New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts

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New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts

The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts is a fine arts school in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts was founded in 1978 by Auseklis Ozols, inspired by the model of Thomas Eakins and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The goal was to gather together artists and aspiring artists and teach Classical techniques, stressing working from life. Ozols was joined at the academy's inception by Dell Weller. Artist and philanthropist Dorothy J. Coleman helped establish the academy as a stable institution, and it was incorporated as a non-profit institution in 1980.

"The ancient disciplines of painting, sculpture and drawing have always attracted unique people with intense awareness of their sensations through non-verbal media. The ancient academies were collections of such people who sought others like themselves, along with a place to share their ideas. Artists working in guilds or academies have accumulated a vast wealth of information, technical as well as aesthetic, over the centuries. Artists learned from their master and in turn, pass their knowledge to future generations. The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts strives to continue this legacy by providing the facilities for serious study of the fine arts.

Of paramount importance is the study of the human form in all its attributes and applications of the fine arts. Portraiture, landscape, sculpture and their corresponding technical disciplines are included in the course of study. The Academy believes that a reinvestigation of traditional aesthetic values forms the strongest foundation for eventual creative expression and stylistic development."[1]

The academy, located at 5256 Magazine Street in New Orleans, has teaching facilities, a gallery (locally known as the "academy gallery") and a framing shop, on Magazine Street in Uptown New Orleans. The main academy building is oriented to the compass points, enabling the painting studios to have exact north light year round.

The academy's teaching year is broken up into fall, spring and summer terms, with the summer term being shorter in length. Each term, there is typically instruction on:

  • Beginning and intermediate drawing
  • Beginning, intermediate and advanced still life painting
  • Portrait drawing
  • Portrait painting
  • Life drawing
  • Life painting
  • Landscape painting
  • Figure sculpture
  • Portrait sculpture
  • Color and design
  • Art history
  • Watercolor painting
  • Abstract acrylic painting
  • Gouache painting

There are also life studio sessions, in which anyone may use whatever medium they prefer to draw, paint, or sculpt from a live model.

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