Atelier Indiana

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Atelier Indiana



2547 S Greensboro Pike, New Castle, United States

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Atelier Indiana

Atelier Indiana provides a serious art student with unique, innovative instruction combined with authentic professional knowledge & studio practices from the 600-year-old Master Tradition.  Core curriculum integrates traditional atelier studies in composition & design, form, light & shadow, tone, color, & craftsmanship leading to true artistry & creative picture making.

In 2021, intensive seminars, an independent study program, & atelier workshops will continue to be made available to serious students.

A full-time Atelier Program for a very limited number of serious art students is scheduled to begin April 5, 2021.  NOTE: Schedule subject to change based on the C19 situation.     

The Atelier Indiana Program can save a serious student precious time wasted in years of fruitless searching & misguided study.  The program focuses on the essence of art study.  The drawing & painting instruction is very specific.  The essence of each art principle is communicated via demonstration, dialogue, & critique.  Training includes evolution of a student's seeing & individual vision, translation/expression of seeing/feeling experience through the visual language into art structure, & integration of multiple areas of art study into authentic artistry to be applied to creative picture making projects.  

A comprehensive ensemble of traditional atelier studies are the means through which a student evolves seeing/vision, craftsmanship, & artistry.  Leon Gerome advised students: "It is austere and profound studies that make great painters & sculptors; one lives all one's life on this foundation."

To provide each student with the time & attention each requires, I can only direct the studies of a small group of serious students.  Openings are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Forza corregio!

Kerry Holsapple


"The most effective way to learn about painting.  First class instructor who knows what he is doing.  I have learned a lot because the teaching is aimed at the student's needs".

"Although his mastery of the art of drawing & painting is at times intimidating, it is so complete, & at the same time it is inspiring.  He holds the standard of excellence by being the standard".

"I am very pleased & thankful for the instruction I've received at Atelier Indiana.  Kerry has gone beyond my expectations with his comprehensive teaching approach & individualized attention and guidance.  I have been given a solid foundation for my art which is based on the awareness of my seeing and that experience, painting techniques, and craftsmanship".

"If you're interested in learning Classical Realism or True Impressionism, then you'll find no better place than Atelier Indiana.  The methods taught are based on a tradition that goes back over 600 years.  Kerry Holsapple, the instructor, is well versed in those methods and is a master draftsman/painter in his own right.  Unlike some artists who have a hard time in passing on their methods, Kerry has a knack for sharing his knowledge with his students in ways that are both expedient and helpful.  I can see dramatic improvement in my work in the four years I've been studying with him". 

"It's a tragedy that none of this is taught in art schools.  Fundamental drawing and painting skills are like words are to literature or notes to music.  Without them, you're pretty much left with nothing".

"This Atelier Program is the right choice for serious art students.  The experience has been a revelation."

"Over the years I have enrolled in other art classes from local universities & participated in 3-5 day workshops by some of the nation's best known representational painters. I can honestly say that Kerry's style of teaching is still one of the most clear cut & informative methods of art training I have ever received."

"I feel that Kerry's instruction, combined with the practice of the art principles & know-how presented,has dramatically amplified my competency as a draftsman & painter, and completely changed how I look at visual art & observe the natural phenomena around us."


Abridged Version
The Atelier Experience
by Kerry Holsapple, Atelier Indiana

An atelier is a place where the transmission of professional knowledge and studio practices in an art can take place.  Historically, the atelier has been (and continues to be) one of the major educational systems for training aspiring painters in the fine art of picturemaking.  The other main vehicles for art training in the past were the apprentice system and the academy.  For the purposes of this article an atelier is defined as a studio school or workshop where a competent painter trained in the fine art of drawing, painting, and picturemaking directs the studies of a small group of serious students who aspire to learn the art.  As I refer to contemporary ateliers, I am referring to the handful of ateliers who have direct lineage to the great western painting tradition through the Boston School of Painting.  There may be other ateliers around the world with lineage to the tradition, but I have little information about them.

