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Princeton Academy of Art


138 Nassau St, 2nd Floor, Princeton, NJ, United States

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Anna Neis founded Gemma Art Foundation in 2006 as a charitable institution that provided and improved possibilities for emerging artists of all ages through art exhibitions, hosting year round art classes, lectures, professional development workshops, discussions and other art-related events for our community and surrounding area. It's merit-based programs included Artist’s Fellowships and Scholarships for Art Students.

In 2017 Gemma Art Foundation developed into Princeton Academy of Art. Anna's vision for Gemma Art Foundation shifted from a charity organization into an educational institution aiming to not only support but academically instruct artists. Princeton Academy of Art has year round courses, hosts lectures (art history, professional development for artists etc.)/fundraisers and hosts visiting artist workshops. 

Princeton Academy of Art presents a unique educational experience in the European Classical Tradition. Our curriculum merges the methods of classical atelier education and the Russian academic tradition. Following in these traditions, instruction is a focused immersion into human anatomy, perspective, and tactile approaches to analyzing form. By rigorously studying these methods alongside concrete principles of value, color and composition, students are able to traverse various media and techniques to interpret the world around them in a way that suits their temperament and vision.

 At Princeton Academy of Art, we believe that an artistic education must allow for flexibility and conversation. We work to provide a context for information that at first is abstract and unconnected, but with time and study allows for students to make parallels within their own personal interests and experiences.

Our guiding principle is a belief that the study of visual art is a practice of communication and support. In the face of the infinite number of pitfalls and discoveries that the artist will encounter in their career, this foundation ensures that they will learn to create connections with not only their peers but the broader artistic community. Our instructors are exhibiting artists who aim to structure the curriculum in a way that enhances and encourages the artistic continuum of our students. They are not only instructors but dually mentors and professional connections for our students.

Our goal is to show students that an artist develops their own creative absolutes only through internalizing the broadest possible collection of examples from the history of art. We work by adapting to the individual student’s needs, while structuring the assignments based on examples from the dense history of figurative art. There is constant review and discussion of historical and contemporary works of art in order to expand the student’s knowledge and visual vocabulary.

Founded 2006
Course languages English
Full-Time Instructors 2
Students 20
Accommodation No

Part time: USD 2650 / semester

Full time: USD 7200 / year


Princeton Academy of Art

138 Nassau St, 2nd Floor

Princeton, NJ, 08542, United States

Anna Neis


Anna Neis is an artist, educator and lecturer. Neis is a representational artist of contemporary myth working in a classical realist tradition. She holds MFA degrees from Moscow Art Academy and New York Academy of Art. With over 20 years teaching experience, Neis founded Gemma Art Foundation in 2005. Gemma Art Foundation was a non-profit educational institution dedicated to the education and promotion of fine arts and has now evolved into Princeton Academy of Art. Her works have been shown nationally and internationally including New York, San Francisco, Paris and Tokyo. Her work is in private collections, as well as the permanent collection of Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, New York. “Teaching art is unique. Blending the didactic teaching of technical skills with the abstract idea of creativity is the most important part of helping students reach their potential.” –Anna Neis

Iliya Mirochnik


Originally from Odessa, Ukraine, Iliya immigrated to the United States in the early 1990’s with his family. From a young age Iliya pursued training in the arts in the Russian academic tradition. He studied in LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Art and in the Bridgeview School of Fine Arts in New York under the tutelage of professors trained in the art academies of the former Soviet Union. Iliya studied in St. Petersburg, Russia in the prestigious I.E. Repin State Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture from which he received his Masters of Fine Arts degree in painting. In his paintings he aims to connect the Russian aesthetic with American sensibilities, creating images that go beyond their origins. He has been recipient of a number of prestigious scholarships and awards both in the United States and in Russia, winning the “First Place” award in the American Portrait Society’s International Portrait Competition. Iliya was selected to develop his design for a public monument for Icon Bay Residences in Miami, Florida in collaboration with The Related Group architecture firm. He was recently a Third Place winner of the Alpine Fellowship Fine Art Competition. Iliya Mirochnik also actively teaches. He has given workshops and lectures in such institutions as Ringling College of Art and Design, Del Mar College, Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art, Florence Academy of Art, Grand Central Atelier, The Academy of Realist Art Boston, and many others. Currently, Iliya resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Academic Drawing No. 1

Academic Drawing No. 2

Academic Drawing No. 3

Academic Drawing No. 4

Portrait of Gabrielle

Captured by Light


Copy of Claude Lorrain's "Rest on the Flight into Egypt (Noon)"

Borghese Vase

Portrait of Miranda

Portrait of Miranda

Study of an Iris

Anatomical Cast Study

Anatomical Cast Study