Jim Peters - Director/Instructor

email: jim@theartacademyofcolorado.com


Jim is double-digit Emmy Award Winning Artist with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He also holds Television Promotional awards including 2 National Gold awards, 2 National Silver awards, and 1 International Bronze Award from the Television Broadcasters Designers Association. Included in his accolades are People's Choice Awards from the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission's Art Cafe for work exhibited in the mediums of pencil and oil. As well, he also holds a certificate of appreciation from the United States Air Force Recruiting Service for his artistic contributions to The Air Force Thunderbirds flight team.

Jim earned a degree as an Architectural Specialist in Wisconsin. He studied design under several Architects in Wisconsin before refocusing his talent to Fine Art. Jim also studied at the University of Wisconsin, Madison taking courses in Art and Communications. In 1983 he relocated to San Diego, California where he became a freelance illustrator for the David Scroggy Agency. While there, he served such clients as Dole, Dupont, Ektelon Sports Equipment and Bilstein. His work has appeared in major publications such as Flying, 4-Wheeler, and Hot Rod Magazines. He was a member of the San Diego Aerospace Museum while the Museum was under the direction of Capt. Edwin D. McKellar Jr. a former Navy and Blue Angel Pilot. At Captain McKellar's request, Jim was invited to display his work as part of the Museums exhibits.

Jim moved to Denver, Colorado in 1986 with a call from one of the nation's premiere animation houses. He became fully engulfed in the field of computer graphics and animation. His primary role was the design of graphics for broadcast television. As the company grew, their focus switched to litigation animation. Jim then began working with the Department of Justice and the Federal Aviation Administration in select high profile cases. Two cases, in particular, involved the crash of Delta 191 in Dallas Ft. Worth and the highly publicized case between Minolta and Honeywell illustrating the patent of the auto-focus lens.

Jim then entertained an offer from 9KUSA to be their Animation Director. He went on to serve as Art Director for FOX10 in Phoenix, Design Director for FOX31 in Denver, and Design Director for FOX 9 KMSP in Minnesota. FOX then promoted Jim to Corporate Art Director for their newly formed entity, FOX Television Stations Graphics HUB in Tampa, Florida. Jim oversaw branding and directed promotional efforts for all 27 FOX Owned and Operated Stations including the FOX-owned MyNet Stations. Jim was also integral in the promotional efforts of many 21st Century FOX pilot programs and worked with third-party entities in the production of imagery and promotion for FOX television programs.

While Jim worked with FOX in Denver, he started a small Art School for kids after hours in Brighton Colorado called Lighthouse Arts Academy. Lighthouse was born from homeschool Mom's needing an art teacher for their kids. But its purpose grew due to a professional realization that artists required more in-depth study of the principles of design and animation. The school still exists today as The Art Academy of Colorado due primarily to Artist Judith Dickinson who Jim briefly partnered with before FOX relocated him to Minnesota.

Jim has now returned to Brighton and aspires to use the knowledge he acquired throughout his career in working with Brighton, Colorado's own Main Street Creatives and the Art Academy of Colorado by implementing the operational and promotional aspects gained through his experience being with FOX.   

Sara Ratzlaff - Watercolor

email: sara@theartacademyofcolorado.com


I moved to Colorado from Tucson, Arizona 24 years ago to attend Regis University. I loved Colorado so much I decided to stay! I began my teaching career in Westminster Public Schools as a 4th and 5th-grade teacher. I taught there for nine years, then taught 5th grade in 27J schools. My current school had an art teacher position open ten years ago, to which I applied. Ten years later I am still teaching art to 700 wonderful students at West Ridge Elementary. Combining my love for teaching and art has truly been a dream for me. I have my Masters from Regis in Education and am endorsed to teach K-12 art. When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my husband, son, and dog. I love to travel, ski, cook, and paint. I had a passion for painting nature and opened up my own Etsy Shop a few years ago. I am excited to join The Art Academy for the summer!

