A Journey Towards Mastery…
At Miano Academy of Art, we advocate of one of the oldest forms of learning: apprenticeship training. Beginning in ancient times, this system of one on one, in-person instruction has created some of the greatest master artists who ever lived.
Apprenticing provides students an opportunity of what we now call experiential learning. They absorb firsthand what it is like to be a practicing artist with an experienced professional as a mentor. This is not unlike skilled laborers learning a trade in a variety of fields.
Experiential learning is the process of learning by doing. By engaging students in hands-on experiences and reflection, they are better able to connect theories and knowledge learned in the studio to real-world practice. Experiential learning occurs when carefully chosen experiences are supported by reflection, critical analysis and synthesis.
Students participating in experiential art education by training in a working atelier, gain a better understanding of all aspects of what being an artist means: a broader view of the art world, an appreciation of community and invaluable insight into their own skills, interests, passions, and values. In addition, they are building opportunities to collaborate with other artists and organizations. Finally and most profoundly, artists build positive professional practices and masterful skill sets.
The primary goal of the Miano Academy experiential apprenticeship is the acquisition of skills to be better able to liberate one’s creative dreams. We advocate taking artists out of a classroom and involving them in a working studio. In our approach, we set achievable, appropriate, measurable outcomes and in so doing, our artists are achieving the most rapid progress. Maintaining constant practice toward a well-formed outcome is what helps us continuously grow throughout the years.
The Atelier Apprenticeship is a rigorous, 4-level (Certificate) drawing and painting program, under the direction and training of ARC Associate Living Master Charles Miano, designed for artists seeking a professional standard in their work. The skills acquired during this program have helped many artists achieve a professional skill level applied to fine art, conceptual art, illustration, animation and other visual art fields. A 5th-level Narrative Painting course is also offered for post certificate independent study. Students who join the Miano Apprenticeship come from all walks of life and travel from all over the world to study in the classical atelier tradition.
A two-fold course of study:
Over the course of the last decade, Miano Academy’s Founder, Charles Miano, has developed a program of study unparalleled in the world of representational fine art. This 2-fold curriculum includes both projects and practice. In levels 1 and 2, Apprentices use dry media. In levels 3 and 4 Apprentices move to oil painting. At each level, students spend an entire year (three trimesters) studying – in detail – a limited scope of mediums and techniques. This intense focus encourages Apprentices to hone their craft to expert precision, capturing life in the enchanting style of the Old Masters.
In addition to long projects and finished works, the practice aspects of our Apprenticeship curriculum take students on a journey of learning to see, by working from a live model.
Rare in many academies is the direct method, which is an important part of an artist’s development. It teaches one to be confident, bold and expressive as well as builds eye/hand coordination and improved accuracy of proportion using only your eye.
We do many hundreds of specifically designed drawing and painting exercises weekly from life, including how to start mastering the universal principles of line, shape, articulation, structure, proportion, gesture, anatomy, value, edge and form. We concentrate on these one by one so artists can slowly and thoroughly build their confidence and improve coordination. Quick sketch drawing and painting exercises develop one’s ability to express themselves without inhibition and capture the life and energy of poses from the model.
This course has been most effective in developing an artist’s ability to capture gesture and movement. Short to intermediate length life poses are used to enhance an artist’s faculty with the brush and develop error-free calligraphy and craftsmanship. Over time artists see tremendous improvement in capturing life accurately and with style.
Building an artwork from start to finish is an important skill which improves craftsmanship and the ability to push our finish to fantastic levels of competence. Measuring techniques such as comparative or sight size may be employed to capture accuracy even if your eyes are not fully developed. The goal of the projects is to capture mastery of a list of elements including, design, visual order, light effects, color, modeling, morphology, surface quality and finish.
The projects include master copy, cast drawing and painting, still life and portrait and figure paintings. Through these projects’ artists are finding a new understanding of art and what makes it good. The great masters of the past had the ability to balance the expressive nature of human consciousness with accuracy and craftsmanship. Our curriculum is based on this balance of logic and expression, intelligence and emotion to form a holistic embodiment of what human beings are capable of – spontaneity and naturalness combined with structure and craft. This could be considered the middle way, a well balanced two- fold path.
These assignments are designed specifically with the Old Masters in mind as Apprentices complete long-term drawings and paintings. Master Copy work from the flat, Cast Drawing and Painting, long pose Figure and Portrait Drawing, and Painting assignments are expected to be completed with utmost diligence each month. Artists learn to communicate through a visual language in much the same way that Masters such as Michelangelo, da Vinci, Caravaggio,and Rembrandt did. In these lessons attention is given to the science and technical matters of drawing and painting.
The Miano Apprenticeship is designed for those who desire to devote necessary time to develop their skill thoroughly with persistence and patience.
Miano Academy maintains a limited number of full-time Apprentices to ensure concentrated one-on-one instruction. These Apprentices also benefit from personal studio space, gallery representation, commission opportunities through The Guild, discounts on visiting master artist workshops and teaching opportunities.
Although our program is broken into trimesters, an Apprentice can join at any time although we recommend joining on the closest opening trimester. Miano Academy’s Apprentices share in this unique Renaissance-guild style experience – working in the studio for approximately 35-40 hours each week.
By engaging in this hyper-focused twofold approach, apprentices of the academy are finding their internal resources aligning with powerful long-lasting effects. We find that some personalities gravitate toward a more expressive style, while others gravitate toward a more finished result, however both are learned and one compliments the other. Many are building confidence, exploring their deepest passions and finding out a lot about themselves in this transformative process.
There are hundreds of turning points in a person’s life. One such turning point might be when we decide to align our dreams with specific actions. Art is like life in that way and at Miano Academy, you will learn specific processes and strategies for lasting results. The possibilities are not overstated. As Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.”
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