Meet Our Instructors

Lauré Smith

Lauré Smith received her BFA degree in Illustration at Parsons School of Design in New York City. She later returned to the beautiful Pacific Northwest to attend the Art Institute of Seattle earning an AA degree in Visual Communications. As a student in elementary school, she was chosen for an "Enrichment Art Program" where she was exposed to a more in-depth art education at a young age. She believes strongly in the necessity of art in elementary school and understands a lack of art education for kids is a missed opportunity. To fulfill this need, Lauré spent nine years as an "Art Start" teacher at Christa McAuliffe Elementary where her children attended. It was in that role where she discovered how much of a joy and privilege it is to be able to teach, share the art process and encourage her students. Seeing her students become excited about the lessons and thrilled with their own unique creation is a big part of her love for teaching art to children.

Although she enjoys drawing the human form, especially faces, her passion is drawing animals (Lauré has Australian Shepherds who she trains and competes in dog agility with). From t-shirt design and signage, to murals and logo design, she loves the creative process and is thrilled to be part of AFKS!

Amanda Hanson

Amanda Hanson graduated from Central Washington University in 2013 with a BFA in Studio Art specializing in drawing and painting. She mainly works from home as a freelance children's illustrator. The main focus of her artwork is animals and plants, especially those found in the Pacific Northwest. She sees art as a teaching tool to bring awareness to lesser know species of animals. Watercolor and ink are the primary mediums she works with, but she also likes to experiment with a wide variety of other mediums ranging from drawing with pastels to making small sculptures out of felted wool.

Amanda started teaching fiber art classes a couple of years ago to both kids and adults and discovered a passion for art education. Since then she has started teaching watercolor courses for an enrichment program at her local Senior Center. In her spare time she volunteers with various organizations around Centralia. One being the Lewis County Spring Youth Fair in which she is the Jr./Sr. High Art Superintendent. Her goal is to provide opportunities for young artists in rural areas throughout the county. Amanda is delighted to be joining Art For Kids School. You can see some of her artwork by logging onto

Deb Martz Moody

Deb has a degree in art education from Oregon State University and brings with her a love of art and children. She is known locally for creating The State of the Arts Gallery in downtown Olympia. She ran the gallery for 25 years before she sold it in 2016. Before this she was the Artist n Education Manger for the Washington State Arts Commission. Her background also includes teaching art to k-12 and a Survey of Visual Arts course at the college level. Her own art is mixed media with encaustic (bees wax with resin) and can be seen at


Rachel Diatta

Rachel Diatta is passionate about sharing art making and the creative process with young learners. She received an AA in Fine Arts and a BA in the Arts & Humanities. While completing her degrees she interned at a local children's museum and also had the opportunity to study abroad where she procured research on the cultural arts and crafts in Asia and Africa. Her academic foundation in the arts is partnered with her career in teaching. 

Along with the arts she also discovered a passion for teaching and began working with students in a Montessori classroom. She was a teaching assistant and lead teacher for six years where she developed a deeper understanding of child development and pedagogy. Throughout her academic and professional career she has been able to observe firsthand the benefits of the arts on the overall development of young learners and is happy to contribute in developing the artistic and creative skills of all learners with AFKS.

Rachel's artwork has been recognized in Phoenix, Clark College's award-winning art and literary magazine and from Archer Gallery's annual exhibition as an art student annual award recipient.