Advanced Fine Art Program
Studio Incamminati began as one man’s story. More than a decade ago, founder Nelson Shanks realized his vision of an art school that respected the past, but looked to the future. Since then, many individual stories have come - and continue to come - from Studio Incamminati. These are just a few.
The Studio Incamminati curriculum is based on the conviction that technique is the prelude for creative expression and is designed to assist students in developing the essential skills and techniques integral with humanist realism. Humanist realism concentrates on both the human form and the human soul, producing in the process art that informs, fulfills and nourishes society.
Accomplished instructors are the cornerstone of Studio Incamminati. Our faculty consists of professional working artists with on-site studios and visiting faculty who are internationally renowned artists and educators bringing a wide range of experience. Some have studied extensively with Nelson Shanks, while others bring mastery developed in studios around the world. All are award-winning artists dedicated to helping students learn and succeed and providing them with the tools needed to realize a career in the arts.
Learn about the faculty and see their art.
Working in north-lit studios, students progress from basic skills, such as gesture and proportion. They begin drawing in charcoal and move to more advanced color study and other dynamic techniques by painting still life, the figure, portraits, landscapes and interiors. Students study in intensive small groups allowing for individual attention and receive frequent mentoring from faculty and Studio Incamminati Fellows. Students also receive monthly lectures and presentations on art history and anatomy that support their studio studies. The group dynamic provides a nurturing environment where a community of artists learns from each other and grows together.
View our video “Strengthening Skill, Unleashing Creativity”
Exhibitions and public demonstrations and events are an important part of the learning experience. Studio Incamminati has at least three shows per year at galleries and other public venues. Students also travel to museums and galleries in Philadelphia, New York, and Washington D.C. to enrich their experience. The Advanced Fine Art Program also addresses the practical skills necessary for a successful career such as opportunities to market and sell art at shows, auctions and other venues with the accompanying public recognition. Students are exposed to top professionals in the field including on-site faculty who are working artists, museum curators, gallery directors, marketers and businessmen. Students' work is digitally archived throughout their studies and available for usage in exhibitions, competitions, and grant applications.
Lunchtime presentations in Anatomy and Art History augment students' intensive studio studies. Delivered by prestigious artist/scholars Dan Thompson and Patrick Connors, these talks provide relevant information and include student Q&A. Art History topics have included “Representational Drawing,” "The Oil Sketch," and "The Dutch School of Painters." Anatomy topics have included "The Pelvis and Muscle Overview" and "The Head, Neck and Torso." Additional presentations focus on career aspects unique to artists. Among those were lectures by Studio Incamminati board members who shared professional expertise on copyright law, contracts for the artist and effective presentation to galleries.
- A one-of-a-kind curriculum developed over many years conceived with the conviction that perception precedes technique and that technique is the foundation to creative expression
- An emphasis on working from life with live models constantly available
- A proven approach to developing perception of gesture, form, color and light
- A profound understanding of the use of color in painting with Nelson Shanks' extensive range of colors
- Instruction by Studio Incamminati-trained artists who accurately teach the Shanks' concepts
- A teacher training program that prepares you for teaching responsibilities
- An affordable tuition with convenient payment plan
- A group dynamic that provides a nurturing environment where a community of artists learn from each other and grow
- Periodic vists to Nelson Shanks' home and private studio
- Complimentary passes to demonstrations by Nelson Shanks and other outstanding artists
- Exposure to related techniques by visiting artists to broaden artistic perspective
- Continuing academic and career guidance
- Individual exhibition space on the walls of Studio Incamminati
- Recognition on the Studio Incamminati website as a member of our full-time Professional Program
- Public recognition through periodic shows and auctions
- Exposure to professionals in the field including curators, gallery directors and media.
- Opportunities to market and sell art at shows, auctions and other venues
- Arguably the finest teaching studio space (over 13,000 square feet) newly renovated and bathed in north light—essential for serious artists
- 24/7 keyed access to Studio Incamminati studios; artists can continue painting in non-class time
- An on-site discount art supply store
- Discounts on evening and weekend classes
- Complimentary access to Studio Incamminati weekly open studio sessions with live models
- Free lectures and classes on various topics relevant to art and art history
- Subsidized trips to museums and galleries in Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C. and other cities
- Convenient location in downtown Philadelphia within minutes of major museums, cultural attractions and public transportation. Philadelphia is within 100 miles of New York City and Washington D.C
The facility has more than 13,000 square feet of north-lit studio space with an atmosphere designed for the pursuit of creative excellence. Students have 24/7 access to studios, exhibition space for all students, on-site faculty studios necessary for communal learning, a reference library, art-supply store and kitchen. Located in the Center City cultural district of Philadelphia, Studio Incamminati places its artists in a vibrant and stimulating atmosphere. Philadelphia has been ranked near the top nationally in arts and culture with landmarks such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Avenue of the Arts and the new Barnes Foundation.
The Advanced Fine Art Program requires four-years of study. In addition to required courses, students must attend art history lectures, discussion groups, museum tours and participate in school exhibitions. Completion of The Studio Incamminati four-year program leads to a Diploma of Fine Art.
