The New York Academy of Art occupies a 50,000-square-foot, five story historic building in Manhattan. It teaches figurative drawing, painting and sculpture. Its mission states, “We believe that rigorously trained artists are best able to realize their artistic vision. Academy students are taught traditional methods and techniques and encouraged to use these skills to make vital contemporary art. The Academy serves as a creative and intellectual center for all artists dedicated to highly skilled, conceptually aware figurative and representational art.”

The Academy draws some of the best teachers and students from around the world. Its president, David Kratz, says, “If you play with people who are at the top of their game you evolve faster, you learn faster. That’s what the community is like here.”

Exhibitions are a vital part of the life of the academy in its own spaces and beyond. An exhibition of the work of 22 faculty, students and graduates will be held in Charleston, South Carolina, at the Vendue, “Charleston’s Art Hotel,” beginning May 26th. The works displayed show the breadth of artistic expression that is a hallmark of the Academy and the effect of the strong base its program provides.

Annie Wildey is a British painter and printmaker who received her MFA at the Academy in 2008. Her large paintings are often seascapes. She says, “At the shore I am reminded to be present… I bring this experience into the studio as I interpret the smells, sounds, feelings and energy of the water or the quiet movement of fog. The process is fluid, moving between freedom and control, accident and intention, as I push and pull the paint to convey and realize my visual and emotional experiences.” Her paintings approach the reality of the water’s movement and translucency and remind us that the paint itself is fluid as it alternates between conveying ocean spray and being paint.

-by John O'Hearn, American Art Collector, May 2016


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