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Edward Dillon took every course Professor Anthony Waichulis offered at Luzerne County Community College, in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania.  He even requested a cast-drawing class for him and some of his classmates, a plea Waichulis consented to by heading a semester-long workshop free of charge.

But in 2007, however, a year after his graduation, Ed called Anthony Waichulis to vent his frustration with the shortcomings he faced in his artwork since their last class together.  He’d been practicing gesture, figurative, and portrait drawing, irritated by his progress and disappointed with his instruction.  Waichulis’ description of his studio and the small group of apprentices in his atelier not only excited Ed, it made it difficult to deny his craving for the hope he once felt from those college classes.

Ed asked, “What do I need to do to be accepted?”

In his typical fashion, Waichulis replied, “You’re accepted.”

“When can I start?”

“When would you like to start?”

“I’ll be there tomorrow!”

And now in 2012, coupled with five years of Waichulis’ unparalleled instruction, Ed’s commitment, enthusiasm, and talent have prepared him to head the Ani Art Academies’ second international school, Ani Dominican Republic, as primary instructor.

The Academy’s grand opening is scheduled for November 2012.

EdwardDillonAotM from Anthony Waichulis on Vimeo.

Months earlier, when Waichulis first posed the question about who would like to teach in the Dominican Republic, Ed answered, “I’ll go tomorrow!”

As soon as he reached the required level in the program, he began teaching on weekends the students who travel to Ani Waichulis in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  “I’m so grateful to be part of this process.  Anthony’s reshaping the world view of representational art.  And he’s selected me to teach at the new academy what he’s been teaching us all these years.  I hope to repay his generosity by adhering to and passing on the principles of his curriculum….Anthony has given me the greatest gift of my life.”

During his visit to the country, he was both charmed and amazed by the character of the people.  He recounted how when he overpaid a toll more than ten times, the gentlemen returned his money, communicating the misunderstanding with a smile and pantomime.  “It’s more than just people returning my change.  There is a real warmth, honesty, and decency I feel with almost everyone I meet in the Dominican Republic.

“When Anthony and I did a presentation at the local high school,” he continued, “the students and teachers treated us with generosity and respect.  We were approached by art teachers who have a desire to enrich their communities by volunteering to learn as much of the program as possible to bring it back to their students of all ages.  And the students’ earnestness was something I haven’t experienced at that level since I was a child myself.

“I just work and teach every day.  But when it comes to the anticipation, I try not to think about it.  I keep my emotions in the middle of the road, the middle path.”

But Ed later admitted that as his departure date approaches, he’s unable to comprehend how deeply the upcoming changes have already affected him.  He said he dreams about the Dominican Republic, students with whom he can’t wait to share, and what his life will become there.

He often includes elements of fantasy in his work, sometimes delving completely into fantasy and illustration.  And, somehow, in the weeks before the grand opening, it’s as if he’s been experiencing a visceral embodiment of his artistic vision, the blending of real and unreal.

Ed’s father paints, and his grandfather was an illustrator best known for the creating the iconic Mack Truck logo.  His family, especially his mother, has helped to foster his interest in art.  “My mother would frame drawings I did in grade school and hang them.  She’d tape others on the refrigerator.  She encouraged my brother and me to express ourselves through art.  That’s the passion I want to bring to my students.  Being an artist isn’t easy, art often takes a backseat to everyday pressures.”

As children, he and his brother Joe Dillon, also an Ani-Waichulis apprentice, competed and collaborated, writing and illustrating various projects like handmade books and posters.  “Not only is he one of the best people I know,” Ed said, “he’s one of the best draftsmen I’ve ever seen.  I’m lucky to have him, and I hope I’m able to bring that sense of unity and friendly rivalry with me.”

