I have some paintings on display at the Florence Academy of Art‘s New Jersey campus. They’re having an open studio today in their new space in the MANA Contemporary art center. If anyone is in the neighborhood, be sure to pop over. The teaching staff is excellent at the FAA’s new space, and it looks like a very promising endeavor for the school.
The last few years I was in Florence I taught landscape painting at the Florence Academy of Art. They have recently updated their website to reflect better their professional approach to teaching painting and sculpture.
Their alumni gallery is especially impressive for the sheer number of professional working realist painters and teachers they have produced in their short history, as well as the high quality of the art produced and the great variety of style in the works. ‘Academic’ art is sometimes criticized for producing painters and sculptors whose work all looks the same. Looking through the work displayed on the FAA site, the director Daniel Graves and his faculty have clearly done an excellent job of allowing individualism to flourish, while at the same time giving all their students the proper tools to realize their vision.
The Florence Academy’s drawing, painting and sculpture departments are all excellent and their écorché program (originally set-up by Andy Ameral who currently teaches at the Golden Gate Atelier in the SF Bay Area) is something I regret not having taken advantage of while I still lived in Florence. The FAA is also alone among the schools in Florence in having a number of gallery contacts, so the best students are funneled into the gallery system and avoid the tedious process of getting someone to show their work.
The Florence Academy of Art is having their annual alumni show this week in the stables of the Palazzo Corsini. Lots of great work on display as usual and I’ll have some pieces in the charity silent auction. The opening is Wednesday the 9th.
At the moment I am teaching the Florence Academy of Art’s landscape painting class along with Jordan Sokol. Princess Giorgiana Corsini has generously given us the use of the private gardens at her palazzo, which is one of the more beautiful places to paint on an April morning. I took a few pictures this morning as the place is so stunning.
One interesting thing about the course in general is that the advanced painting students tend to have more difficulty that the intermediate group. I think they assume that because they have painted so much in the studio already that it should be just the same outside. It is actually very different, and they tend to get frustrated quicker that the students with less experience in painting. Another problem I notice every year is that the students bring the wrong materials and think they can just wing it. Painting is so difficult even when your materials are all perfect, it becomes almost impossible if you have missing or incorrect equipment.
This year the class is going well. Today was only our second meeting and already the work is showing great improvement.