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The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art



1621 East Hennepin Avenue, Suite 280, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

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Cyd Wicker, Director and Head Instructor at The Atelier, and Dale Redpath, retired Director Emeritus and Head Instructor, studied under Richard Lack at Atelier Lack for five years. After completing their training, they taught with Mr. Lack for a combined seventeen years before taking over the program following his retirement from teaching in 1992. Dale Repath served as Co-Director of The Atelier with Cyd Wicker from 1992 to 2017. Cyd Wicker continues as Director and Head Instructor at The Atelier with Laura Tundel as Assistant Director.

The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art offers a 4-year apprentice program taught by the Director Cyd Wicker, Assistant Director Laura Tundel, and instructors Christine Mitzuk, Andy Sjodin, and Kimberley Monahan Dady.

The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art focuses primarily on teaching fine draftsmanship and painting skills leading to the creation of well constructed artwork. The Atelier has passed on from teacher to student, a method of instruction which melds formal academic training with influence of the French Impressionists. American art students in the late nineteenth century European art academies brought this combined education home to pass on to their own students. A portion of The Atelier's educational lineage is as follows:

  • Jaques-Louis David (1748-1825)
  • Paul Delaroche (1797-1856)
  • Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904)
  • William McGregor Paxton (1869-1941)
  • R. H. Ives Gammell (1893-1981)
  • Richard F. Lack (1928-2009)

Enrollment in the four-year, full-time apprentice program is limited to twenty students. The students benefit from the Atelier's tradition of individualized instruction. Classes meet five days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The students spend the morning hours drawing and painting from live models. The afternoon curriculum is tailored for each student according to their level of proficiency.

Private studio space is provided for everyone enrolled in the full time program. First year student work consists of drawing and painting from casts. Second year they move on to still life painting and composition. Third year students work on portraiture and continue to refine their still life painting skills. The fourth year is devoted to portraiture and interiors. Those students who wish to continue their Atelier experience and benefit from an optional fifth year are encouraged to create more complex interiors and delve into imaginative painting.

Part time and evening classes as well as Summer, Fall & Spring workshops are offered for those students who wish to benefit from the experience of The Atelier instruction, but are unable to participate in the full time day program.

The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art is located in Minneapolis close to the University of Minnesota and on a bus line. There is plenty of free parking in the lot adjoining the building. The Atelier occupies approximately 7,500 square feet and has very large windows facing north and east. The figure drawing room has a skylight for natural lighting in the day and artificial lighting for use in the evening.

The Atelier is a non-profit studio fine art program devoted to re-establishing the high standards of traditional craft in drawing and painting. It is open to all who qualify regardless of race, color, creed, sex, or national origin. We are looking for serious students who have as their goal the career of a professional painter.

Founded 1969
Course languages English
Full-Time Instructors 5
Students 20
Accommodation No

Full time: USD 8600 / year

The Atelier: Studio Program of Fine Art

1621 E Hennepin Ave , Suite 280

Minneapolis, MN, 55414, United States

Cyd Wicker

Director and Full Time Instructor

Cyd Wicker, Director and Full Time instructor at The Atelier, attended West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas and Yale University School of Music and Art in Connecticut. While in college she was awarded an internship with the National Collection of Fine Arts at The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Cyd studied with Richard Lack for five years and then taught with him from 1983 until his retirement in 1992. Cyd co-directed The Atelier with Dale Redpath from 1992 until 2017. She has a long career as a portrait artist, beginning with commissioned portraits of presidents Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton for The Presidential Museum. Nationally, her works hang in both private and public collections including Hennepin County Medical Research Center, the Federal Court Buildings in St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Judicial Center in St. Paul, The University of St. Thomas School of Law, The Federal Sentencing Commission in Washington D.C., and Federal Courts in Miami, Fl.


Laura Tundel

Assistant Director and Full Time Instructor

Laura Tundel, Assistant Director and Full Time Instructor at The Atelier, received her bachelor's degree in Fine Art and Communication Design from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. After college, she worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for several years before learning of the classical art training at The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art. Laura completed her four years of full-time study at The Atelier and is now focusing on portrait commissions and still life paintings. Her work has been selected for several awards, including Finalist and Honorable Mention in the annual Art Renewal Center's Salon and a finalist in "Drawing Magazine’s" Shades of Grey competition. She is currently living in Minneapolis.

Drawing by Lynn Maderich

Drawing by Dale Redpath

Painting by Dale Redpath

Still Life by Kimberley Sternitzke

Portrait by Cyd Wicker

Portrait by Cyd Wicker

Portrait by Laura Tundel

Interior by Andy Sjodin

by Jacqueline Capp

by Rexanne Coad

Drawing by Kristine Diehl

by Kristine Diehl

by Doug Kingsbury

Portrait by Darren Kingsley

Portrait by Claudia Rush

Cast Drawing by Jeff Smith

Still Life by Laura Tundel

Illustrator Marc Johnson by Jim Robinson

Assistant Director / Instructor Laura Tundel giving student critique

Director/Instructor Cyd Wicker giving student critique

Full-Time Program Instructors of The Atelier

12 July 2021 to 16 July 2021

Week-Long Workshop Basic Drawing & Life Drawing

1621 E Hennepin Ave, Suite 280, Minneapolis, MN 55414

425 USD

Week-Long Workshop

The week-long workshop consists of both Basic Drawing and Life Drawing. 

Basic Drawing

Students begin by drawing a plaster cast or still life in charcoal, developing their ability to render accurate proportions and value relationships. As students progress, they are introduced to the fundamentals of oil and/or pastel techniques, composition and color.

Life Drawing

Life drawing is at the core of any serious program of fine arts. In the class, students draw from the figure in pencil. Each drawing is created over a period of several sessions, developing the student's eye for accurate proportions, gesture and anatomy.

02 August 2021 to 13 August 2021

Two-Week Drawing Intensive Workshop with Mackenzie Swenson

1621 E Hennepin Ave, Suite 280, Minneapolis, MN 55414

1000 USD

This two-week intensive drawing course is designed to teach artists of all levels the foundations of drawing with an emphasis on understanding and creating the illusion of 3D form. This will be achieved through the time-honored tradition of drawing from plaster casts as well as figure drawing from life. These are essential exercises for training the eye to see accurately.

Mackenzie Swenson (b. 1992) was born and raised in Wisconsin, and now lives, paints, and teaches in New York City. She conducts drawing and painting workshops all over the world and is a graduate of the core program at the Grand Central Atelier and The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mackenzie has exhibited across the United States, and her work hangs in collections internationally.

27 August 2021 to 29 August 2021

3-Day Summer Landscape Workshop with Brock Larson

1621 E Hennepin Ave, Suite 280, Minneapolis, MN 55414

375 USD

In this three-day workshop, students will be taken through Brock Larson’s approach to painting landscapes on location. Outdoor painting has a large set of challenges, from fleeting light effects to unpredictable weather changes, so practicing the ability to predict, prepare, and adapt for these changes is a necessity to painting from nature. Brock will demonstrate his process on Friday and Saturday mornings, breaking down the stages of how to gain the initial impression, composition and overall placements, to solving smaller passages while maintaining the “big look.” The general outline is as follows: Fri. morning: demonstration, paint; Fri. afternoon: paint; Sat. morning: demonstration, paint; Sat. afternoon: paint; Sun. morning & afternoon: paint. This class will be tailored to each individual student, and all levels are welcome to participate. Students should have a French easel (or any lightweight traveling easel).

Please register early as his workshops always fill. Materials list and class information will be sent upon payment.

Limit 10 students.