In Call to Adventure, a 16”x20” charcoal and chalk, Ed draws on both the Middle Ages and Renaissance for wisdom, viewing his future at the Ani Arts Academy Dominican Republic as a personal summons to action.  He echoes ancient hero-myths and the clarity of American mythologist Joseph Campbell.  Ed shows how archetypical objects and heroes mirror the tasks and symbolize the decisions of everyday people.  Call to Adventure is an allegorical medley, a medieval helmet and goblet, gold coins, bits of nature, and a box for the journey—possibly a symbol of what the artist himself contains—skill and character acquired from surrendering to the absolute principles of art.

Before questions regarding him and art are even asked, Ed is ready to answer.  And in the classical, almost archetypal manner, his readiness has prepared him for his unintentional journey to the Dominican Republic.

Written by: Carmen Latona

October 12, 2012

Rehs Contemporary Galleries in New York will be hosting an exciting 2013 exhibit featuring Timothy W. Jahn, Anthony Waichulis, and a salvo of amazing talent from The Ani Art Academies family. The exhibit, carrying the intriguing title of “The Big Gamble”, will be the first significant concentration of works in the New York area from The Ani Art Academies former alumni and current apprentices. While Howard Rehs of Rehs Contemporary remains fairly tight-lipped regarding additional details and full artist roster, he states that the show promises to be a “very significant and exciting event.”

Short preview of the Rehs Contemporary 2013 exhibit “The Big Gamble”:

BigGambleAdSmall1a from Anthony Waichulis on Vimeo.

Be sure to visit www.rehs.com for additional information regarding this special event in the coming months. Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc. is located at 5 East 57th Street in New York, NY 10022. For more information regarding the gallery, call (212) 355-5710 or visit their website www.rehs.com

September 24, 2012

Opening on September 14, 2012, the Beijing World Art Museum will host the first major exhibit of American Realism in China. This exhibit of 100 paintings by 49 American artists will travel to 6 cities in China. This will be the first tour of Contemporary American Realism in China, and marks an important moment in the resurgent field of realist painting. The China museum tour will open at the Beijing World Art Museum on September 14, 2012, and travel to Dalien, Tianjin, Wuhan, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. The expected total museum attendance for this tour is over one million people, over a period of 16 months.  All participating American artists are members of ACOPAL.  ACOPAL is a league of artists whose mission is to build a creative and philosophic exchange between realist painters in the United States and China. This non-profit organization was created in 2010 with the purpose of creating dialogue and exhibition opportunities, and to enhance artistic education to meet the growing interest in traditional painting in both countries.  For information about the ACOPAL and the artists: ACOPAL.org

The Museum tour schedule is as follows:

Beijing World Art Museum Sep.15,2012- Nov. 04,2012. (No. 9A Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100038, China)
Dalian Modern Museum Nov.14,2012- Jan.13,2013. (No. 10 Huizhan Road, Shahekou District, Dalian, Liaoning Province, 116023, China)
Tianjin Art Museum Jan.23,2013- Mar.20,2013. (Pingjiang Road, Hexi District, Tianjin, 300201, China)
Hubei Provincial Museum Apr.01,2013- May 26,2013. (No. 156 Wuchang East Road, Wuhan, Hubei Province, 430077, China)
Zhejiang Provincial Museum Jun.03,2013- Jul 21,2013. (No. 25 Gushan Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, 310007, China)
Shanghai Chinese Arts Palace Jul. 30,2013- Oct.30 ,2013. (Shanghai World Expo China Pavilion)

Full list of Participating Artists:

