Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Recent Portrait Sketches

In the full-time program at GCA, there's a weekly portrait sketch session that all current students, faculty, Resident Artists and alumni may attend. We also hold a community portrait sketch event that is open to the public. These are held once a month on Friday evenings from 6-9pm. The next one is coming up on October 28th, followed by November 18th. For more information, click here.

Portrait Sketches are single sitting poses. In our daytime program they last 4 hours and artists will "get as far as they get." These portrait sketches are often more an exercise in trying to resolve something quickly and serve as a counterbalance to the long term drawings and paintings our artists usually work on. Instructor Ted Minoff selected the following collection of recent portrait sketches that were submitted for our blog.

by Dale Zinkowski, 4th year
by Eric Kerke, 2nd year
by Noah Offitzer, 2nd year
by Rodrigo Mateo, Resident Artist
by Kevin Müller Cisneros, 4th year
by Mackenzie Swenson, 3rd year
by Landon Clay, Drawing Year
by Liz Beard, alum
by Noah Offitzer, 2nd year
by Liz Beard, alum
by Mackenzie Swenson, 3rd year
by Kevin Müller Cisneros, 4th year
by Dale Zinkoswki, 4th year
featuring Alfredo from our friendly crew
at The Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen days!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Kevin Müller Cisneros wins the Seventh Structure Prix

The first Structure Prix of the 2016-2017 year was awarded last week by Instructor Colleen Barry. On the first day of class, Colleen also provided a list of judging criteria for students that we've shared below. The class meets once a week for four hours and this pose lasted 5 weeks.

drawing by Kevin Müller Cisneros
"Kevin captured the proportion and gesture of the model perfectly. The contours are very sensitive with a good rib cage and pelvis relationship and overall excellent value relationships. The portrait is beautiful and expressive as well."

A winning drawing should have:

1. Naturalistic proportion and gesture.

2. A clear and graphic display of the light and shadow pattern on the figure.

3. A bold and confident use of value to allow for visual clarity when viewed from a distance.

4. An efficient and descriptive use of hatching and or graining when describing the structural components of the half tones. A sensitive use of line to describe important overlaps and or ascents.

5. A convincing description of the core structural elements of the figure such as the relationship of the rib cage and pelvis, the head and neck on the shoulders and the relationship of the legs as they support the weight of the standing figure.

6. An over all sense of artistic integrity and aesthetic.

This is the seventh time the Structure Prix has been awarded in the spirit of inspiring healthy competition among peers as inspired by weekly cash prizes at the Academy Julien in Paris during the 19th Century. 

Jessica Artman and Savannah Tate Cuff won the sixth prize in May 2016.
Jon Brogie and Kevin Müller Cisneros won the fifth prize in April 2016.
Sandra Sanchez won the fourth prize in March 2016.
Katie Engberg won the third prize in February 2016.
Raina Dai won the second prize in November 2015.
Kevin Müller Cisneros won the first prize in October 2015. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

BACH AND BEYOND - Chamber Music @ Eleventh Street Arts

Grand Central Atelier and Eleventh Street Arts recently welcomed Michelle Ross as our newest resident artist. Last year, Eleventh Street was honored with Ross' performances of the complete solo Bach Violin cycle. Thursday, October 27th marks the first concert in the inaugural season of Chamber Music @ Eleventh Street Arts, a three-part series curated by Ross. We celebrate this exciting new program with Bach's Goldberg Variations in a string trio arrangement by violinist Dimitry Sitkovertsky. This music will be juxtaposed with French composer Maurice Ravel's Piano Trio a kaleidoscope of color, with it's third movement, Passacaille, an interesting homage to Baroque composition.

Michelle Ross, violin     
Margaret Dyer Harris, viola     
Jia Kim, cello     
Brook Speltz, cello     
Euntaek Kim, piano

"Chamber music is about our humanity: a model where democracy, unity, and transcendent beauty all exist, each of the members coming together for a greater whole. Composers often write the most intimate and profound ideas in these ensemble works. My performances last year at Eleventh Street Arts felt like a place where I could take risks and grow my craft in front of and with a curious and warm audience. I am so excited to bring more musicians into this space this year, and for us to create moments of discovery for everyone, performers and audience alike. 

