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Atelier Maui


222 Laniloa Way, Haiku, Hawaii, United States

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Atelier Maui
(former Ashland Academy of Art)

Atelier Maui is a private teaching studio that provides classical European art education in a lush tropical paradise. Founded by internationally known artist and illustrator Semyon Bilmes, the Atelier is proud to offer apprenticeships and residency programs in fine art.

Extensively trained in his native Russia, Semyon combined the formal Russian academic system with the setup of nineteenth-century French ateliers.

The studio is designed to provide students with the best natural lighting. Large windows and skylights with northern exposure create an ideal setup for artists. Only minutes from the beach on Maui's beautiful North Shore, the Atelier's property is the perfect retreat for any artist.

Classes are held five days a week and include both studio work and studies en plein air in the sublime surroundings of the Hawaiian landscape. Studio exercises include extensive work from the model, as well as studies of classical sculptures and still lifes. The curriculum also ensures ample time for personally tailored instruction and individual critique. Our academic year is divided into four quarters (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer). Each quarter runs 10-12 weeks. Atelier Maui is committed to providing each student with personal studio space and a rigorous curriculum. Class size is limited to twelve people.

A little history on Russian art training

After the advancement of 20th century modernism, traditional art was rejected by European and American art schools, but, while art education in the West has been practically destroyed, it was preserved and nourished in Russian/Soviet Academies. The Russian Academies have built their program on the best features of classical European academies, adding a tremendous body of theoretical work, uniquely developed by Russian artists-teachers of eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, continued and expanded into the twentieth century. The best years of the Russian/Soviet academy were between 1930s to the end of the Soviet Era.

While proclaiming modernism as "decadent bourgeois" art, and using art as propaganda of socialist/communist ideology, the Russian government ironically created an unparalleled educational system of representational art, of the highest possible level.

"As a school, Soviet Socialist Realism surpassed the best naturalist and realist genre painting in the West during the third quarter of the twentieth century! It was a 'renaissance of realism' behind the Iron Curtain."
- Vern Grosvenor Swanson, "Soviet Impressionism".

"The Soviet art educational regime, comparable in its thoroughness and emphasis on traditional technique to the training given to dancers of the Bolshoi and Kirov ballet schools, was the outstanding training of its kind available any where in the world at this time"
- Matthew Bown, "Socialist Realist Painting"

Founded 2010
Course languages English
Part-Time Instructors 1
Full-Time Instructors 1
Students 100
Accommodation Yes

Part time: USD 935 / semester

Full time: USD 1770 / semester


Atelier Maui

222 Laniloa Way

Haiku, Hawaii, United States

Lady in a Red Turban by Semyon Bilmes

Hope by Semyon Bilmes

Painting by Daniel Bilmes

Study by Daniel Bilmes

Painting by Daniel Bilmes

Drawing by Daniel Bilmes

Portrait by Daniel Bilmes

Portrait by Daniel Bilmes

Portrait by Natalie Bilmes

Still Life by Natalie Bilmes