Ateliers were especially prevalent in 19th century France and this lineage continues unbroken to this day.  As the dominant art center of that century, Paris drew students from around the world to take advantage of its ateliers and academies.  Some of the more famous ateliers included those of Ingres, Couture, Pils, and Gleyre (before 1850) and those of Gerome, Bonnat, Cabanel, Carolus-Duran, and Laurens (after 1850).  Americans who studied in Parisian ateliers comprise a "Who's Who of American Art" for the 19th & early 20th centuries.  Alumni include such well known names as: Hunt, Sargent, Eakins, Whistler, LaFarge, Thayer, Bunker, Dewing, Tarbell, Benson, Robinson, Blashfield, Paxton, Metcalf, Cox, Weir, Brush, Enneking, Hassam, Beckwith, Harrison, Bridgeman, Pearce, Beaux, Davis, Wiles, Melchers, Vonnah, Henri and many more.  In fact, 2,200 Americans born by 1880 studied formally in Paris.  Parisian ateliers exerted a world wide influence as its students returned to their native countries to practice and teach the art they had acquired.  For an excellent introduction to French painters, their ateliers, and their American students I refer the reader to The Lure of Paris by H. Barbara Weinberg.

Many American painters trained in Parisian ateliers returned home and continued the time honored tradition of passing on professional knowledge and studio practices to new generations.  However, ateliers based on the French model never fully took root in the United States.  As the country moved into the 20th century the most prevalent system for art training became museum, university, and independent art schools.  As the vehicle for the transmission of a then 600 year-old tradition shifted to less appropriate institutions with less competent instructors, the quality of art training declined.  The breakdown in the transmission of professional knowledge & studio practices from competent practitioners to talented students is the major reason for the decline in the fine art of drawing, painting, and picturemaking in the 20th century.  (Note: In speaking of the fine art of painting I am not referring to the diverse manifestations referred to as "modern art" whose aesthetics & practices developed on a different line).  The reader is referred to Twilight of Painting by R. H. Ives Gammell for a superb discourse on the decline of the traditional art of painting that had taken place by 1946.

It is interesting to note that Howard Pyle, often called the "father of American illustration", gave up his post at Drexel Institute with its large classes to form his own atelier.  The talented students invited to study in Pyle's atelier became some of America's greatest illustrators of the period, including: N.C. Wyeth, Harvey Dunn, Stanley Arthurs, and Frank Schoonover.  They in turn taught the next generation of picturemakers such as Dean Cornwell, Mead Schaeffer, & Harold Von Schmidt who in turn taught the next generation, and so on.  As a result, the work of this line of illustrators graced American books & magazines for more than seven decades.

What is the atelier experience?  To begin with, the painter's experience is centered in "seeing".  By "seeing" I mean the sensitive awareness of visual impressions and their many faceted qualities.  The deep, rich experience of "seeing" is the major inspiration for a painter's art.  Learning the fine art of drawing & painting commences with learning "to see".  Drawing & painting begins with an artist's visual experience that then "triggers" an emotional & physical response.  To "embody" this human experience truthfully & creatively in expressive visual forms comprises the art.  Classicism as practiced by the ancient Greeks was a union of representation & abstraction.  This principle was rediscovered during the Renaissance leading to the great legacy of western painting as we know it.

The atelier experience is one of connecting with & absorbing a tradition of knowledge and studio practices that link together artists spanning over 600 years.   This tradition has given birth to some of the world's greatest artists.  Most readers will be familiar with the work of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Velasquez, Rembrandt, and  Vermeer.  Even though every painter who has studied & practiced the tradition has not achieved the greatness of the artists mentioned above, the tradition was kept alive through them.  The majority were often very competent practitioners who painted pictures with genuine artistry and transmitted their knowledge of the tradition to succeeding generations.  Without a Verrocchio there wouldn't have been a Leonardo, without a Bellini there would not have been a Titian, etc.  Closer to our time did you know that Barrias & Lamothe were Degas's early teachers?  Who can say when another painter in the caliber of a Velasquez or a Vermeer will arise from within the tradition to carry the art to new heights.  As with all events in nature, certain conditions must be present for an event to occur.  Great painters do not happen by accident.

