Preparing to Work as a Professional Artist
Our instructors are also professional artists. Most students who come to the Florence Academy intend to work professionally as painters or sculptors in the figurative tradition. We understand the difficulty of this choice, and place great importance on bringing visibility to the artwork they produce.
We create visibility for our graduates foremost through the website. Each graduate is given a page in the Alumni Gallery with contact information and 5 or 6 images of artwork that are updated annually. We feature select graduates throughout the year in email announcements that reach our 10,000+ readership.
To further support the professional careers of our advanced students and graduates, The Florence Academy of Art has organized exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world. The Alumni Exhibition has taken place in London (1993 and 1997), San Francisco (1995), Atlanta and Ocala, Florida (1996), New York (1997), Gothenburg, Sweden (1999), and Germany and New York (2003). Group shows of Florence Academy alumni take place regularly throughout the year at major American and European galleries including Ann Long Fine Art, Eleanor Ettinger Gallery, Grenning Gallery, Patterson Gallery, and Galerie Michael to name a few. The purpose of these exhibitions is to promote the work of the Academy’s advanced students and graduates to galleries and patrons, and, at the same time, to expand public appreciation for Realist art.
An annual Alumni Exhibition has been held in Florence since 2005 at the stables of the Corsini family home, and became a biannual event in 2009. More than 80 graduates have participated during each exhibition with over 100 drawings, paintings and sculptures each time. To view the exhibitions in their entirety, click on www.florenceacademyexhibition.com, or access the site from our Homepage by selecting Alumni Exhibition.
Using Classical Training outside the Fine Arts
Even though our program is composed mainly of students who attend the full three years, each academic year, a small number of applicants are accepted to the Intensive Drawing Program who intend to stay only one year. Their goal is to apply the acquired skills to other disciplines: digital animation, concept art, architecture, medical illustration, restoration, etc.
Just one year of drawing can be significant to a student in terms of developing both skill and artistic vision. The long term benefit for our students is to experience a different world of art students that exists outside the typical campus; our students come determined to learn the techniques of the great figurative painters and sculptors of the past; a common visual aesthetic draws them to the classical world (and its renaissance in Florence) to build an artistic vocabulary where beauty and ideas are intrinsic to art. We see how the educational and intellectual environment of our studios produces some very fine results.
DID YOU KNOW?
Our graduates bring great art to the world. Here is what we know about them:
FAA Teachers: 100%
Teachers at The Florence Academy of Art are all graduates of its Painting and Sculpture programs. We begin forming our teachers by selecting our most talented students to become student assistants. Eventually, they advance to become principal instructors and program directors.
Working artists: 70%
We count 209 graduates who either 1) have had solo exhibitions or appear regularly in group shows in galleries, cultural associations, and art fairs, 2) have participated in and placed in and/or won art competitions like the Portrait Society of America’s Annual Competition, the National Sculpture Society, the British Portrait Prize, the A.M. Travelling Grant (Australia) and Art Renewal Center International Salon; 3) appear in art publications like American Artist, Fine Art Connoisseur, and International Artist; 4) have formal gallery representation (see the link in the Alumni Gallery on the website for a partial list of galleries), 5) paint almost exclusively on commission.
There are a recorded 63 graduates who are currently teaching the methodology they learned at The Florence Academy of Art in a variety of academic settings: 28 have started their own atelier style schools similar but on a smaller scale to the Florence Academy in the U.S., Italy, Britain and other cities in Europe, or are employed by non-accredited institutions like the Grand Central Academy of Art in New York; four are employed by NASAD accredited institutions: two are on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, one at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and one at Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA; 22 are employed by The Florence Academy of Art as program directors or principal instructors.