Minimum Course Requirements (effective Sept. 1, 2016)
Drawing: 33 Credit Hours
Painting: 66 Credit Hours
99 total Credit Hours, equivalent to approximately 4,440 clock hours, are required for the Diploma of Fine Art. A semester hour of credit represents three hours of classroom studio studies each week for a period of 18-19 weeks. Semesters are designated as Fall (September through January) and Spring (February through June)
Studio Incamminati provides a number of options for students who need financial assistance. Federal Student Aid options include Federal Pell Grants, Federal Subsidized Direct Loans, Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.
Each year, Studio Incamminati offers a number of scholarships that are supported by individual donors. These donors designate their contribution for specific use toward student scholarships. This year, Studio Incamminati offers two $5,000, one $4,000, and five $3,000 scholarships annually to current students and those considering enrollment in the Advanced Fine Art Program full-time. Overall criteria for the successful applicant includes quality of work, artistic potential, dedication and commitment to becoming an artist and demonstrated financial need. Scholarship money is applied only to tuition, not for materials, housing or any other expenses. The Scholarship Committee of the Board of Directors of Studio Incamminati evaluates all applicants and makes award decisions. The committee's decision is final.
Financial support through grants and additional scholarships may be available from a number of sources.
Full-Time Advanced Fine Art Program tuition is $6,300 per semester and includes 24/7 access to studio, discounts on Continuing Education Programs and complimentary admittance to lectures, demonstrations, and weekly Open Studio sessions with live models. Supply costs are not included in tuition. An Installment Payment Plan is available for all Advanced Fine Artl Program students in good standing beginning with the second semester of the first year.
The part-time option features the same award-winning instructors, rigorous curriculum and dynamic atelier studio setting of the renowned full-time program. But, it is constructed to fit your busy schedule and your financial situation.
Several program options offer scheduling and payment flexibility:
Two Days per week $3,150 for 20-week semester
Three days per week $4,410 for 20-week semester
Four days per week $5,460 for 20-week semester
Admission to the part-time option is based on a written application and portfolio review. Advancement moves at the student's pace and is initiated by the student at semester’s end. Advancement is competency-based and subject to a portfolio review by Studio Incamminati Teaching Fellows.
Students who have successfully completed the Advanced Fine Art Program and Teacher Training Program are eligible to apply to become a Fellow. The Fellows Program allows graduates to continue working toward personal artistic and professional goals while in a mutually beneficial relationship with the school. This optional program also prepares students for future teaching opportunities. In exchange for teaching courses, mentoring other students and other specified duties, fellows receive studio space, payment for instruction and other benefits. This is a one-year program with an option to re-apply annually.
In the continuing effort to broaden its reach and better serve its students, Studio Incamminati is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools.
Accreditation not only places Studio Incamminati in the company of the country's elite art programs, but allows the school to offer greater student benefits. For example, accreditation enables Studio Incamminati to accept international students full-time. It also allows students to pursue a greater number of educational loan and grant options.
Accreditation is a periodic evaluation that produces an independent judgment by peers about the extent to which an institution achieves its own educational objectives and meets NASAD standards. These standards address operational and curricular issues fundamental to operating a quality educational institution. NASAD is recognized by the United States Department of Education as the agency responsible for the accreditation of all art and design curricula.
Accredited membership granted by NASAD's Commission on Accreditation signifies that an institution has successfully demonstrated compliance with the association's procedures, standards, and guidelines. Integral to this voluntary process is continuing, systematic self-evaluation and peer review.
Accreditation, in practical terms, is a hard-won stamp of approval, a sign that an institution ascribes to, believes in, and has met an external set of basic criteria for the programs it offers. In some cases, accreditation assists in the transfer of credits from one institution to another. In all cases, it indicates that threshold standards are adhered to in a fashion that provides a base of academic strength and operational integrity.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design, founded in 1944, is an organization of 323 schools, colleges, and universities that establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and non-degree programs credentials.
Studio Incamminati has been recognized as a leader in the realist art movement. In 2012, American Artist magazine named it one of the top classical art schools in the country. Its artists and instructors regularly gain recognition locally, nationally and internationally. Currently, the school's students hail from Shanghai to South Jersey. Its alumni work as professional artists in places ranging from Israel to India.
Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools licensing
Licensing ensures that Studio Incamminati complies with all Pennsylvania Department of Education regulations governing the State Board of Private Academic Schools. The Board's regulations are important because they set standards and procedures for licensing and registration of schools, determine levels and forms of financial responsibility and establish qualifications for instructors and administrators.
There are approximately 291 private licensed schools in Pennsylvania.
Studio Incamminati is a member of the Art Renewal Center (ARC) and is an ARC Approved Atelier and School. The Art Renewal Center is a private, not-for-profit foundation, composed of experienced classically trained artists, art historians and scholars. Recognition by ARC is based on their expertise and the organization's standards for reviewing and approving schools, artists and ateliers that foster the classical tradition in art.
Studio Incamminati also maintains an innovative partnership with Chestnut Hill College. Working together, the two schools developed a new Art Studio major which allows students to earn a bachelor's degree from the college while pursuing studio work at Studio Incamminati. In this program. Students matriculate at the college and receive transfer credits for studio classes at Studio Incamminati.
At Doane Academy, Burlington, NJ, Studio Incamminati instructors teach students drawing and painting skills using the human figure as well as still life. The studio work also strengthens critical thinking, problem solving and communications skills needed across the curriculum.