November 11th, 2013

Academy Uprades!

The Academy of Fine Art is based on the premise of a strong foundational education. In an ever-changing electronic world, the base of our curriculum doesn’t require “upgrading” every 3-6 months. Students are taught as the Great Masters were taught, with simple tools and in depth critiques of their works, learning to “see” and appreciating the ability to grow in an atmosphere that fosters the creation of fine art pieces.
We do recognize that there is always opportunity for growth in our curriculum and the chance to embrace the availability of knowledge from many resources right at our fingertips. In the past two years, I have implemented programs into the curriculum to advance our students even beyond the level expected of them.
With the initial addition of the Portrait and Sculpture classes in 2011, I saw the students being able to relate their figure studies and their studio cast work with their sculpture and portraiture. Their “flat” work on paper is beginning to take almost a sculptural appearance as they learn to view the subject “in the round.” This year, in order to enhance this wonderful development I have added anatomy lectures. Dr. Peri Aldrich is breaking down the skeletal and musculature systems into artist friendly lectures. Dr. Peri has over 33 years’ experience as a physician, working in family and sports medicine. Her knowledge and ability to lecture with visuals is wonderful for the beginning and advanced art student (we have a 3D L’Ecorchet AP on a flat screen along with large posters and soon our full size skeleton will arrive). Students take notes and sketch as Dr. Aldrich lectures and follow through with homework supporting what was lectured on that day.
Also this year, Composition and Design was added to the Academy’s curriculum. Marcia Brice, former instructor at the American Academy of Art, Chicago and Columbia College, meets 4 times a year with the students to teach hands on Composition and Design. This lecture/class brings design principles and uses art history to compare older works and newer more contemporary works, from representational to abstract. Citing these works and breaking them into basic composition and design properties gives the students examples to take forth into their studios and apply to their cast work and still life. Marcia also sends the students off with homework exercises to reinforce what she has taught which opens discussion between the student-body as they work on these projects together at school. Students use this knowledge in their Master Sketch Lectures they give to the other students.
Our newest studio and life room instructor David Carpenter compliments our already solid instructor roster with a wealth of knowledge in anatomy and a great teaching ability. This brings our curriculum full circle, reinforcing all that is taught by Bren Sibilsky in sculpture, Dr. Aldrich in Anatomy, Marcia Brice in Design, along with our Studio and Life instructors Lori Beringer, Ken DeWaard, Jeff Hargreaves, Dyan Wellmon, Mark Zelten and myself.
The Academy of Fine Art has embraced “upgrading” and will continue to do so. I welcome interested students and artists to tour our facility. Please email or call to schedule a personal tour. 920-362-4382