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Our Faculty


Luba Petrova

The founder and director of Waynesville Art School is a native of St Petersburg, Russia. From a young age, she showed a tremendous aptitude towards the arts, and studied under the tutelage of many artists and art historians in the prestigious Saint-Petersburg Academy of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. 


After coming to the US in 1992, she continued to hone her skills as an artist. In 1997 Ms. Petrova was awarded a full scholarship to attend The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (New York, NY) from which she graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. Luba is a multimedia artist and photographer. She has lived and worked in Western North Carolina since 2002.


It has always been Ms. Petrova's dream to pass on the wonderful training she received in Russia and in America. She is passionate about teaching and finds it to be a very rewarding experience and a big part of her life. She is excited to embark on the new adventure: sharing with others what she has learned and helping them to enjoy and develop their own art.


Julie Buchanan

is a resident of Haywood county and a former Haywood County Schools Art Teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Western Carolina University.

After graduation, Julie worked in Jackson County teaching; owned a craft store, and eventually became a stay-at-home mom. She then worked for 20 years in Haywood County School system teaching elementary level art. Julie has been married to newspaperman Jim Buchanan for 32 years. 

Julie loves kids and is very excited to be teaching young artists again at Waynesville Art School.


Rumi Kakareka

has lead improvisational storytelling and movement programs both adults and kids for over 10 years and is a certified Interplay leader.  He has hosted art programs in his local studio and delivered programs in schools and camp settings.  Rumi is an experienced maker of creatures and odd things, primarily in paper, and has produced creatures for community theater.  He is recently retired from teaching tennis full time in order to pursue his storytelling craft.


Laura Fuller

Currently studying English Literature and working as a local Bookseller, Laura looks forward to bringing her combined passions for art, literature, and child development to Waynesville Art School.


Laura is a recent transplant to Western North Carolina, having previously worked in costume design, early childhood education, and copyediting.


When not working or studying, Laura enjoys exploring local trails with her husband and dogs, creative writing, reading, and taking classes at the art school.

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