Our Story

We will help you get there.


“To shine light on the human heart is the profession of the artist.”

Robert Schumann

Our Mission

The vision of the Milan Art Institute is to enlighten and educate a worldwide audience about the transformational and uplifting power of the visual arts.

Our mission is to support and advance artistic endeavors that are innovative, visionary, and inspired. The Institute does this through art classes and educational programs for youth and adults, outreach and engagement with our local community, unique art products, original contemporary artwork, and international cultural exchanges for emerging artists.

The vision and mission of the Milan Art Institute are based upon the Milan Art style. It is two-fold. Art is powerful and can change the atmosphere of a room, building, city, and nation, and is meant to perpetuate and advance personal freedom, life, and hope.

Our Goal

The goal of the Milan Art Institute is to be a destination for artistic discovery where visual art techniques merge the classical and the cutting edge, and where artists young and old can foster creative connections and build professional relationships.

The Milan Art Institute is a limited liability company comprised of the Fine Art School, Gallery 220, the Art Supply Store, Art Excursion Tours, and the sale of Milan artwork. Future business plans include custom Creative Framing and a Milan Oil Paint line.

The Milan Art Institute was established in 2010 and is located in Queen Creek, Arizona.

What We Do

Milan Art School – At the heart of the Milan Art School is a focus to move determined and gifted artists into a place of professionalism and consistent sales. We offer advanced classes teaching innovative techniques for creating artwork, while maintaining the long lost techniques of classical principles. We also offer classes for beginners, hobbyists, and children. Starting in September 2015, we began a Mastery Program for artists who desire a well-rounded education in visual art expression.

Art Excursion Tours – We offer various art excursion tours throughout the year including an annual trip to Greece. Tours reflect the vision of the Millan Art Institute, and are times of refreshing, creativity, and inspiration for both emerging and professional artists.

Milan Fine Art – John and Elli are both accomplished artists on their own, who work collaboratively to bring out a side of their work neither could reach by themselves.  The end result is aggressive and spontaneous layers of paint which create a bright and playful scenario that is interwoven with hints of narrative.  The Milan’s work is available for sale through the Milan Art Institute. They are also represented in galleries nationally and internationally.

Art Supply Store –  We focus on selling only the materials used at the Milan Art School. We offer innovative, never seen before kits created for the specific techniques that are taught in our classes. All of our art supplies are high quality. We carry brands that are currently not sold anywhere else, including Sugar, the world’s first artists’ paint made from harvested sugar cane, not petroleum, so it has less environmental impact.

Milan Biography

John and Elli Milan met in Hawaii while Elli was still in high school and John was beach bumming. Deciding early to make a career as artists, they enrolled at Savannah College of Art and Design and later transferred to the University of Georgia where they received their BFAs in painting. It was in this small, but vital city, that the couple developed personal styles and began showing their work in local galleries. After graduation the couple worked independently but began dreaming about working together.

Today, they live their dream and the Milan’s create their paintings together. Although John and Elli are both accomplished artists on their own, this collaboration brings out a side of their work that neither could reach by themselves. The couple says that the Spirit of God inspires their work and allows them to create together and maintain a unified vision. The end result is aggressive and spontaneous layers of paint which create a bright and playful scenario that is interwoven with hints of narrative.

The Milan’s have traveled extensively to Greece, and these trips have inspired their artwork and life. A fascination with contemporary buildings built around old ruins and the visible layers of history have become a metaphor for the way the Milan’s see spiritual transformation in themselves and the people around them. The Milan’s artwork is symbolic parable inspiring hope and life.

One of the Milan’s dreams is to establish a permanent studio in one of Greece’s beautiful coastal cities. The Milan’s and their four children live in Queen Creek, Arizona. Their home studio is prolific and open year-round. The Milan’s are well-established artists with careers that have seen their work in galleries and private collections in Canada, Europe, the United States, the Philippines, and Dubai.