The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Arts

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The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Arts



1621 E Hennepin Ave, Suite 280, Minneapolis, United States

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Cyd Wicker, Director and Head Instructor at The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Arts, 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 Studio Program of Fine Arts with Cyd Wicker from 1992 to 2017. Cyd Wicker continues as Director and Head Instructor at The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Arts with Laura Tundel as Assistant Director.

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

The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Arts 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 students 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 and 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 Arts 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 Studio Program of Fine Arts is a nonprofit 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 (Check multiple if applicable) English
Part-Time Instructors 14
Full-Time Instructors 5
Students 20
Accommodation No

Full time: USD 9450 / 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.

Laura Tundel's Instagram:

Christine Mitzuk

Full Time Instructor

Christine Mitzuk, Full Time Instructor at The Atelier, is a Minneapolis based imaginative image maker. She loves to create visual narratives fueled by traditions, tales, the world without and within.

Christine attended the University of Minnesota for Landscape Architecture. During the Pre-Landscape Design Program she was informed that most landscape design jobs entailed figuring out where to put trees around an architect's office building or parking lot. This didn't sound like much fun so after the first year she switched majors. Four years later she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Design Communications and a Minor in Studio Arts.

For over seven years she worked in graphic design, creating her own art in her spare time. Craving to know how to make all the imagined creatures and places in her head look real, she resigned from her job to pursue the full-time program at The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art. She completed 5 years of study in May 2011 with a focus on realist and imaginative art. She then took the skills she learned at The Atelier and honed them specifically for illustration through an intense mentorship with professional artist, Rebecca Guay.

Christine now works as a professional artist. She is an instructor at The Atelier in both the full-time program since 2017 and part-time program since 2012. She freelances specializing in imaginative art. She also builds her personal body of work, following her curiosity and taking pleasure in her many interests which include playful treats still life to otherworldly fantasy art.

She has won numerous awards for her imaginative and fantasy art and continues to hone her craft and her imagination through continued study of the figure, nature, and anything that catches her interest.


Andy Sjodin

Full Time Instructor

Andy Sjodin, Full Time Instructor at The Atelier, was born in 1981 in Pipestone, Minnesota, and grew up in Forest Lake, Minnesota. He attended St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he received an undergraduate degree. In 2010 Sjodin returned to school to begin his formal training as an artist. Sjodin spent four years studying the drawing and painting methods of the old masters at The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the fall of 2015 Sjodin began teaching part-time classes at The Atelier. In 2018 he became an instructor with The Atelier's full-time program, where he continues to teach. Sjodin holds a B.A. in Philosophy from St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota (2004), and is a graduate of The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art (2014).

Sjodin's work combines a French Academic drawing foundation with an impressionistic approach to seeing and interpreting color. His subject matter focuses on the figure, portraiture, still life and interiors, as well as the occasional landscape. Through his work Sjodin strives to honestly represent nature and light while exploring human expressiveness, thoughtful composition, and aesthetic beauty.


Kenneth Schweiger

Full Time Instructor

Kenneth Schweiger, Full Time Instructor at The Atelier, was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and graduated from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. After traveling to Japan and studying classical and contemporary works of art in Tokyo, Kenneth returned to Minneapolis where he completed five years of intensive drawing and painting at The Atelier and then continued his studies in New York. With patience and enthusiasm, Kenneth's experience is an asset for student painters.

My goal in teaching the basic drawing class is to logically analyze the visual world and break it down into shapes, values, and edges.


Figure Painting 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

Portrait by Jacqueline Capp

by Rexanne Coad

Figure Drawing by Kristine Diehl

Figure Painting by Kristine Diehl

by Doug Kingsbury

Still Life by Darren Kingsley

Judith Cutting Off the Head of Holofernes by Claudia Rush

Cast Painting 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