Steve Assael, Warren Chang, Jacob Collins, Tony Curanaj, Gabriella Dellosso, Jon DeMartin, Teresa Elliott, Gary T. Erbe, Peter Fiore, Nanette Fluhr, Max Ginsberg, David Gluck, Gary Godbee, Daniel E. Greene, Michael Grimaldi, Benat Inglesias, Michael Klein, Maria Kreyn, Joshua LaRock, Jeffrey T. Larson, David A. Leffel, Kate Lehman, Steven Levin, Robert Liberace, Jeremy Lipking, Paul McCormack, Sherrie McGraw, Edward Minoff, Greg Mortenson, Katie O’Hagan, Paul Oxborough, Graydon Parrish, Charles Pfahl, Tony Pro, Christopher Pugliese, Thomas Reis, Anthony J. Ryder, Cesar Santos, Travis Schlaht, Nelson Shanks, Ronald N. Sherr, Daniel Sprick, Sharon Sprung, Dan Thompson, Joseph Todorovitch, Nicole Michelle Tully, Thomas Valenti, Scott Waddell, Anthony Waichulis, and Patricia Watwood and Will Wilson.

The exhibit will run through December 2013.

September 14, 2012

In late 2010, American Painting Video Magazine (APVM) presented a feature on The Ani Art Academies educational project.  Project developers Tim Reynolds, Timothy Jahn, and Anthony Waichulis shared with viewers the inspiration behind this immense endeavor and their enthusiasm for the future of The Ani Art Academies. 

Mr. Klein has allowed us to share the APVM Ani Art Academies feature.

APVMAnifeature from Anthony Waichulis on Vimeo.

In January 2011, Michael Klein also released some additional unseen footage of Anthony Waichulis at work in the studio.  It can be seen here:  http://www.youtube/JyJDp4sr2f0

Michael and Nelida Klein created American Painting Video Magazine with the goal of bringing together talented artists from all over the country.  “We enjoyed hearing conversations going on behind the scenes about art and its’ place in history, we decided it was too important to not share with everyone.”  Klein Art Productions was started in 2008 with the help of Michael’s two siblings.  It is a family business and we are honored to be able to create a place for anyone to come and find inspiration.   –from http://www.americanpaintingvideomagazine.com/aboutus.html

For more information on the American Painting Video Magazine or to download the issues discussed here and more, please visit: http://www.americanpaintingvideomagazine.com/

August 8, 2012

On July 4th The Art Renewal Center announced the winners of the 8th Annual Art Renewal Center’s International Salon competition.  The ARC’s 2011/2012 International Salon competition showcases some of the best realist endeavors being created today.  We are very proud to share that15 Ani Art Academy Apprentices and Alumni were included in this renowned international Salon.

We would like to congratulate all of our artists who received honors, awards, and much deserved recognition.  We are all so extremely proud.  Below is a list of Ani Art Academy Apprentices and Alumni who received honors this year:

Drawing Category:
First Place:
Roger C. Long
“Justin’s Muse” Charcoal & White Chalk, 8 3/4x24 ½ inches

Third Place:
Erin Anderson
“Paradigm Shift” Charcoal on Paper, 17x20 inches

Best Trompe l’oeil:
First Place:
Joel Carson Jones
“More Than You Can Chew” Oil on Panel, 20x24 inches

Second Place:
Anthony J. Waichulis
“Expedition” Oil on Panel, 5x7 inches

A.R.C Staff Prize

Laura Mitchell
“Changeling” Black & White Charcoal, 16x14 inches

Honorable Mention
Drawing Category
:
Susan Wallace
“Kelly Laptop” Charcoal on Paper, 18x11 inches

Kevin Moore
“The Warning” Charcoal on Paper, 15x10 inches

Roger C. Long
“Cain’s Legacy” Charcoal & White Chalk, 22x6 1/8 inches

Finalists in the Still Life Category
:
Anthony J. Waichulis
"Pursuits (A Modern Vanitas)" Oil on Panel, 16x20 inches

Michael Hockenbury
"Sounds of Nonsense" Oil, 8x10 inches

Timothy Jahn
"Descent of Man" Oil, 40x30 inches

Finalists in the Drawing Category:
Edward Dillon
"Sword of Valor" Charcoal on Paper, 10x16 inches

Erika Baez
"Tooth Decay" Charcoal on Paper, 19x13 inches

Kate Sammons
"Self Portrait in Studio" Charcoal on Paper, 8x10 inches

Rodney Davis
"All Saints Day" Charcoal on Paper, 11x14 inches

Sharon Hourigan
"Julius Kernbach May 2010" Charcoal on Paper, 8x10 inches

Brandon Drake
"Awakening" Charcoal on Paper, 12x18 inches

Congratulations everyone!!!!

