Dan Thompson appointed Dean of Faculty and Students

Dan Thompson, an artist and teacher whose decades-long career ranges from exhibitions worldwide to faculty positions at Parsons the New School for Design and the Art Students League of New York, has been appointed Dean of Faculty and Students at Studio Incamminati, School of Contemporary Realist Art. In the newly created position, Thompson assumes the duties of Artistic Director, previously held by the school’s co-founder Leona Shanks, who is stepping down to devote more time to her painting.

“The appointment of Dan Thompson, a veteran faculty member of the school

and a world-class artist, ensures that there will be a smooth transition and the mission of the school will endure,” said William Daniels, board chairman, of the Philadelphia-based school. “I thank Leona for her artistic direction as the school evolved and we are grateful that she will continue teaching and mentoring our wonderful students.”

Thompson, a former Studio Incamminati faculty member, earned an MFA from the New York Academy of Art and a BFA in Fine Art from the Corcoran School of Art. He co-founded two New York art schools: The Grand Central Academy of Art and the Janus Collaborative School of Art. His faculty appointments also include the National Academy of Design and the New York Academy of Art where he has served as faculty chair of the Certificate of Fine Arts Program.

“Dan is eminently qualified to assume this important position,” said Leona Shanks. “Not only is he a superb artist, but he fully understands the school’s mission thanks to his long and close association with Nelson Shanks, the school’s founder. I have no doubt that Nelson would welcome Dan’s appointment without reservation, as I also do.”

Thompson’s work has been exhibited in public and private collections throughout the world, including the Eleanor Ettinger Gallery, John Pence Gallery, Arcadia Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Noble Maritime Museum, The Pasadena Museum of California Art, the National Arts Club, the Art Museum of Song Yugui, Shenyang, China and the United States Capitol and Beijing’s World Art Museum. He has been designated a Living Master by the Art Renewal Center, a premier realist art organization.

“It is a great honor to be asked to join this community as dean,” said Thompson. I recently opened a folder of keepsakes and located a letter that I received many years ago from Nelson Shanks, when he invited me to join the faculty. In it, he wrote: ‘…When Leona and I founded the school, it was our goal to establish an environment where dedicated artists at all levels of experience and education would feel inspired to work and to share their knowledge…We are all happy to have you aboard.’ Thompson added: “This extraordinary community of professionals continues to progress, thanks to the dedication of Studio Incamminati’s board, administration, faculty and students, all of whom maintain a profound and nurturing environment.”

School President Jay Pennie said “I warmly welcome Dan and know he will contribute substantially to the school’s programs. His expertise will be highly valued.”

About Studio Incamminati, School for Contemporary Realist Art
Studio Incamminati, founded in 2002, by renowned artist Nelson Shanks and his wife Leona. Modeled on the traditional Italian accademia and French atelier, the school provides a dynamic teaching program to produce highly skilled artists through its four-year Advanced Fine Art Program, its workshops for the general public and art educators, and its award-winning outreach programs. Those include a student art program at Doane Academy, Burlington, NJ; an art program partnership with Project HOME and an ongoing “senior portraits” project with Camden’s Urban Promise Academy. The school’s name is filled with symbolism. In Italian, “Incamminati” means “moving forward.” It also invokes the spirit and practices of its namesake Renaissance art studio. Studio Incamminati is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
For information studioincamminati.org