Art Course Testimonials

Testimonials in black are linked to their TripAdvisor Review as well.

Check out the most recent reviews written on Google for the Shenandoah Art Destination.

Testimonials below are written with the original authors’ permission.
If you would like to contact anyone that has taken a course and given a testimonial,
please contact us and we can provide contact information, with permission from the student.


What a wonderful weekend!  My stay at Shenandoah Art Destination was everything I’d hoped it would be and more than I expected.  Jan struck the perfect balance between pushing us and allowing us freedom and flexibility in our work and pace.  I especially liked that we each worked in our own medium and could even switch gears if we wanted.  Our group of artists and spouses really clicked – we enjoyed great conversations, thoughtful debates, and lots of laughter as we lingered over Nancy’s delicious meals.  We are already planning to return together next year.  Can’t wait!


Barbara Bourne

Ellicott City, MD

The course provided me with all the possible media and means to do portrait, landscape painting, drawing and print.  There is time to experiment and time to study and work.  The studios and the environment are inspiring.  Jan Willem is a teacher that gives you space to explore and guidance if you want.

Coy Wierda

The Netherlands

The 7 days I spent at the Shenandoah Art Destination were the most relaxing, friendly, I’ve ever spent anywhere.  The food was much more than I expected.  The instructions in oil painting made me feel I have learned so much.  I would recommend Shenandoah to everyone; it is beautiful and friendly.  I feel I have made new friends for life.

Connie Smock

Plainfield, Indiana

I am a complete novice and didn’t know what to expect. But in just 2 days I learned a tremendous amount about technique, color, perspective and fundamentals rules for starting a painting. Everything was perfect. I’m going home relaxed and refreshed (and spoiled by Nancy’s cooking).

Angie Craddock

Lake Ridge, Virginia

Thank you Jan and Nancy for another wonderful experience!  I love being around other artists to get different perspectives and to try to loosen up my personal style.   It is always fun to explore new techniques, take a different approach to landscapes and explore portraits.  I learned so much this week and can see my art changing.  I came back this year because I knew I wasn’t done learning, and Jan is a patient, knowledgeable teacher.  I always come away from Shenandoah refreshed, calmed and centered.  I am very pleased with the work we did this session and the locations we were able to go to paint.

Heather Matthews

Woodbridge, Virginia

This was an excellent week. I learned something new and helpful every single day. It completely exceeded my expectations. The meals were delicious and beautiful.

Glenda Lynchard

Arnold, Maryland

I really enjoyed the wide range of materials (media) we got to work with and the way in which all of them were instructed.  The scenery is absolutely beautiful and a great sense of serenity washes over you as you (attempt to) paint it.  Also, the meals were absolutely delicious and the cats were a nice source of entertainment.

Lisa Velema

The Netherlands

It was an outstanding weekend, and the perfect way to reconnect to a different side of myself.  Jan-Willem was a patient teacher who knew when to push us outside our comfort zone and when to give us time to explore on our own.  Nancy was the ultimate hostess.  The meals were delicious and the rooms each had their own personality.  I am proud of the work I did, and plan to return next year.

Heather Mathews

Woodbridge, Virginia

The Shenandoah Art Destination is a pause in the business of life that is most refreshing, a delightful experience; with art instruction, outstanding meals – by two gracious people, host and hostess, making a memorable vacation – like no other I’ve ever known.

Patricia Watkins

Hampstead, Maryland

This destination gives you a sense of relaxation.  The art course has helped me as a beginner to be more interested in making art.  As a teenager the area has interesting activities such as rafting which is fun for the day off.  And the food was delicious.

Pia Lou Velema

The Netherlands

Any questions? Call 612.221.1140


Shenandoah Art Destination, 325 Union Run, Lexington VA, USA. 24450

Established in 2010, The Shenandoah Art Destination is one of the only, art vacation retreat schools in the United States.  Home to students from all continents, the Shenandoah Art Destination offers rigorous art classes that include painting (oil and acrylic, watercolor, pastel), plein air painting, drawing, airbrush, drypoint, lino, mono printing and mixed media.
The Manors’s beautiful, 10-acre property is located in Lexington, Virginia, 50 miles north of Roanoke, VA.