Monday, June 28, 2010

Workshop report: flower painting with Michael Klein

Michael Klein's first Flower Painting workshop filled our North Studio with light, blossoms and greenery. Students arranged themselves around a variety of still-life's for the three days. Workshop two starts tomorrow!

the north studio looking good in natural light!

Michael Klein doing a demo in class

Klein's demo painting

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Conclusion of the Summer Intensive workshop

The Summer Intensive is 4 weeks long and participants study both cast and figure drawing every day. Jacob Collins guided the training through several demonstrations, lectures and critiques. Colleen Barry, Angela Cunningham and Will St. John were the full-time instructors and often they would be drawing alongside everyone if they weren't teaching. Students new to GCA as well as those from our part-time and full-time programs attended and dove right in with patience and rigor.

I've been out of town this month so Joy took these photos and she says thank you to everyone for filling our studios with focus and camaraderie during the month of June. A truly great group!!

Alex Tang

Rodney Davis

Colleen Barry working with Will Jones

Edwin Boone

Shihwen Wu


by Alex Tang

by Sheryl Kosovski

by Alex Tang

by Edwin Boone

by Mark Fiorenza

Mark Fiorenza

Angela Cunningham working with Shihwen Wu

Colleen Barry working with a student

Alex Tang

the necessary supplies

the scene

Gregory Harris

by Adrienne Stanger

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

update from the workshops

Summer workshops are well under way at GCA, here are a few snapshots from around the studios last week:

Jon deMartin demonstrating technique on a student's work in his Head & Figure Workshop.

Mason Sullivan's The Portrait Inside & Out workshop participant Joseph Wilson working up until the end on the last day.

Scholarship recipient and Summer Intensive participant David Troncoso in the cast hall demonstrating his continued verve to work late.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Drawing Demo with Joshua LaRock

Check out this article on Arist Daily about a drawing demo by GCA instructor Joshua LaRock. The article describes his approach to cast drawing with step-by-step photos and explanations.

Friday, June 18, 2010

2009-2010 Core Scholarship Prizes Announced

We are very pleased to announce GCA’s 2009-2010 scholarship prize winners! The awards are applied towards the following year’s core tuition. In accepting the prize, each student is committing to remain in the core program for the full year.

This year, the Cast and Figure prize winners have tied for first place! Also, this year, a Director’s prize has been awarded for Interdisciplinary Excellence.

Figure Category – First place award of $10,000 to be shared
Angela Cunningham and Colleen Barry

Cast Category - First place award of $10,000 to be shared
David Troncoso and Katie Whipple

Director’s Prize for Interdisciplinary Excellence - $4,000
Will St. John

by Katie Whipple

by David Troncoso

by Angela Cunningham

by Colleen Barry

by Will St. John

The judging committee made up of Edward Minoff, Josh LaRock, Scott Waddell and Camie Davis engaged in fervent debate and had the edifying task of comparing finer points of beauty and excellence from a torrent of beauty and excellence gracing the walls of the South Studio. Here are specific notes from the judges:

Angela's painting and drawing each display an incredibly lifelike and human veneer which reflects a profound knowledge of the interaction between surface form and light. Her modeling has continued to develop aided by her sculptural conception of anatomy and form. Her drawing is subtle, reflecting the strength of her vast understanding of the human figure.

Colleen's penetrating eye seems to go beneath the surface, guided by a powerful command of anatomy: skeletal structure, proportion and balance. The result is apparent in her expert block-ins, which are simultaneously solid and delicate. Her paintings are supported by a masterful control of values, generating a warm glow and exhibiting a deep absorption of the classical aesthetic.

Both Katie and David have shown a tireless dedication to their work. Towards the end of the year, both were still at their easels when the last of the night students departed. Katie's drawings in particular seem to reflect the most thorough understanding of form modeling. David undertook perhaps the most ambitious cast drawing, considering the scale.

Will has done excellent drawings, paintings and sculptures this past year. He has brought a tireless work ethic, a keen eye and a questioning intelligence to these diverse pursuits, and has achieved excellence and subtlety in each of them. As the GCA continues to grow, we look forward to cultivating this spirit of interdisciplinary achievement.

Congratulations to the winners! Also, thank you to all the students who contributed their work to the Student Exhibit hanging in the South Studio during the month of June.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Judging the Sculpture Competition

Edward Minoff, who was one of the sculpture competition judges (along with Sabin Howard and Mason Sullivan) has written this blog entry on his experience of judging the competition.

I was honored to be asked to judge the sculpture competition, representing the painter's
perspective. I have some experience sculpting, but a deep love of sculpture, as well as
a yet unfulfilled dream of producing a small series of sculptures. In fact, it was exposure to
Michelangelo's work that first sparked my interest in art when I was a child, and led me to
the Art Students League where I spent a couple of tween summers chiseling away at a large
chunk of limestone trying to excavate a fish.

I had no idea of what to expect, beyond the very difficult task of deciding between the work of a
tremendous group of highly accomplished sculptors. The entire week of the sculpture competition I had to stay away from the scene and resisted the urge to check the GCA blog for fear of seeing a picture of a sculpture in progress, or worse, a sculptor working on his or her sculpture.

Although I taught at the GCA in the evenings during the competition, I did not at any time enter into the sculpture studio until the judging -- Jacob Collins noted that he was happy to not be a judge this year because he was finally allowed to view the works in process. These great pains were taken to avoid seeing the sculptures at any stage so that the judging could be completely blind. When the judges were finally allowed into the room to see the sculptures, there was no way to know to whom each sculpture belonged. The sculptures were left on their stands with nothing else to distinguish or identify them. We judged based on five criteria, awarding 1-5 points for each. The model, Jimmy, held the pose so that we could compare each sculpture to him to determine it's accuracy, one of the five judging criteria. A monitor remained in the room throughout the judging, and only released the names of the sculptors after we had finalized our judgement.