While organization, curriculum, and teaching style may vary from atelier to atelier, basic areas of study include: composition & design, form, light & shadow, tone, color, craftsmanship, & picturemaking.  Topics such as perspective, anatomy, modeling, design & color theory, memory work, aesthetics, & art history are usually included within these studies.  The means through which learning takes place includes traditional atelier studies such as: compositional studies, cast drawing, still life, head studies, academies, drapery studies, landscape, modeling, etc.  A variety of media are generally introduced as part of training a student in the appropriate use of materials & techniques.  Upon entering an atelier, a student is usually assigned studies that match his/her level of development.  This begins the process of learning "to see" space, form, light & shadow, tone & color values, definitions, ensemble, etc.; to compose & design; to express seeing & feeling with truth & directness; and to construct drawings & paintings with time-honored craftsmanship.

The key relationship within an atelier is the one between the painter/teacher and each student.  A competent teacher can save a talented student years of misguided effort.  During the foundation years, time is one of a student's most precious commodities.  Certain requirements are necessary for a successful transmission of the tradition from painter/teacher to student.  The qualities a student needs to bring into an atelier include: the willingness to learn & follow instructions, a solid work ethic, self-motivation, courage, persistence, and patience.  Time is equally important to a teacher whose objective is to preserve the tradition by transmitting it successfully to new generations.  Qualities of a competent painter/teacher include: an integrated knowledge & practice of the art, the wisdom to assign progressive studies appropriate to a student's level of development, the ability to match presentation of information with a students' learning style, and the insight to provide a student with essential instruction as it is needed.  In an atelier that has a group of full-time students, a positive camaraderie between the students will enhance learning & growth as well as help establish life-long friendships and professional associations.

The life of an atelier revolves around its daily schedule.  Typically, the schedule consists of a daily morning & an afternoon session five days a week.  Oftentimes the morning session is the time for students to work on their assigned studies.  For beginning students these studies may include drawing from flat copy in pencil or drawing from plaster casts in charcoal.  Intermediate students may be doing cast, drapery, still life, or head studies in charcoal, pastel, or oil and advanced students may be at work on creative projects.  Afternoon sessions are usually reserved for figure drawing from the model.  Normally, the painter/teacher will visit the atelier at least one day each week to critique the work in progress and provide instruction.  Teaching methods vary from teacher to teacher and may include a combination of discussions/lectures, demonstrations, and individualized instruction.  Emphasis from atelier to atelier may also vary.  For example, Carolus-Duran emphasized tone values & drawing with the brush from the start while Gerome emphasized expressing form first through line drawing.

It is best if the facilities for an atelier include a clean, well equipped, & well lit studio space of sufficient size to provide each student with his/her own work area.  Basic equipment includes easels, taborets, model stands, an assortment of antique casts, screens, draperies, and additional lighting.  A reference library is useful as well as a display of atelier studies that serve as models of excellence in drawing, painting, & craftsmanship.  An atelier located near major museums and other cultural resources is also a plus.  A stable, well-funded atelier with a solid program & good management is key to its long term success.

Ideally, a full-time atelier program provides a student with at least 4 years of intensive training.  The first two years establish a solid foundation of basic skills which are then refined & applied during the final two years to a variety of creative projects.  These projects may include impressionistic, to decorative, to imaginary picturemaking.  If the transmission of knowledge & studio practices is successful, a solid foundation will be established preparing the student to approach any creative project with competence.  With a solid foundation a student is prepared to launch a career as a professional painter and bring his/her vision to the world with truth, creativity, and artistry.  Hopefully, trained students will then in time open their own ateliers to transmit the tradition to the next generations.  And thus the circle is completed - to begin yet another cycle.

For over 70 years we have been in a period of reconstruction.  This work will continue into the foreseeable future.  With sufficient resources, solid planning, and progressive construction the tradition can be restored.  Ateliers today are generally underfunded and receive little support in relation to the great task they have to accomplish.  There are four things serious patrons of the art can do to help restore the tradition: 1) Help establish & support an atelier in their region if none exists.  2) Directly support existing ateliers that provide excellent programs yet are underfunded. 3) Directly sponsor a talented student from your area to attend an existing atelier program, and/or 4) Contribute to established atelier student scholarship & atelier endowment funds.  An ideal situation would be the establishment of well-funded & managed ateliers with excellent programs in all the major regions of the United States.  This is feasible as well as possible.

