Hey folks. I've mentioned it a few times, but I never made a formal post concerning my future studies. I will be attending the Repin Institute for painting, a department of the Imperial Academy of Arts, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Classes begin this coming October 15th, so I'm hustling like crazy to get a few projects wrapped up. I'm real stoked! I've never been out of the United States before, so it should be a wild experience. English is not spoken over there, so I'm trying to learn Russian. Luckily I have language classes every night. But I'm sure the language barrier is going to make things interesting.
The program is for 6-7 years. The ultimate goal is a master's although the U.S. does not recognize it..haha. That's ok, I'm not going for the paper. But for me, I will be attending the prepatory program. It is for one year and is not technically a "real" year. It is designed to prepare you for admittance into the school. In July of next year, I will be given an intense 36 hours to complete a figure painting, drawing, and composition. That will then be judged by the school's faculty and I will find out if I am accepted into the real school. I have 6 hours in front of the model 6 days a week, with lecture classes (given in Russian...o boy) strewn through out the week. At night I have language classes. It's year round, so in the summer time we travel around the Russian country side landscape painting! I have no idea if I will decide to go through the whole program. If I do I'll be over 30 when I get out...that's kinda scary.
I'll admit I was really looking into various ateliers. Although the work I seen coming out of those programs was technically cool, it lacks life much of the time. The Repin school is so great because it is based around the concept of bringing life and intensity into all of your work. The teachers enforce the responsibility you have as as artist. They teach that if you are painting a cube, make it "your" cube and let the audience know what you were feeling when you painted that cube. That and Whistler, Zorn, Repin (of course), and Fechin went there!!
So it's going to be a wild experience. I'll do my best to document it on the blog.