The Island Art Center was founded in 2002 and has always been centered on the philosophy that all art comes from the same place, a place of mind and body unity. This is not only the core of the artist but the center of human condition.  We at the Art Center feel that art as a process is vital to the development of individual character refinement.


Chris Mills

At a young age I discovered I could draw the things I saw. This ability along with a desire to improve enabled me the confidence to become an artist. Later when I was in my teens, I picked up a guitar that was left at my home. At first it proved baffling, but when a friend showed me a few chords and scales, I was hooked. I learned that it was just like drawing. Passion, a willingness to practice, and a belief in myself was what I needed to become a musician. At the same time I was introduced to the martial arts. The same was true, a passion for the art coupled with an almost neurotic desire to perfect myself, and I slowly developed into a martial artist.

As an adult I deeply studied three art forms; music, martial movement, illustration and fine art. After studying music in community college and art school, I became a commercial illustrator by day and a professional musician at night. After trying several martial arts I discovered Aikido (the path of blending energy). This beautiful non-violent martial art spoke to my artistic temperament and confirmed my belief that all creative energy can be manipulated into any art form.

Julie Mills

I graduated The University of Connecticut in 1980 with a liberal arts degree and a dream.  Somewhere along the way teaching and a future in the arts waned and took a backseat to ….. political science. Armed with a degree and a passion, I tested for the Foreign Service.

Beirut Lebanon in the early ‘80’scame into focus and I started to second guess my chosen career.  The reboot of life plans led me back to the city I was born in (Seattle).  Seattle was full of great music, rich with art, lots of extended family, and my best friend, to whom I have been married to for 28 years, (co founder Chris Mills). Both of our extended family histories on Bainbridge Island date back almost a century.

Bainbridge Island WA 2015, and many years later, with two beautiful, ambitious daughters semi- exported, many extended family additions (and a few subtractions), 16 years teaching in the Bainbridge Community under my wing, life has come full circle.  I love discovering art and music with children of all ages and providing an open environment to approach life with confidence, accessibility, and opportunity.  Everyone is an artist; some just don’t know it yet. Come draw outside the lines.

The Island Art Center, where every puzzle piece fits.