Ed Hawkins - Instructor Fine Art, Drawing, and Painting

email: ed@theartacademyofcolorado.com


Ed grew up in England and has been a life-long, self-taught, artist. Ed is experienced in many media, which fortuitously prepared him to teach in several mediums. He came to America to attend Bible College in Grand Rapids MI, raised a family - and with his Saviour, his kids and grandkids remain the central joy in his life. He is also a musician (keyboards) and plays with the Worship Band at his church. He has held several and varied positions in several and varied companies, finally taking early retirement in 2008. It was after that, that he heard of Main Street Creatives and Judee Dickinson, from a friend.

Initially, Ed rented studio space at MSC, but soon also began teaching in the Academy after subbing for Judee during her out of town shows. He teaches various media – oil, acrylics, pastel, pencil, charcoal, clay sculpture, amongst others. Ed’s subject matter is suited more to teens and adults, although he has taught and enjoys a great rapport with younger children.

Ed implemented the Ceramics programme as part of the Academy's offering. He also re-initiated the (now weekly) drawing/painting from life sessions and also provides plein air painting opportunities. Ed works with Barr Lake personnel to providing opportunities for artists to paint in their twice-annual Art In The Park events as well as the City’s annual Art in the Park event.

He has also functioned as the ‘Go-To Guy’ for MSC issues, admin, tech/computer, Events and Salons (implementing the videoing and projection of the Salons).

He is excited about Brighton's commitment to becoming a state-wide recognized Centre for Arts and Culture. To that end, he is involved with the City of Brighton Arts and Culture office, is a member of BCAC (Brighton Cultural Arts Commission) and represents MSC, along with Judee, at the Downtown Business Partnership. He has received a plaque in gratitude for service to BCAC as well as recently receiving the ‘Beyond Brighton’ Excellence in Arts Award, presented by BCAC.

Ed has also been one of the liaisons with the City Facilities Dept, concerning MSC building maintenance and remodeling projects.

However, the thing that most warms his heart is to see his students grow, and listen to the excitement in their voices as they look back and recognize that they have crossed boundaries they thought they could not, and see the progress in their artistic journey.

Sharon Krohn

Instructor - Watercolor

BIO - Artist Statement

  “Art is a journey, not a destination.” This quote sums up my lifelong love of art and the desire to grow as an artist. I was born in Omaha Nebraska but have lived the majority of my life in Colorado. I attended the University of Colorado majoring in Fine Arts. My appreciation of nature has fueled my desire to paint the things I love. I have been fortunate to study with many well-known artists throughout my life and still enjoy the opportunity to learn from other artists. Although I have worked in another medium, watercolor remains my favorite. I have taught watercolor classes in the Denver area and Mexico for many years. I love sharing my passion and knowledge of this exciting medium. It is a joy helping others on their own “artistic journey.” 

Tanja & Reta Tombough

Instructors - Ceramics

BIO - Tanja and Reta

Reta and Tanja Tombaugh are two sisters that share more than just a family connection.  They also share a deep passion for Pottery that they have nurtured together.  Tanja was introduced to Ceramics in a college course that she needed to take to finish her Bachelor's Degree about 15 years ago.  Her "love affair with the mud" (as she affectionately calls it) has not wavered since.  About five years ago, Reta moved back to the Denver area from Colorado Springs.  To help Reta with the transition, Tanja encouraged Reta to attend a couple of glazing workshops with her.  Before Reta knew it, she was hooked as well.  Together, these sisters putter in pottery creating collaborative works shown in various art shows donated to auctions for good causes like Freedom Service Dogs, etc., and now have some of their work on display at Main Street Creatives Gallery in Brighton, CO.  The wealth and depth of knowledge that "The Sisters" have acquired during their journey are extensive.  What started as a class that was needed by Tanja to finish her degree has blossomed and now they both teach Ceramics at The Art Academy of Colorado in Brighton.  

Tanja is currently retired, spends as much time as she can "making mud pies" (pottery), loves to read, fish travel, and explore life.  Reta is now a mom of a 16-year-old young woman that she adopted a few years ago and a Grandmother of an adorable 20-month-old little girl.  Also, Reta devotes a great deal of her time to her life-long passion and commitment to women in crisis.  

The Sisters see all of life as an adventure and have been known to go off on a whim whenever they can seek out what is over the horizon.