My own atelier, Atelier Indiana, currently offers an Atelier Studies Program (a part-time program), atelier intensives, an independent study program, & atelier workshops.  Plans for expansion to include a facility for full-time students is in progress.  For more information individuals or organizers can contact: Kerry Holsapple, Atelier Indiana, 2547 South Greensboro Pike, New Castle, IN  47362, phone 765.521.0200, or e-mail:


About the Author - Kerry Holsapple is an award-winning artist with direct lineage to the master tradition via the Boston School of Painting.  He received his introduction to the tradition through study with Richard Lack at the Atelier Lack & with R.H. Ives Gammell at the Fenway Studios in Boston.  As an educational researcher & scholar of the tradition, the artist continues to research the studio practices of the great artists & schools of painting.  His works are represented in private collections in the United States & England.  He has been teaching drawing, painting, & picturemaking for over 40 years.        


Recommended Book List

It is important for an aspiring student to begin to form a frame of reference as preparation for the study of the tradition.  Here are a few titles that will be useful.

-Twilight of Painting by R.H. Ives Gammell
-The Boston Painters by R. H. Ives Gammell
-William MacGregor Paxton (essay) by R. H. Ives Gammell
-Classic Point of View by Kenyon Cox
-What Is Painting? by Kenyon Cox
-The Science & Practice of Drawing by Harold Speed
-Oil Painting Techniques & Materials by Harold Speed
-Hawthorne On Painting by Charles Hawthorne
-The Art Spirit by Robert Henri
-The Practice of Oil Painting & Drawing by S. J. Solomon
-Painting The Visual Impression by Richard W. Whitney
-The Materials of the Artist & Their Use In Painting by Max Doerner
-Portrait And Figure Painting by Frank Fowler
-On The Training of Painters by Richard Lack
-Jan Vermeer of Delft by Philip Hale
-Velasquez by R.A.M. Stevenson
-The Lure of Paris by H. Barbara Weinberg


Presented By Kerry Holsapple, Atelier Indiana

An Atelier Intensive provides a student or group of students with the opportunity to focus on one or a choice of traditional atelier studies.  Intensives can be designed for a variety of time frames.  Each day of an intensive includes a morning & an afternoon session (a minimum of six studio hours) plus daily instruction & critiques.  Each intensive is individually designed to match the needs & schedule of the student.   

Many aspiring students because of their location, finances, or obligations do not have the option of attending a full-time or part-time atelier program.  Intensives are a good way for serious students to receive an introduction to atelier study.  Here is a list of available Atelier Intensives:

-Rhythmic Drawing
-Cast Drawing
-Still Life
-Plein Air Landscape
-Head Study


Some Possible Combinations (Morning & Afternoon Sessions)

-Cast Drawing & Still Life
-Cast Drawing & Head Study
-Cast Drawing & Academie
-Composition & Cast Drawing
-Composition & Still Life
-Composition & Head Study
-Composition & Academie
-Plein Air Landscape & Cast Drawing
-Plein Air Landscape & Composition
-Plein Air Landscape & Still Life
-Plein Air Landscape & Head Study
-Plein Air Landscape & Academie
-Still Life & Head Study
-Still Life & Academie
-Head Study & Academie

Designing an Intensive

An intensive can be specifically designed to meet your current needs & schedule. 

To design an intensive choose from among the Atelier Intensives listed.  For an intensive not listed please inquire.

Next, decide upon the number of days you have available for an intensive.  A 5-day intensive is recommended as a minimum.  However, with some studies a 3-day intensive could qualify as the minimum.  Each day of an intensive includes a morning & an afternoon session of three hours each (6 total hours per day).  You will receive instruction & continuous coaching during each session of every day.  Your instructor can advise you on what combinations of studies are feasible within a given time frame.

The cost of an intensive depends on the number of days & the studies selected.  The price is determined by adding the applicable cost of the instruction/critique, studio space, model, & art materials.  The instruction/coaching fee is standardized whereas the cost of studio space, models, & art materials may vary.  Once you've chosen what you want to study and determine your time frame, a schedule will be put together & the cost will be quoted.  Upon agreement of the content, schedule, & cost, a date will be selected & scheduled for your intensive.

For more information about designing or scheduling an Atelier Intensive to meet your specific needs contact Kerry Holsapple, Atelier Indiana, 2547 South Greensboro Pike, New Castle, IN  47362; call 765.521.0200; or email  Attention group organizers:  Atelier Intensives are available to bring on location to your area if requirements are met.