The Goldberg Variations is an incredibly spiritual piece. Having spent so much time immersed in solo Bach, playing this piece (in this string trio arrangement) with two other players reveals so much of the polyphony and conversation that happens within Bach's music - there is extreme  joy in sharing this process with other players. It's a different experience from tackling Bach alone, which can feel scary; the Aria and its 30 variations of unbridled joy. Ravel's piano trio is an extremely different work in comparison, but I love the juxtaposition of their sound worlds and think it will be a unique listening experience to hear both of them in the same concert. 

We can't wait!" -- Michelle Ross  

purchase the $10 tickets here: Eleventh Street Arts

listen to Suggested Donation Podcast interview with Michelle Ross here

Bach and Beyond 
Chamber Music @ Eleventh Street Arts
46-06 11th ST, Long Island City, NY 11101  
7:00 pm 
refreshments will be served
Q&A with artists after performance 
tickets $10

Friday, October 14, 2016

September Core Student Work

At the end of September, Instructors Justin Wood and Ted Minoff selected some core student work that shows the process and experiences of students in their first month either returning or starting at GCA. And...the first Structure Prix of the year will be announced next week!

In the Core Drawing Year, students have enthusiastically thrown themselves into working on cast drawings in the morning and the Charles Bargue plates in the afternoon. Each Friday afternoon they end with cast sculpture taught by Zoe Dufour. We have 12 artists in our new program and most of them have come to us from outside of NYC. Here's a selection of some of their first casts.

Leonard Ray Clark, Core Drawing Year
Landon Clay, Core Drawing Year
Martha Crow, Core Drawing Year
John Darley, Core Drawing Year
Ananda Fetherston, Core Drawing Year
Ananda Fetherston, Core Drawing Year
Jonathan Pinkett, Core Drawing Year
Meanwhile, in our figure studios...
Mackenzie Swenson, 3rd Year
Sculpture, "Bruce", water based clay, 3' tall
Emily Denise, 2nd year
"Andre" 18x24", graphite on paper
Savannah Tate Cuff, 3rd year, "Bruce"
Mackenzie Swenson, 3rd year, "Bruce"
Instructor Ted Minoff: "A color study divides the complex task of figure drawing into more manageable steps where the artist can focus solely on the color relationships and palette which will inform a more resolved painting." 

Tsultrim Tenzin, 4th year, color study, "Bruce"
Tsultrim Tenzin, 4th year, color study, "Devin"
Kathryn Kincaid, 3rd year
"Devin", 15x22", graphite on paper
Rachel Li, 3rd year
"Devin", 18x24", graphite on Strathmore
Kevin Müller Cisneros, 4th year
"Devin", 11x14", oil on canvas
Instructor Ted Minoff: "Below are Kelly's block-in and in-process grisaille where she's engaging with form in value in paint on top of the transferred block-in drawing."

Kelly Foss, 4th year
"Devin", 18x24", graphite on Strathmore
Kelly Foss, 4th year
"Devin", 18x24", oil on Centurion oil primed linen

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Open for Registration: Winter Boot Camp 2017

Winter Drawing Boot Camp 2017
January 2 - 27, 2017  
Mondays - Fridays - 9am - 4pm

Week 1: Cast with Devin Cecil-Wishing
Week 2: Portrait with Patrick Byrnes
Week 3: Figure with Katie Engberg
Week 4: Perspective for Artists with Anthony Baus
Special Evening Events each week.

View the full course descriptions and register online here.

Take 2 weeks: Save 10%
Take 3 weeks: Save 15%
Take all 4 weeks: Save 20%

1 Scholarship for 50% off the total studio fee for taking the full Boot Camp.
Deadline to Apply for the Scholarship: November 10th at 5pm EST
Notification: by November 17th

Scholarship Requirements: 3 images sent as jpegs (72dpi & 6x8") and a letter of intent (which must answer why this scholarship and program will benefit your artistic studies at this time.) 
Ideally three works are drawn from life. 
Please include your name and contact email and phone.
Label all attachments with your last name and title.
Send all documents in one email to: 
with the subject:
2017 Winter Boot Camp scholarship application.

Additional Winter 2017 Workshops will be announced by October 20th.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Congratulations to GCA Scholarship winners!

by Dale Zinkowski
Fourteen core students won scholarships towards their continuing studies in 2016-2017! Faculty had conducted end of year critiques and awarded the prizes to students for their outstanding work as well as their exemplary commitment to rigorous and disciplined study. Scroll down for a collection of artwork by the winning artists.

We are honored and grateful to the ongoing generosity of the Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, The Alfred and Jane Ross Foundation and the Anders Larson-Toich Memorial Scholarship in supporting the growth and development of the following artists. 

