We work with women and men of all ages and abilities who have lost themselves
in the demands of everyday life and want to be creative again,
but feel uncertain about how or where to start.
They're looking for space to work, opportunities to connect with others,
and meaningful ways to meet their need to create. 
We provide those things as well as the materials and tools,
then modify the ways art is taught to meet their needs.

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Who's Olivia?

Olivia Vavroch is an educator and artist.

Midway through a degree in Costume Design, Olivia volunteered with the Red Cross to coordinate assistance in NYC for those who lost incomes and homes as a result of 9/11. Shortly after, in 2002, she become an Americorps volunteer in East Harlem. She tutored, taught ESL classes, and coordinated classes and trips for children and grandparent caregivers.

In 2005, Olivia completed her B.A. in Political Science and traveled abroad for three months. She earned her TEFL Certification in Barcelona, and fell in love with stained glass, the Art Nouveau movement, and teaching. In 2011, she completed a Dual Master's Degree in Elementary and Special Education.

Olivia took her first stained glass class from Michel L'Huillier in 2012, and established Vavroch Glass that same year. She moved to Portland, OR, in 2014.

After noticing that applying an inquiry-based approach in her classrooms led to her students' increased confidence in their own abilities to apply their own knowledge and skills in academics and in art, Olivia began applying this approach in her studio's glass classes in 2016.

When applying this same curiosity-based approach to her own work as a stained glass artist, Olivia began experimenting with other mediums, including paints, alcohol-based inks, and collage and finally overcame a ten-year artist's block.

In 2018, Olivia began teaching art at Sauvie Island School where she teaches children grades K - 8. She teaches classes in her studio in evenings and on weekends.



WHO are Roland and jake?

Roland, a Miniature Schnauzer-Terrier mix, and Jake, an Australian Shepherd, often frequent the Vavroch Glass studio and the adjoining backyard. Roland enjoys wrestling with Jake, often showing off his signature move of trying to kick Jake with his tiny back legs. Jake has developed his own signature moves while wrestling with Roland, including rolling over on his back and walking away.


Why A Studio to Share?

Established in August 2016 and open to the public in October 2016, Vavroch Glass & Art Studio is inspired by the salons or gatherings held by artists and thinkers to discuss ideas, processes, and finished works of art and exists with the intention of being a space for artists of all abilities and backgrounds to create and connect.

The Studio exists to remove barriers to the creative process and artistic expression through the use of exceptional instruction and creativity-fueled, hands-on learning. Instruction is always tailored to meet the diverse needs of the those ready to learn, regardless of age, ability, or background.

Simply put, if you are interested and are willing to put forth the effort to learn a new skill, we will provide the tools and instruction for you to make it your own.

Why Art Classes?

As a former elementary school special educator, Olivia Vavroch, of Vavroch Glass, noticed that while the children she taught might struggle to express their learning in traditional ways of writing reports, reading and reciting speeches off of notecards, or completing math work out of a text book, the children were always able to express their learning with distinction when given the opportunity to do so with art.

Could a stained glass studio offer classes with tools inclusive of those with varying levels of backgrounds, abilities, and needs? Absolutely.

Vavroch Glass & Art Studio is built upon the idea of rethinking and reinventing of the ways we create and appreciate art and the creative process.

We demonstrate this by being the first stained glass studio in Portland, Oregon, to offer technique workshops for every stage of the stained glass process. Our intention is to engage anyone interested in learning about stained glass to do so at every stage of the process.

Why Art Nouveau?

During the late 1800's and early 1900's, an artistic revolution was taking place. Quality work no longer had to look realistic or depict mythological and religious scenes. Artwork was created with the intention of being observed and appreciated by the greater masses instead of living in private galleries. The subjects of the artwork expanded to include people in everyday life, nature, and abstracts. Salons, or gatherings, were held to bring people together to discuss and reinvent artistic ideas and methods of the day. Artists began to gain recognition for using old mediums in new ways, new methods, including photography and the copper-foil method for stained glass, were invented. Artists associated with the Art Nouveau era include Tiffany, Monet, Mucha, Van Gogh, Degas, and Renoir. 

In March 2015, Olivia first shared her idea of an Art Nouveau inspired studio space built on reinventing the ways we create and appreciate art and the creative process.

Why One Big Table?

When working with others on creative pieces and projects, Olivia noticed that conversations emerged, thrived, and challenged those sitting around the table to think flexibly and openly. She observed friendships grow and deepen, and saw that when people left the table, they shared a greater level of compassion and acceptance for one other. 

What could happen if that opportunity were open to others?
A revolution.