Atelier Application

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Standards for ARC Approved® Schools and Ateliers:

  1. All ARC Approved® schools and ateliers must focus on skill-based training and classical and naturalist education and be firmly grounded in realism defined as the accurate, detailed, depiction of nature or of life. Imaginative Realism defined as taking a fantastic, imaginary or spiritual subjects and portraying them realistically in art also meets the broader term of realism as we are defining it here.
  2. Ninety percent or more of the instruction taking place at the school relating to drawing, painting, or sculpting must be in line with the above requirement.
  3. Schools should provide literature describing what the focus of the school is. As ARC Approval® is designed for traditional skill-based art schools; the description needs to include what the school focuses on in terms of methods of instruction. The general history of the school should also be provided whether it has a long history or has been newly formed.
  4. Schools must have a minimum of one (1) part-time instructor. There are no further stipulations on the number of full time or part time instructors the school can have.
  5. Approved schools shall have no less then five (5) students. There is no maximum limit of students a school can have.
  6. Schools must have a physical location and business address.
  7. All schools must provide to ARC a list of full time instructors and regular part time instructors who are the primary teachers at the school along with examples of their work. At least one instructor (for schools with 3 instructors or less) must demonstrate their abilities to create anatomically accurate drawings and compose, paint or sculpt realist works of art at a professional level. It must be determined that the teacher has acquired the required skill-based training techniques for themselves in order to be able to teach these skills to others. All instructors for painting, drawing and sculpture must be proficient with skill-based techniques, even if they are not fully professional artists themselves. Also, schools with regular high-quality guest instructors and workshops can also qualify for ARC Approval® and would satisfy this requirement. Schools with more than 3 regular instructors require additional instructors who can paint and draw at a fully professional level on a minimum ratio of 1 to 2 (one professional to two proficient).
  8. Schools must provide a safe and healthy work environment. Photos of the studio space are required with the application.
  9. Schools should provide a list of courses taught at the school. All ARC Approved® schools must have certain basic courses they offer, though may include additional course work as well, either ARC recommended or courses outside the scope of our organization such as dance, music, graphic design, or photography as examples. Required course types include: observational drawing, rendering, color theory, sight size method, long and short poses for both drawing and painting from live models, still life set up and compositional design, cast study, limited color pallet study, en grise painting, and anatomy (écorché). Through the teaching of these required courses the following topics should be discussed: Setting up the work space, single light source, multiple light sources, use of models and/or setting up still life, keeping a personal daily sketch-book, reference lines and points, one, two and three point perspective, shading/modeling, compositional training, contours, balance, homogeneity, color wheel theory, proper preparation of canvas or board, canvas stretching, transfer and pointing up of drawings to canvas, sight/size placement, direct and indirect painting, painterly vs. glazed finish, and selective focus. Additional recommended courses include: Bargue plates, landscape, plein air painting, master copies, multi-figure composition, narrative subjects, realist/imaginative realist works done from imagination and memory, aesthetics, art philosophy, art history, sculpture, courses to guide students in ways of promoting and marketing their work. If a school only focus on sculpture and does not teach painting, ARC will consider the school for ARC Approval® based on being a sculpture atelier, these schools should still provide courses with live models.
  10. Although ARC Approval® will be considered for all schools satisfying the above requirements, and full time programs are not essential to meet ARC Approval®, it is recommended that schools offer a 3 to 5 year program for full time students with graduation.
  11. Schools are required to send image examples of student works to demonstrate that their students are acquiring the skills being taught. If a school is new and does not yet have student work to provide or only some early student work as their first students have yet to complete their full program, ARC Approval® will still be considered based on the instructor work and course curriculum. Examples of student work should be provided each year until their first students have completed the full program and demonstrated the acquisition of the required knowledge.