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Your Instructor and Studio


COVID-compliant spacing in the studio will allow for each artist to work on a 6ft table or an easel within a 6ft space.

Sandra Iafrate was born in the Niagara Peninsula, Canada, and has lived and trained in Canada, USA and Australia. She studied Mass Communications and Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and City University London, England. Prior to becoming an artist, she has worked in publishing, broadcasting and public relations. Once Sandra left the workforce to raise a family, she began to take formal art classes from award-winning Canadian watercolourist Nancy Hughes in Calgary, Alberta. Sandra has also developed her skill through various ateliers and workshops, learning drawing and oil painting with renowned artists; the late Kevin Taylor at Brighton Arts Society in Melbourne, and Juan Martinez at the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto. Sandra began teaching in 2003 in Toronto, Ontario for the Public Library and has since persued ways to expand her own methods of educating while preserving the student artists’ innate creativity. Sandra believes that teaching has even further developed her own understanding of art and how people learn. With this knowledge she created new and different programs at various art schools. In 2015, she was selected by Golden Artist Colors become a certified GOLDEN Artist Educator and she is now qualified to teach the complex make-up and use of paints, pigments, mediums and material in a safe studio environment. She is also represented by Silverbrush Inc., trained in brush use, care and technique. 

   Sandra works primarily in oil and acrylic using intricate compositions and combination of unique experimental contemporary techniques mixed with and classical representation. Her portrayal of nature, floral and foliage takes on complex compositions alive with colour and which seem to go beyond the boundaries of the canvas. Her work continuously evolves as new works take on a new aspect of contemporary painting innovations. She has been awarded a government honorary for her work in the arts, as well as a finalist award from International Artist Magazine for her floral painting.Her favorite part of being an artist is volunteering in the arts; as a former docent for the Art Gallery of Ontario, co-founder of North Toronto Group of Artists, McLean, Virginia Project for the Arts, Art Toronto, and many community and school bases arts projects and festivals She has also devised a studio-based art curriculum for grades 10, 11 and 12 in compliance with the Ontario, Canada Curriculum which was used in a highly kinesthetic learning environment. She contributes annually to Children’s Aid Foundation Canada, Art for Cancer and many other charitable organizations.

Sandra runs workshops occasionally in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Toronto and offers a one-week painting holiday in Italy every year. Sandra's original and published works are exhibited and sold internationally.

Our Chef

Lucas Ranalli is a Toronto-born chef trained in Italian cuisine and healthy eating. His menus are seasonally focused but draw inspiration from a variety of global ingredients and techniques. Over lunch you will learn the basics of pizza making while sampling some modern approaches to classic Italian dishes. 


Lucas Ranalli (photo by ©Stephen Trivieri 2020


Studio Assistant

Krystel Bodson is a certified photographer from Montreal, now living in Niagara Region. With an incredible balance of right and left brain capabilites, Krystel has studied and worked in film production, photography and accounting. Krystel will be helping us with our materials, communications and managing our time while we get lost in painting.

She has a keen eye for the arts and loves to talk about perspectives, lighting, colour and numbers.  One of her favorite things to photograph are candid moments. 


Photo by Krystel Bodson 2020

Meditation and Yoga Instructor

Nancy Drope is a movement specialist who advocates for optimal wellness with her family, friends, and clientele. Her career in physical movement began with her degree in Physical and Health Education at the University of New Brunswick where she was a varsity athlete. Her passion for movement led her to yoga where she discovered the full circle she had been searching for. The connection of mind, body, and spirit through her new way of being, in full self-expression, of conscious choice in movement and meditation empowered her to realize the importance of sharing her light.

Nancy is certified in: BPE BED University of New Brunswick 81′ 83′ | Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher – Yoga by Sarah 2012 | Baptiste Level’s 1, 2 – 2012 | Baptiste Level 3 – 2013 | Certified Power Yoga Canada 2013 | Baptiste Art of Assisting 2013 | Integrated Certified Yoga Tune Up® Teacher 2013 | Yoga Nidra – Glen Black 2014 | Certified Meditation Facilitator “Towards Stillness” – Tony Murdock 2015 | Meditation Certificate – Aquin Yoga 2016 -Elemental Yin/Yang Yoga 2017 | Certified Oracle Guide June 2018


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