It was a very difficult decision because all of the sculptures possess great merit, however, I think that anybody who looks objectively at the sculptures will see that our decision awards the works that best display an authentic and deeply understood classical, humanist aesthetic. Our decision, I believe, is supported by the pictures of the outstanding winners posted on the GCA blog.

My congratulations to the winners and to all of the highly skilled artists who were selected to participate and who made our decision so difficult. Many thanks to my fellow judges, from whom I learned a great deal about looking at sculpture, and the GCA for allowing me to serve as a judge in the competition.

Edward Minoff

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Observations from the model stand

And now here are some words from one of our favorite models at GCA: Jimmy Martin. A day working with Jimmy is always filled with joking and laughter, he's got tons of energy and we really appreciate how psyched he always is!

"Many people never have the opportunity to be naked in front of people for 40+ hours. Luckily, I now have bragging rights, having enjoyed the opportunity to have posed for the 2010 Grand Central Academy Sculpture Competition.

The stand on which I stood was located at the center of the room, about a foot or so off the ground with the ability to rotate 360 degrees. On the periphery, were the boundaries for the competitors, a series of 24 vertical and parallel lines that would divide the room into 12 areas from which the contestants sculpted.

Like the sun, I was the center of everyone's attention. The competitors, twelve unique planets, orbited around me with their clay moon man nobly in front of them. From time to time, a competitor would go out of their orbit and I would enjoy a few spray bottle showers while everyone else continued to focus on landing the spot of recipiency for this annual celebration.

The reason I say celebration is because there was no competition in this studio. Smiles were more visible than statues at times. Twelve extremely talented artists each with their unique background came together to create life out of clay. By the end of the competition, it felt like there were twelve more people added to the room. Unfortunately, they were all much better looking than I was.

I am honored and privileged to have been a part of something so beautiful. As artists we thrive on creating life and sharing it with our communities. And because of that, I now have 12 new brothers and 12 new friends to add to my Facebook."

Jimmy checking email and doing some lunges on a model break during the competition

Jimmy Martin is a writer/performer in NYC.
His website is andnd he wants you to visit it... please.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Winning Sculptures

Will St. John, 1st place $10,000 prize

Susie Chism, 2nd place, $3,000 prize

Jiwoong Cheh, 3rd place, $2,000 prize

Angela Cunningham, honorable mention

Chris Waddell, honorable mention

About the Winning Sculpture:
"Will gave his sculpture a fullness and expansive quality that could be seen in the pitch of the ribcage which was angled up towards the light indicating a fullness of breath. His sculpture showed a clearer understanding of proportions and gesture grounding and weighting the standing leg and moving the force up the body with well articulated masses full of rhythm. This gave the figure a good sense of intentionality and motion. All the transitions between the body parts were well done, giving the viewer a clear understanding of sculpture's archetectonic qualities. The figure was broken down well, with a great understanding of the underlying structure. The parts fit well into the hierarchy of the whole. From a distance, the sculpture's values were in the right spots, showing that Will knows how to break down the life model into a form that explains well in sculptural terms how the body moves and reacts to gravity."

-Sabin Howard, Judge

On the Competition:
"The Competition was an amazing learning experience. Never before had I witnessed so much drive and perseverance in one group. It was a privilege working alongside such an outstanding group of professional sculptors"
-Will St. John

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sculpture Competition Results

Here are some photos from the reception last night, and the winners are ....

1st place: Will St. John
2nd place: Susie Chism
3rd place: Jiwoong Cheh
Honorable Mention: Angela Cunningham & Chris Waddell

congratulations to all the competitors!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tonight! party at GCA

Tonight, JUNE11 at 8:00 PM we will have the reception and awards ceremony for the sculpture competition. Refreshments will be served, the winners announced and around 8:30 the competition room will be open for viewing. Come join us!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Competition In-Progress!

The competition is fierce! Drop by to view

the 12 beautiful works-in-progress. Events

are free & open to the public.

The two remaining events are listed below.

Day 3 - June 9
Viewing of works-in-progress, 6-7:30pm

Day 5 - June 11
Awards Gala & Final Viewing, 8-11pm
*Viewing begins after prizes are awarded @ 8:30pm


portrait drawing and painting workshop with Camie Davis

This workshop still has room for a few more students! (July 19-30) Camie Davis has been teaching full time in the core program since the beginning of GCA. She is a high energy force of motivation at the school and her classes are always fun and challenging. This is an opportunity not to be missed!

Camie Davis teaches Jedi mind tricks and portrait drawing
In this ten day work shop students will complete a thoughtfully rendered and highly refined portrait painting with interior. We will be working with the same model three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon with a one hour lunch break in between giving us sixty hours of model time over the course of the workshop. All students will start off rendering a preliminary block in sketch in graphite with a focus on accuracy and likeness. Beginning students will be encouraged to continue rendering their portrait in pencil , with the additional option of toned paper and white chalk. Advanced students may transfer their drawings to canvas and proceed with a full color portrait. The main focus of this work shop will be on providing a solid and accurate foundation with your drawing to then take further with naturalistic flesh tones and an understanding of light on form. Additional discussions on color, composition, poster studies, and aesthetics will also be offered. All steps will be previewed through instructor demonstrations.