Dean’s Statement

The New York Studio School is where drawing, painting and sculpture are studied in depth, debated energetically and created with passion. Our goal for young artists is for them to find their own personal vision through the investigation of art and the visual world around us. Abstraction and figuration rub shoulders and often interchange. Perceptual deeds and conceptual ideas cohabit. We encourage the development of that unique vision pushed to an extreme, found slowly and without guile.

In order to assist in the making of art, the School endeavors to make readable the 'language' of art from the far past to the recent present. Knowledge of that language, when attained, gives the artist the ability to use it, transform it, reject or discard it, or re-invent it at will.

We believe in the power of the simplest means, and its ability to contain and convey the most profound and complex ideas, feelings and meanings. Our enthusiasm for paint, charcoal, clay and wood connects us with the synergies of the first shaman who crushed berries into pigment, the first painter who used oil on canvas, the first sculptor who molded clay into the human form.

Firm believers in the uniqueness of our own contemporary time, we also research the complexities of our own century's discoveries. Though we celebrate painting and sculpture, we are not nostalgic for the past. Powerful expressions will find their own conduits.

We strongly believe in drawing. It is the most direct means of describing an experience or an idea. Drawing is the most crucial pathway to understanding in art, and is the common bond between the disciplines of painting and sculpture. There are few places where drawing is so intensely investigated.

It is during their time at the School that we believe a student develops the ethics, philosophy and work habits that continue into later life as an artist. We expect our students to discover that the dedication of the artist is a lifetime's commitment. Significant knowledge gained early on and absorbed can be used over a lifespan. The humility to learn, coupled with an ambition to make compelling work are powerful attributes for the young artist.

The School is not for the faint-hearted. It is for the student with a deep involvement in the desire to be an artist, an intensity of temperament and vision, and an integrity of purpose. It is for those who like to work rigorously, think smart and keenly, and those who are prepared to look hard and long in order to see. A true student is always 'looking'; a real artist begins to see.

We urge those students to apply who genuinely wish to learn and who are bold enough to take on the challenge of painting and sculpture in the twenty-first century. We offer the chance to translate the metamorphosis of life into art's metaphor. The New York Studio School is a place where the power of images is still searched for, the philosophy of drawing still present, and the quest for tangible form still engaged. We believe in the strength of art and its ability to change one's life.

 

- Graham Nickson, Dean