"My intensive was extremely valuable.  Your instruction pointed me in the right direction.  You are a great teacher".

"Thank you very much for my excellent intensive.  I recommend these intensives to anyone who is interested in learning in depth specific aspects of the craft of painting".

"I learned more real art instruction in the first three hours than in all the national workshops I have attended combined".

"Thanks again for the specific and clear drawing instruction".

"Believe me, you are the one who really teaches how one can become an artist and not a perennial workshop student".

"He is gifted with patience to talk to the student and demonstrate each step of the way.  He can explain a principle in many different ways so the student grasps the focus.  His passion for practicing art to a high standard is proven out in the excellence of his work".

"Kerry is a very competent professional who enjoys teaching.  I've had four intensives with him".

"Individual teaching allows more time for Kerry to demonstrate concepts.  It also allows him to check that you as a student have grasped the particular concept, and show you again, if necessary, until you understand it completely".

"An intensive is comparable in cost to a 4-credit college course, but unlike college classes where students are lucky to get a few minutes of an instructor's attention, Mr. Holsapple dedicates hours to a student and his/her work.  Literally 60+ hours were devoted to my study.  This time & instruction are invaluable".


Full Time Program - Synopsis

The full time program provides a serious art student with innovative instruction integrated with authentic studio practices from the 600 year master tradition to train & establish a practice in the fine art of drawing, painting, and picture making.  The overall objective with each student is to cultivate a unique personal vision and the artistry with which to express that vision.

Director/Instructor for the program is Kerry Holsapple, an award-winning artist with direct lineage to the master tradition via the Boston School of Painting.  He received his introduction to the tradition through study with Richard Lack at the Atelier Lack & with R.H. Ives Gammell at the Fenway Studios in Boston.  As an educational researcher & scholar of the tradition, the artist continues to research the studio practices of the great artists & schools of painting.  His works are represented in private collections in the United States & England.  He has been teaching drawing, painting, & picture making for over 45 years.

The program is modeled after various historical 19th century ateliers.

The drawing program integrates practices of master draftsmen such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Durer, Holbein, Rubens, Rembrandt, Ingres, Degas, Bouguereau, Leighton, Paxton, Annigoni, and others.

The painting program integrates both direct and indirect methods, including the Flemish, Venetian, and Alla Prima methods.  Both studio and plein air painting are included.

Yearly schedule for the program is 30 weeks in length, from first Monday in April to fourth Friday in October.  Weekly schedule is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 12 noon (morning session) and 1 pm to 5 pm (afternoon session).  Studio hours per week are 35 and studio hours per year are 1050.  Orientation week will take place the first week.  The drawing & painting program will include 2 individual critiques for each student per week.

Facility for the program is the Blue Valley Art Studio, located in a rural setting overlooking a scenic river valley.  The rustic studio workshop is conveniently located within 2 1/2 miles of Indiana State Road 3 and within 6 miles of Interstate 70.  SR3/Memorial Drive is the consumer strip for New Castle, Indiana.

Many major and minor art museums are within 1/4 day to a full day trip from the studio, including Indianapolis Museum of Art, Eiteljorg Museum of Western Art, Ball State Art Museum, Richmond Art Museum, Dayton Art Museum, Cincinnati Museum of Art, Taft Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, Toledo Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

The studio for the program includes a 24 foot by 48 foot indoor workshop with north light and an adjoining plein air space.

This program is for serious students only.  It is assumed that a student who applies to this program has the desire to learn, is willing to listen and follow instructions, and is willing to establish a practice with persistence and patience.

Student enrollment for the BVAS facility is strictly limited to 1-4 students, so as to provide each student with the time for the individualized instruction each requires.  Students will receive instruction via individualized & group instruction.  Teaching methods include dialogue, demonstration, coaching, and critique.

Tuition includes the rent for use of workshop space during program hours, in studio use of studio equipment, and in studio access to the art reference library.  Students are responsible for their own art materials, model fees, housing, food, clothing, travel, and communication expenses.  The cost of model fees will be shared equally by students for all group projects and paid for individually for all individual projects.

