Art School Growing Pains

Time flies! It’s been way too long since last I checked in. First off, I want to send a shout out to fellow artist and former Neoteric student Dan – This post is for you , finally!

Each student that studies with us, even for a short time brings with them their unique contribution to the group as a whole and leaves there mark with every one of us. As the school has grown I have been able to watch the growth and shifts of this dynamic group of learning artists. I see how the school itself responds to the needs of the group and the needs of the individual at the same time. We are such a small school right now, an intimate gathering of artists working with a shared goal to elevate our understanding and ability to draw and express our thoughts through the language of classical realism. It is that common ground that unifies the different personalities and individual needs into the vision that is our school.

I see Lisa, Matthew and Jonathan working hard to formulate a fresh teaching philosophy and curriculum that embraces not only their roots in traditional classical realism at the Florence Academy, but also the needs of their students as artists in the here and now. They try new things, and some stick… and some don’t. They go back to their roots, and then stretch their understanding of those roots some more. In it all they are building the teaching style and core philosophy that the Neoteric will eventually be known for. This is such a special time and the core of the teaching remains constant, though sometimes it can be a little unpredictable when you come in the morning ready for a three hour sitting only to find out that you’re having a plein air day or a gesture drawing warm up. I have learned to just go with it… because in it all these young teachers will find through trial and error what works best, what really takes the student where the student wants to go in the shortest time possible. Many of our students are part time or less than part time students but have the expectation of full time results. How will the school meet those expectations? Only by stretching their own understanding of curriculum a little bit.

I find all of this fascinating and I really believe that I am watching a little history in the making when I see this very talented and sincere group of artist/educators making the map as they drive the roads. And it is all for us… the students. This special crew that stands easel to easel and does the hard work of learning the form together.

This is an incredibly exciting time for us as we venture into the role of a cooperative, elevating the importance and functionality of the “group” and the individual to a new level. I feel so much connection to each one of my fellow students and it is my honor to draw with each one of them.

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