To Whom it May Concern

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To Whom it May Concern

From Colleen Johnston

Published before 2005

Academy of Realist Art

To Whom it May Concern:

Drawing from the nude model, called Figure Drawing or Life Drawing, is an essential part of any traditional fine art curriculum. At Academy of Realist Art (, young students begin study from the live, nude model in their first week and continue throughout their 4-5 years of training. The only difference between advanced students' work and beginner's is the medium used (beginners draw in charcoal, and advanced students paint in oils).

Academy of Realist Art supports New York art teacher Peter Panse in his efforts to encourage students to study from the live model. All serious file-art training programs - from ancient Greeks, through the Renaissance, the 19th century, and including the modern atelier/academy - have included direct study of the figure as an essential skill to be mastered.

At our private fine art school and any reputable institution, figure drawing sessions are private, polite, and anything but lewd or sexual in mood. To the contrary, there are few places where one can see high-school aged students working with more intensity than a Life Drawing class. It is difficult work!

The Middletown district school board should not be trying to prevent art students from getting the essential training in Figure Drawing that they need to succeed as traditional artists and portraitists.

Academy of Realist Art is a private fine art school in Toronto, Canada, near Buffalo, New York. Students and graduates regularly win prestigious prizes for their traditional, representational portraiture and fine art. Our curriculum emphasizes Life Drawing, and we have students as young as 13 who draw from the nude model regularly, while exhibiting mature focus on their important work.

Colleen Johnston, Director, Academy of Realist Art
Fernando Freitas, Director and Senior Instructor, Academy of Realist Art