at Austin.

©2020 The Art Local

Austin, TX USA

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