Upon acceptance to the program, each student will be assigned atelier studies congruent with his/her level of development.  As part of the weekly schedule, other assigned studies include a daily sketch, a daily composition, a weekly composition on an assigned theme, and a weekly memory drawing.  Each student will produce approximately 374 sketches & studies (or more) during each calendar year from which to select a portfolio.

The advancement of a student's artistry depends on the ability to 1) learn to see 2) learn how to practice, and 3) establish a practice with persistence and patience and with a mindset for continuous improvement.

The program is designed as a 4 year program.  The first two years are for establishing a foundation of knowledge & skills in the art of drawing & painting.  Years 3-4 are for continuing atelier studies and creative picture making projects.  Creative picture making projects include impressionist, imaginary, and decorative pictures.  A major objective of the program is to cultivate the art of seeing and develop the artistry to establish a practice along with the experience to launch a career as a professional artist.  Building a portfolio of atelier studies and creative pictures is a parallel objective.

The program integrates all aspects of art study from the very beginning of study.  Areas of study include 1) composition 2) design & form drawing 3) light, shade, & shadow 4) tone  5) color 6) craftsmanship.  An ensemble of traditional atelier studies are the specific vehicle for art study.

As a possible supplement to the program, students will participate in organizing and presenting an art exhibit of work generated during the year.  Students will experience the process of organizing an art exhibit, framing artwork, displaying artwork, generating publicity and marketing, and presenting an opening reception

Another possible supplement is one or more group trips to an art museum(s) to stimulate museum studies.

Students will also be encouraged to enter juried competitions and exhibits as their work warrants.


Information (specifications subject to change without notice)

Atelier Indiana founded in 1988.

Director: Kerry Holsapple

Full Time Instructor: Kerry Holsapple.

Part Time Instructors: Guest Instructors May Be Offered.

Full Time Program Availability: April 5, 2021.  Subject to change based on the C19 situation.

Facility: Blue Valley Art Studio.

Calendar Year: April (first Monday) - October (last Friday), 9 am - 5 pm, 30 weeks, 1050 Studio Hours.  Orientation week is the first week.

Number of Full Time Students: 1-4 (BVAS Facility).  First Come-First Serve Basis.  Opening Available.  Waiting List.

Ages: 18+.

Non-discriminatory policy age/race/gender.

Application Requirements: Portfolio Review (3-5 drawings & 3-5 paintings), Vision Statement, & Interview.

Contract: Upon acceptance, a contract will be issued to be signed.

Deposit: Upon acceptance, a deposit is required to hold a place in the program.  Deposit to be applied to tuition. Non-refundable, except in the case of program cancellation.

Scholarships: A limited number of scholarships for students with limited financial resources are available through the generosity of a patron of the arts. Each accepted student who can document the need for financial assistance may apply to receive a $2,500 in-house scholarship. 

Tuition: $10,000.  With financial assistance: $7,500 (after in house scholarship applied).

Tuition is due in full one week prior to the first Monday in April.  A quarterly plan may also be available for students who qualify.

Tuition is non-refundable, except in the case of program cancellation or termination between the first Monday in April to the last Friday in October (pro-rated per day refund).

Art Materials (variable/estimate): $1,000+.

Model Fees (variable/estimate): $1,500-1,900+.

Language: English.

Currency: USD.

Accreditation: No university affiliations at this time.  Certificate issued.

Diploma: Your portfolio is your diploma (proof of proficiency & artistry).

Accommodations: Rooms may be available @ $100/wk.

Assist in Finding Accommodations: Yes.

Local Housing (estimates): Studio Apartment: $481/mo, 1 Bedroom House: $486/mo, 2 Bedroom House: $650/mo.

Questions/More Information: A phone conference may be scheduled on request to answer your questions about the program.

Contact Information:

Kerry Holsapple, Atelier Indiana, 2547 South Greensboro Pike, New Castle, IN 47362. 

Phone: 765-521-0200


Founded 1988
Course languages (Check multiple if applicable) English
Instructors Kerry Holsapple
Full-Time Instructors 1
Students 6
Accommodation Yes

Atelier Indiana

Blue Valley Art Studio, 2547 S. Greensboro Pike

New Castle, Indiana, United States

Predicament by Robert Hale Ives Gammell