For a full listing of winners, honorable mentions, finalists, and additional awards, please visit: http://www.artrenewal.org/pages/salon_winners.php?contest=2011-2012%20Salon&page=Main

The Art Renewal Center (A.R.C.) is an online resource founded by Fred Ross in 2000. It is dedicated to the promotion of what it terms classical realism in art, as opposed to the Modernist developments of the twentieth century. The ARC sees the acquisition of academic skills as being essential for the art of the future.

July 5, 2012

Ani Art Academies Anguilla head instructor, Timothy W. Jahn and his work “Le Petite Mort” (20x16 inches, Oil) is featured in the current exhibit, Artists of the New Century at The Bennington Center for Arts in Bennington, Vermont. Also in the show is Ani Art Academies Waichulis Alumni Kate Sammons and her work “Daydreaming” (12x18 inches, Graphite/Charcoal).  The exhibit will consist of an impressive group of the country's newest talent and artwork from around the world. Many of the country's finest artists will be included in what has become one of The Bennington patrons' favorite exhibitions. Southwest Art, American Art Collector and Fine Art Connoisseur have each nominated artists to be included in the show and the artists will be including one piece each that they feel best represents their work. The exhibit began Saturday, June 9th-Saturday, July 14th, 2012.

The Bennington Center for the Arts is a non-profit full-spectrum art center built by local philanthropist Bruce Laumeister and wife Elizabeth Small.  The gallery is located in Bennington, Vermont.  For more information, please visit their website at: http://www.thebennington.org/index.php/artists-of-the-new-century

Artists of the New Century
June 9, 2012-July 14th, 2012

The Bennington Center for the Arts
44 Gypsy Lane
Bennington, Vermont 05201

June 25, 2012

We are happy to announce the new forum group created on Facebook dedicated to the now widely used Ani Art Academies’ Language of Drawing Program!  The Language of Drawing system is designed by Anthony Waichulis with the purpose to develop fundamental representational drawing skills through a particular sequence of exercises.  Anyone who is a member on Facebook is welcome to join the forum and contribute discussions, questions, and ideas!  To join the Ani Art Academies’ Language of Drawing forum, please go to the following link: http://www.facebook.com/groups/389214077803388/ or search on Facebook: “Ani Art Academies Language of Drawing Program”.

June 20, 2012

Last week, Ani Art Academies program designer and master artist Anthony Waichulis, Ani Art Academies founder Tim Reynolds and future Ani Art Academies Dominicana instructor Edward Dillon visited the new academy in the Dominican Republic for the first time to promote the program and visit the school.  The 2nd international school of the Ani Art Academies, Ani Art Academies Dominicana is slated to officially open November 1, 2012.

The visit to the Dominican Republic was to introduce the Ani Art Academies to prospective students and the local people.  To promote the academy, a number of presentations were given at several schools in Rio San Juan, Cabrera, and Abreu.  Local students and faculty members were excited and eager to learn more about the Ani Art Academies and what the program has to offer.  For the first time, Edward was able to introduce himself as the future instructor to the prospective students.

After Edward visited the local schools, an open house was held at the new academy for the public and future students.  People were able to visit the campus and tour the building where classes will take place.  There was a huge turnout of 50-60 people at the open house.  Anthony Waichulis and Tim Reynolds were available to talk with students and the public in further detail about the Ani Art Academies.  We are pleased to say students interested in the program are already filling out applications to become the first apprentices of the 2nd international school.

Aside from promoting the Ani Art Academies Dominicana, everyone who joined on the trip was able to have leisure time and learn more about the culture and people of the Dominican Republic.  They visited local and historical sites on the island as well as tasting the most ethnic and fresh foods the Dominican Republic has to offer.

