The Vosler Young Artists' Studio in Tampa, Florida provides an opportunity for students eighteen years and under to learn traditional skills. The program presents students with casts of geometric solids and human features, which the students accurately draw in charcoal. Loosely following the Charles Bargue and Jean-Léon Gérôme training method, they graduate to the clothed model and live animals or birds.
I met founder Kerry Vosler at the Portrait Society convention. Here are some quotes from the website:
"Michelangelo at age 13 apprenticed to Domenico Ghirlandaio. Mary Cassatt began studying painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia at the early age of 15. Cecelia Beaux started lessons with a relative, Catherine Ann Drinker at age 16."
"Great Artists, musicians, writers and athletes do not acquire their skills overnight. It takes years of study to gain insights and to understand the technical mastery of the craft for all of these endeavors. Talent is nice to have but not necessary to become an artist. Dedication and long term commitment is really what determines how successful the artist will become."
"Working on a series of exercises with increasing levels of difficulty and variety, artists progress at their own pace and do not move ahead to the next exercise until a reasonable level of technical mastery is demonstrated. Artists are critiqued individually by the instructor who utilizes objective criteria to judge their progress."
Kerry Vosler tells me that they are "working toward getting our sculpey clay and making some cool dinosaurs or monsters. Our students are really excited about this and this will help break up the typical drawing sessions."
Previously on GurneyJourney:
Comics in the classroom (Andy Wales, primary school teacher)