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through the In Your Town programs nationwide. Other programs
serve high school students and art educators throughout the region.
The Integrated Art Studio major offers the opportunity to earn a
liberal arts degree at Philadelphia's Chestnut Hill College while
taking studio classes at Studio Incamminati.

Grace by Robin Frey

Among its priorities, Studio Incamminati is committed to
guiding students to develop the essential skills and vision integral
to contemporary realism that captures the human form and soul on
canvas, and unveils the human condition in all its complexity. In
addition to the stress on skills-based, studio-based training, it guides
artists to inform that mastery with a powerful underpinning of art
history which enables them to produce art that informs, fulfills, and
inspires. Its students are more than curious about art, they are serious
about art as a career. To that end, Studio Incamminati provides
the necessary skills in the business of art so that its students can
become successful, self-sustaining artists who contribute to society.
Its fellowship programs help bridge the gap between student and
profession and its alumni offerings keep graduates apprised of the
latest school news and the latest opportunities for grants and exhibitions. In addition to the artistic training, Studio Incamminati
instills the value of using art to give back, whether through teaching
or community outreach. Studio Incamminati graduates are using
foundational drawing workshops to help Philadelphia's Project
HOME residents recovering from homelessness develop needed
life skills. Other graduates work with secondary school students
at Doane Academy, Burlington, NJ, using art classes to sharpen
students' observational and critical thinking skills that resonate
across the curriculum.
All work at Studio Incamminati is based on teaching representational art - figurative, still life and portrait. As founder Nelson
Shanks put it, "Nature is the best and, really, the only real vocabulary
that an artist can legitimately work with." However, painting from
life is never confused with "copying." Studio Incamminati artists
may master skills such as composition and color, but they draw on
their own individual creativity to utilize those skills. Any physician
trained in the scientific method will recognize some of these same
qualities employed in realist art.
"Life work teaches many unexpected things, such as patient
observation," according to Dan Thompson, MFA, a longtime
instructor who teaches anatomy for artists. "Better than painting
from memory and more fulfilling than a photograph, life painting
is the mechanism of self-discovery."
Note on images: Fetti to Shanks to Dunn represents a progression of
realist art bridging the Old Master Fetti's Italian Baroque to Nelson
Shanks' contemporary realism to his student Kerry Dunn.

Nelson Shanks

8

Philadelphia Medicine : Spring 2017

Kerry Dunn is a longtime instructor and serves on the school's
Artistic Committee.


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