Everyone involved with the Ani Art Academies Dominicana are extremely pleased about the turnout of interest, and even more excited for the grand opening of the Academy on November 1, 2012.  Make sure to check back on the Ani Art Academies website for the most up-to-date information about our new international school, the Ani Art Academies Dominicana.  Please visit the website at: www.aniartacademies.org

June 13, 2012

This coming June, future Ani Art Academies Dominicana Instructor, Edward Dillon, will be making his first visit to the 2nd International Ani Art Academy.  Edward’s visit will consist of presentations for prospective students at several schools in Rio San Juan, Cabrera, and Abreu on Tuesday, June 5th.  A casual open house is scheduled for Wednesday, June 6th at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the new Academy.  The Ani Art Academy Dominicana is slated to open November 1st, 2012.  Please visit aniartacademies.org for further information.

May 15, 2012

This week the Art Renewal Center (ARC) (artrenewal.org) expanded their Approved Ateliers and School listing for The Ani Art Academy Waichulis to include the Ani Art Academies Anguilla and Dominicana as Ani Art Academies International.

This inclusion of the Academies in Anguilla and the Dominican Republic offers exposure to over 5,000,000 yearly Art Renewal Center visitors.  Other benefits will include eligibility for Ani Art Academies apprentices to compete in the ARC's Annual Scholarship Competition.  The ARC awards over $15,000 annually and with thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Morris & Alma Schapiro Fund for the third straight year, we will be awarding $30,000 with over $200,000 awarded to date.

The newly expanded listing does includes the most up-to-date information for the Ani Art Academy Waichulis, Ani Art Academies Anguilla.  Additionally, this listing features information on the next academy slated to open in late 2012, Ani Art Academies Dominicana, (Dominican Republic).  To view the Ani Art Academy Waichulis and Ani Art Academy International listing on the Art Renewal Center page, please visit their website at: www.artrenewal.org.  To learn more about the many resources offered by The Art Renewal Center you can visit: www.artrenewal.org.

April 19, 2012

Classes have been in full force at the Ani Art Academies Anguilla since the official opening on Feb. 6th, 2012.  Locals of Anguilla and tourists on the island are taking a great amount of interest in the Academy since their doors have opened.  Ani Art Academies Anguilla is under the instruction of esteemed artists and instructor Timothy W. Jahn.  Mr. Jahn is very excited about the future of the academy.  “It’s very exciting to see the start of Ani Art Academies Anguilla.”  Timothy also explained a great amount of enthusiasm for the first class of apprentices, “(The apprentices) are off to a great start and there are already signs of their unique and creative voices appearing.”

For updates and current news about the Ani Art Academies Anguilla or other academies, apprentices, and current artwork, please visit www.aniartacademies.org.

March 2, 2012


Ani Art Academy apprentice Brian O'Neill's one-man show, "The Bridge between Two Worlds"-A fine art benefit for AIDS Care will open with a reception at the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, Inc. on Friday April 6Th 5-9 pm, located at 277 North Goodman Street, Rochester NY 14607. The show is open to the public April 3rd through the 26Th, gallery hours are Monday-Friday 10 am-4pm, Saturdays 11 am-2 pm. To preview this special collection of work or for further information please visit http://www.brianoneillstudio.com

The show’s theme will capture the journey O'Neill has taken since apprenticing at The Ani Art Academy by showcasing his latest representational work and serve as a fund raiser for AIDS Care, a Rochester, NY based treatment and prevention organization, with 100% and 10% of total show proceeds to benefit this vital organization. The show’s theme holds many meanings and explores the connected forms of Realism, Organic Abstractions and Contemporary Floral. These aesthetics hung side by side will display the unique tension and harmony of the approaches through color, texture, and other essential elements of structure.

