Grand Central Atelier

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Grand Central Atelier



15-19 Decatur St, Suite 201, United States

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Tours: scheduled Tuesdays/Thursdays at 12:30pm. Other times possible by request.

Grand Central Atelier
Training a new generation of artists to draw, paint and sculpt, and to foster the community that sustains these artists and students. GCA provides opportunities for full and part time study, along resident artist studios, exhibitions, lectures, artistic competitions and fellowships.

Core Program

Lasting up to four years, GCA’s full-time Core Studies are composed of three consecutive segments. The first year is a drawing program. The second year is a painting program. Then there is a third and fourth year advanced studies program. The first year or the first and second years are offered as potential standalone programs. Admission into each subsequent segment will be based on the achievements of the previous year. Artists study and practice drawing, painting, and sculpture from life. To ensure a deep understanding of classical form, design, practice, and discipline, artists work in a structured, organized studio with the hands on guidance of the studio’s principle artists.

The full-time program is not accredited. Artists do not earn a degree or college credits.

Annual tuition is $13,800. Merit-based scholarships are awarded annually for continuing study.

Drawing Year
Full-time studies at GCA begin with the Drawing Year, a one-year integrated drawing program in which the students progress from rigorous cast drawing and linear “block-in” drawing through structural analysis of the live model, perspective, sculpture and art history. The year ends with a series of highly finished long pose figure drawings. These drawings are the heart of our teaching as they have always been the bedrock of a complete art education since the Renaissance. This one-year immersion in drawing will provide the student with skills he or she will rely on for the rest of his or her career, and provide the foundation for GCA’s Painting Year.

Painting Year
After the Drawing Year, full-time studies continue with the Painting Year, a year-long accelerated course in figure painting. Artists will begin with a thorough introduction to theory of tonal value. Painting the casts “en grisaille” will be followed by portrait and figure painting in gray scale. The second half of the year begins with a week-long course in color theory followed by intensive portrait and figure painting in limited and full palette. Students will focus on composition and overall value structuring by copying old master portraits, figures, landscapes and still life, and by painting weekly 4 and 8 hour figures and portraits in the interior. A final copy will be painted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After a full years immersion in oil painting from life, the student will emerge with the confidence and experience to handle the paint in a multitude of ways: broad loose alla prima or tighter form-oriented handling with an emphasis on compositional strategies.

 Sculpture Year
After the Drawing Year, students may enter the Sculpture Year, a full time intensive sculpture curriculum designed to introduce artists through a traditional skill-based approach to a wide range of figurative sculpture practices that will prepare them for advanced work as a professional figurative sculptor.

3rd/4th Year Advanced Study
Following a year of drawing and a year of painting, the Third Year offers students the opportunity to delve more deeply into figure painting with a continuing emphasis on figure structure drawing. While long poses continue all year, afternoons in the second half of the year are devoted to a 5-part series of 8-week professional development modules in still life painting, figure sculpture, landscape painting, long pose portrait painting, and multi-figure composition painting.

In the fourth year, students focus on portrait and figure composition painting and choose a professional focus, developing year-long special projects with instruction in one or more of the following areas: portrait composition, figure composition, still life, landscape, or sculpture.


Core Schedule:
Full-time studios are open September through May. Attendance is required Monday through Friday, 8:30am-5pm. There are two daily studio sessions. The morning session is 8:30am-12:30 pm. The afternoon session is 1:00-5:00pm. Core artists have access to studios in the evenings and weekends. A studio share is offered in summers.

Artists are accepted into the program with different levels of experience and training. In reviewing applications, principal studio artists give serious consideration to applicants with little training if they show a serious work ethic and a sincere desire to learn and a commitment to make fine art their career. Applicants who have done their "homework", who are familiar with the GCA and what it offers artists are also appreciated. We recommend that artists visit the studio to tour the facilities and speak to some artists before applying. Artists who enroll in an evening or weekend studio, or for a daytime workshop will have the invaluable opportunity to experience the training first hand and meet other artists.

September Admission:
Applications may be submitted January 1- March 1.

Applications may be submitted online through our website.
Email questions to:

Application Requirements:
Artists must show through an online application (which includes a portfolio of their work) and an interview, a serious work ethic, a sincere desire to learn, and a commitment to make fine art their career. High school diplomas are not required. In-person interviews are preferred, but long-distance applicants may request a phone interview.

In addition to a Statement of Intent and two recommendations, the application requires that 7 works be submitted. All works should be done from life (not from photos). Works should be a good representation of the different types of representational, figurative art that the applicant likes to make. For example: While cast drawing is a valuable exercise, please do not submit a group of only recent cast drawings.

For application details, click here.


Part Time Program

Classes give artists the opportunity to study each week over the course of several months to consistently build their artistic practice. Participants will gain exposure to GCA’s studio training and community. We recommend students gain experience in our part-time classes and/or workshops before applying to our full-time core program. Every Fall, Winter & Spring, we offer a similar roster of classes that are held during daytimes, evenings and weekends. With a busy schedule workshops during the Summer months, we curate a smaller selection of summer classes. Registration for each season typically opens up one to two months in advance, with current students getting first priority to continue in their current class.

Summer Workshops
Workshops give artists the opportunity for short-term intensive study. They cover a wide range of subjects and share GCA’s artistic philosophy. Participants will gain exposure to GCA’s studio training and community. Workshops are held in the Fall, Winter/Spring & Summer seasons. Every January & July is our 4-week Drawing Boot Camp and every July/August is our 6-week Painting Boot Camp. We are planning to add July Landscape Workshops. Details are TBD. Registration will open up in the new year.


Other Opportunities for Artists

Resident Artist Program
Artists who have been through GCA's core program have the opportunity to share studio space with colleagues who are also developing their professional career. A studio fee covers year-round personal studio space and access to all studio resources. A Resident Artists barter program offers opportunities for works exchange for studio rent; includes teaching.

Hudson River Fellowship
Fellows gather for a three-week long collaborative fellowship to paint the landscapes that drew the Hudson River School painters in the 19th Century including Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, George Inness, Sanford Gifford, Jasper Cropsey and Albert Beirstadt. The HRF provides all accepted students with full tuition and free housing in shared rental houses. 

Founded 2014
Course languages (Check multiple if applicable) English
Part-Time Instructors 20
Students 50
Accommodation No

Full time: USD 13800 / year

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