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The New York Academy of Art is a nonprofit cultural and educational organization dedicated to scholarship, research and discourse that foster the talents of developing young artists, while also reaching out to the broader general public. The study of the human body and its conceptual and metaphorical aspects are central to the Academy’s programs. The Academy works to ensure the preservation of classical and traditional teaching skills as a vital component of the contemporary art world and to guarantee that these techniques will be passed on to the next generation of developing artists by its graduates who would serve as teachers as well as practitioners.

Each day students delight in discovering new adeptness as brush slides across canvas. Young sculptors learn to transform clay and wire into a symphony of forms that capture the proportions of the human body in simplified shapes. Accomplished students – trained in the Modernist form – smile with surprise as a torso takes shape on paper, marking their first experience of drawing from a 19th century cast of the human form in an all day drawing marathon.

Historically artists have devoted years of training to master the nuances and complexities of the body’s representation in art. Today, the Academy advances this tradition of the representation of the human form as the basis for the development of contemporary art.

Aside from its students, thousands of individuals derive benefit from the Academy’s continuing education, master classes, research, lecture, exhibition and special event programs:

  • Since its inception, the Academy has offered a wide-range of classes, workshops and master classes in figurative art through its Continuing Education program. This non-degree offering attracts over 90 participants to each of its three 15-week programs. The audience ranges from high school students, many taking their first professional art course, to curious amateurs and professional artists. A considerable number of these individuals have been a part of the Academy for a decade or more.
  • An uninstructed studio session is offered each Saturday morning and afternoon in order to offer artists and others the opportunity to draw and paint from live models at a very modest cost. Discounted courses are offered to Academy alumni, current students, artists resident in Lower Manhattan and senior citizens.
  • Past programs of the Academy have sought to promote the arts amongst younger individuals, in particular the “Go Figure” program that brought Academy students to city high schools to teach drawing. These programs embody the goals of the Academy by striving to establish a supportive and creative presence in the lives of young people who demonstrate a potential for a career and leadership in the visual arts.

The New York Academy of Art is the first institution in the United States to receive the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales, and serves as a source of information, inspiration, instruction and discovery for more than 115 aspiring artists each year through its full-time graduate program in the fine arts.

Unfortunately not every young person who aspires to participate in the graduate figurative art program of the Academy can realize this opportunity. The reasons are simple: the cost of tuition and the burden of day-to-day living expenses in one of the world’s most costly cities are far beyond the means of many recent college graduates.

The Academy is a developing institution that has grown rapidly as figurative and representational art have returned to a central role in today’s contemporary art world. However as an independent institution it does not have the resources or financial reserves of an established university to address the pressing monetary concerns of its potential students.

The support of Rolin Foundation will provide an opportunity for the Academy to support those talented individuals who might otherwise not be able to afford their degree. It will also help to promote the Academy as a key authority for those committed to achieving careers in figurative and representational art.


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