O’Neill will conduct a free live pastel demo and artist talk on Saturday April 14Th, 2012 at the gallery @ The Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, 277 North Goodman St. Rochester, NY 14607 585-473-4000, 11:30 am-1:00 pm. O'Neill will discuss inspiration, composition, materials and demonstrate how to use Pastel to achieve a highly rendered realistic image.

March 1, 2012

Opening Thursday, March 8th will be the four-artist exhibit, Traditional Impressions featuring artist Kate Sammons at the Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona.   Kate’s works will be featured with talented artists, Mary Quian, Robert Coombs, and Romel de la Torre.  The reception for the exhibit will be March 8th, from 7-9pm.  You can visit a preview of the exhibit by visiting: http://www.legacygallery.com/events/traditionalimpressions.html

 

The Legacy Gallery is proud to represent over one hundred nationally known artists. Located in Scottsdale, Arizona and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Legacy Gallery offers the finest in representational and impressionistic art. For over 20 years, the Legacy Gallery has specialized in paintings and sculptures in a wide variety of subject matter, including western, figurative, wildlife, still-life, and landscape.

March 1, 2012

Artist Kate Sammons definitely had an incredibe presence at the much celebrated 2012 LA Art show under the banner of the esteemed  S.R. Brennen Galleries.   However, she was also able to add a valuable contribution to Fine Art Connoisseir's lively exploration of the impact of traditional methodology on contemporary artists with a lively panel discussion, REALISM TODAY: OLD METHODS, NEW VISIONS. For years, people have been saying that realist art is coming back.  Judging from its growing visibility and the mushrooming of ateliers nationwide, it's more accurate to say it's here. Together four knowledgeable insiders will look squarely at what's happening in this field and make intriguing predictions about what lies ahead.  Panelists include: Adrian Gottlieb, artist and atelier director; Michael Pearce, artist and chair of the art department at California Lutheran University; Kate Sammons, artist; Michael Zakian, art historian and director of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University. The panel will be moderated by Peter Trippi, editor of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine.**Taken from: http://www.losangelesfineartshow.com/pages/symposia_series.htmlLook for coverage of the symposia conversation in the next issue of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine!You can learn more about the annual LA Art Show here: http://www.laartshow.com/or to view more work by Kate Sammons:  http://www.katesammons.com/ksblog/

January 25, 2012

We are very proud to announce that The Ani Art Academies Waichulis’ Capturing Realism exhibit was a celebrated success!  We were thrilled to share this exhibit with the area that gave us our start.  However—it’s not too late to see the exhibit as it still runs till Dec. 10th.!!!  If you are in the area, stop in and see one of the strongest collections on Contemporary Realism in the country today.  You can still see an online preview of the exhibit here: http://www.aniwaichulis.com/capturing-realism-2011/

Below is an excerpt from a feature covering this very special exhibit by The Times Leader’s Features Writer, Mary Therese Biebel:

“The “Ani Art Academy Waichulis’ Capturing Realism 2011” exhibit includes Still Lifes, Portraits, Landscapes and Trompe L’oeil pieces from the students of Anthony Waichulis of Bear Creek, Joel Carson Jones of Plymouth and Timothy Jahn of New Jersey.  For Waichulis, 39, an exhibit at Misericordia is an every-other-year tradition. But this is the first time he’s showcased his work there since January, when his Bear Creek studio became known as the Ani Art Academy Waichulis.

He’s excited about the change, which he believes will lead to his methods of art instruction spreading around the globe.  In 2010, Waichulis said, patron of the arts Tim Reynolds, who is also co-founder of a Wall Street trading company, asked his help in establishing a series of art schools.  “He approached us because he learned of our studio and our success,” said Waichulis, whose works have been shown at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and have appeared in American Art Collector and Fine Art Connoisseur magazines.  Waichulis agreed to have his studio become the first Ani Art Academy, named for a derivation of a Nigerian word that means “path.” The second Ani Art Academy is on the Caribbean island of Anguilla, and a third is near completion in the Dominican Republic.   “I will not be teaching there,” Waichulis said. “But the artists that leave the flagship school here, those graduates will be offered teaching positions at those schools.”