Block in
Savannah Tate Cuff - $5,000
Rubin Gabeau - $2,500

Cast Drawing
Diana Carino-Buitrago - $5,000
Emily Denise - $2,500

Cast Painting
Mackenzie Swenson - $5,000
Kathryn Kincaid - $2,500
Rachel Li - $2,500

Figure Drawing/Painting
Kevin Muller Cisneros - $5,000
Sandra Sanchez - $2,500
Kelly Foss - $2,500

Rubin Gabeau - $2,500

General Excellence
Arthur Haywood- $2,500
Dale Zinkowski - $2,500
Addison Xu - $2,500
Tsultrim Tenzin - $2,500

A Monthly Figure Structure Prix
One full time core student working in Colleen Barry's 3rd and 4th year Figure Structure class will win a $200 prize at the end of each five-week pose. Colleen Barry and a rotating member of the faculty pick the drawing that most exemplifies the artistic integrity, aesthetics and principles emphasized in the class. This school year’s first winner will be announced shortly after October 10th on social media. Colleen also writes a critique of the winning drawing on our blog.

We also offer scholarships for our Winter and Summer Drawing Boot Camps and our Summer Boot Camp for Teens. Last year's winners will be announced when we launch our next competitions. The Winter Boot Camp Scholarship Competition will open on October 10th. The Summer Boot Camp Competitions will open in the new year.

Support our Artists
GCA is committed to keeping tuition affordable and to maintaining an ideal student to instructor ratio in all our classes from full time to part time to workshops. Consider making a donation to support the exceptional, unique training we are proud to provide. Keep us in mind for upcoming #givingtuesday and year-end email campaigns. To make a gift today, click here.

by Diana Carino-Buitrago
by Savannah Tate Cuff
by Emily Denise
by Kelly Foss
by Rubin Gabeau
by Rubin Gabeau
by Arthur Haywood
by Kathryn Kincaid
by Rachel Li
by Kevin Müller Cisneros
by Sandra Sanchez
by Tsultrim Tenzin
by Addison Xu
by Dale Zinkowski

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Resident Artist Spotlight: Justin Wood

photo of Justin Wood painting at GCA by Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times
for a feature written by Milene Fernandez in print & online here.
Justin Wood is a GCA Resident Artist, a Core & Part-time Program Instructor and a graduate of Water Street/GCA. He is also a new father to his son Ben born this past April. This past summer he had a solo exhibition: Arranging Nature: Still Life Painting at Collins Galleries in Cape Cod. You can view the e-catalog here. All of the paintings featured were completed while in residence at GCA.

One of his newest paintings, Greek Satyr, is currently on view in the Eleventh Street Arts pop-up exhibition, New Arrivals. Justin discusses his process and inspiration for the painting below. 

This painting is centered around a plaster copy of a Greek Satyr. In Greek mythology, satyrs were depicted as men with horse tails and ears. They were associated with Dionysus, the God of wine and fertility. The attributes of satyrs include wine, drinking horns and flutes. These mischievous creatures were typically seen drinking and dancing. 

Drawing and painting from the plaster cast is a fundamental part of atelier training. In addition to serving as a valuable training tool, their aesthetic quality has inspired many artists from the past and present to include them in their paintings. I loved working from the cast as a student and I love finding ways to include them in my still lifes. 

I make a precise line drawing of my composition on paper where proportions and placements are decided upon. After the drawing is complete, I transfer it to my canvas. 
Using white, brown, and black, I begin the underpainting working area by area. It is useful to begin in the background and then move forward.
As more parts fall into place I begin to see the composition take shape. One of the difficulties of finishing one part at a time is the lack of context. It's important that I'm conscious of what part of my value range I need to operate in for any given area. 
With the underpainting complete, I judge the value structure and modeling of the objects in relation to each other. If no revisions need to be made I am ready to begin the color layer or layers. 
I finish the picture using the same procedure as in the underpainting (back to front, area by area), the only difference being the obvious addition of color.

Over Columbus Day Weekend, October 8 - 10, Justin is teaching a workshop on Underpainting and artists of all genres (still life, figure, portrait, landscape), skill levels, and degrees of experience are encouraged to take this workshop as solid underpainting skills are crucial to meaningful expression. To read a more in-depth description of the workshop and to sign up, visit our website here.

Follow Justin on instagram and check out his website.