Meet Your Muses

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Meet Your Muses

Melanie Ann Apel is the Owner and Director of The Paintbrush. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts from Bradley University, and earned a subsequent bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Care from National-Louis University. A native of Lincoln Park, she worked as a pediatric respiratory therapist at Children’s Memorial Hospital for six years. Melanie has also been a freelance writer of predominantly children’s books (plus the popular pictorial histories Lincoln Park: Chicago and Lincoln Park Revisited)  and Cystic Fibrosis: The Ultimate Teen Guide, since the mid-1990s. Her newest book What Are You Hiding, Tory? is available as an ebook. Melanie is a single mom to two talented, creative boys. She is very active in her sons’ school’s PTA as a VP and chair of several committees, she is the  band association’s recording secretary, an an all-around a volunteer, and a busy mom. Melanie brings her love of watching children explore their world, along with her organizational skills and her amazing ability to multitask, to The Paintbrush.


Caroline Watson  is a student, an actor and an all-around creative addition to The Paintbrush. She teaches our Saturday classes and runs birthday pARTies. She joined our team in fall 2016.

Christine Mroz-Fries

Doris Wann has joined The Paintbrush to teach our signature classes and Spanish immersion ART classes, plus camps and birthday pARTies. She joined The Paintbrush in 2019.

Alanna Huck-Scarry 

Hayden Apel has been part of The Paintbrush since he was four years old. Having grown up in his mom’s studio he has been a member of the pARTy Team for several years, assists with camps and off-site events, and was a co-creator of Kids’ Night Out.

Alec Apel has never known life without The Paintbrush. As our most junior staff member, Alec is most helpful at Drop-In ART, birthday pARTies, camps and off-site events. He was a co-creator or Kids’ Night Out and assists with occasional project creation.