Waichulis’ philosophy of artistic training involves an apprenticeship program with a small teacher-to-student ratio. It starts with “a very natural approach to the fundamentals of drawing and painting, a replication of the natural world that we can observe,” he said, and continues as students “augment their ideas with artistic license.” “I can’t imagine getting training like that anywhere else,” said Vinson, a former student. “We’d paint from 8 in the morning until 2 in the morning, constant work and study. (Waichulis) was always available. He was the perfect teacher in that he’d give you encouragement and instruction but also crack the whip.”

Waichulis said he will use the local talents of Mario Bellizia, Ken Marquis of Marquis Art and Frame, Keith Schutter of Cadworx and Co. and Dave Tredinnick of Tredinnick Construction for studio furniture, design and construction as well as teaching aid, production, materials and framing. “I am very proud to be able to work with each of these brilliant people,” he said.”

What and Where and When:

What: ‘Ani Art Academy Waichulis’ Capturing Realism 2011’ exhibit

Where: Pauly Friedman Gallery, Misericordia University, Dallas Township

When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays; 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

December 1, 2011

We are so very proud to announce that November saw the first Open House for the new Ani Art Academies Anguilla.  It was an amazing event filled with many aspiring artists ready to dive into the program’s many skill-building challenges.  We were overwhelmed by the warm hospitality and passionate enthusiasm shown to us by the beautiful people that populate one of the most attractive places in the world.  Here is an excerpt from a recent feature story covering the event in the Anguillan:

Publishing date: 18.11.2011 08:22

Now that the first of a number of planned Ani Art Academies around the world has been structurally completed in the Limestone Bay area in Anguilla, Government officials and members of the public, including school children, have had an opportunity to tour the facility. That chance was provided during an open day event held on Tuesday afternoon this week.

“This is the first of a number of schools to be built around the world,” Project Director, Ira Bloom, told reporters. “The purpose of the schools is to teach young aspiring artists how to draw and paint … to make a career for themselves. Tim Reynolds, who is the owner of Ani Villas, is funding the development and operation of the schools and they all are going to be free for students. So the school here is completely free for Anguillian students; the tuition, materials and everything else are paid for.”

Bloom continued: “The objective is that a good number of students will graduate from the programme here in Anguilla and will be able to produce work to be sold both locally and internationally. Together with the villas, the school will be helping to market the work of the students, with all the proceeds going to the students themselves. We hope to get support from the local tourism industry, the hotels, galleries and other villas to help showcase and market the work of the artists here. I can see us for one day a week, for a few hours, holding an open house at the school so that interested tourists can see what the students are learning. Other times we will also use the school as a gallery for shows.”

Mr. Bloom said that, currently, another school was under construction in the Dominican Republic and targeted for opening in June next year; and land was being finalized in Thailand and Sri Lanka for art academies there hopefully in 2013.  It is being arranged for the art academy to be opened in Anguilla around the first week of March coming. The full-time professor, Timothy Jahn, who is presently in Anguilla, is expected to return to the island in January to interview and select the first group of some ten students, others being added later on.

“I will be the only teacher here so that we will keep the teacher/student ratio at 1:25. We will never exceed that,” Professor Jahn said. “I will be here definitely for two years, but it could be more depending on how things work for the entire foundation. Anybody who takes my place will be a qualified and certified instructor, and eventually we want an Anguillian to run the school so that is our long-term goal.”  Mr. Bloom and Mr. Jahn took the opportunity to escort the visitors on a tour of the school, and Anthony Waichulis, creator of the teaching methodology, explained the approach to the three-year programme. The tutoring will first concentrate on developing basic art skills in black and white and later proceed to colour painting.

December 1, 2011