We thank you for your interest in The Academy of Fine Art.

We are an approved academy through the Art Renewal Center.

Our Mission: The Academy of Fine Art is dedicated to providing Artists of all abilities the opportunity to improve their painting, drawing, and sculpting skills through time tested exercises with a professional faculty.

Academy Class Schedule for 2017-2018 school year:
Tuesdays 1-4pm, Wednesdays 1-4pm, Thursdays 1-4pm, Fridays 9-4pm.
The Academy of Fine Art and The Mill Art Center are closed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The school is open for tours and visits Tuesdays through Fridays 9-4. We recommend calling ahead.

The Academy starts the day after Labor Day and continues through Mid May. We are closed for the summer months.

Students may enroll at any quarter of the year. Please see Admissions page for dates and times.

For the latest news about The Academy, visit the  Academy Blog.





























The Academy of Fine Art Fosters High Standards
The Academy features an intensive curriculum devoted to drawing and painting. In preparation for careers as practicing professional artists, the students are taught the classical techniques and methods introduced and perfected by the Masters.

Recognized for its dedication to the highest standards and techniques, the Academy’s curriculum fosters a spirit of creativity grounded in discipline. Throughout their course of study, students are assessed on their individual progress.

The Academy of Fine Art is founded on the principle of offering interested students a program and environment in which they can learn, practice and develop their skills.

The Academy strives for excellence by demanding the best from its students and teaching staff.


Patrick Burke Sculpture class


Who do we train? -  Artists of all skill levels, beginner to advanced.

How do we train Artist’s? -  Through a very specific and rigorous linear curriculum.  (Available upon request)  Artists train at The Academy on a Full-Time basis.

What is the curriculum, and what is it based on? -  The curriculum occurs via the artist’s matriculation through five phases.  These phases are:  Foundation, Still Life, Portraiture, Life Room Study, and Sculpture. The specific exercises that constitute each phase, build upon one another and have been selected for their proven success over time, which is in some cases centuries long.

What is the essence of what is being taught? -  First and foremost, The Academy is charged with developing and improving a artist’s visual acuity.  Additionally, we teach crafts-man-like mechanics for the mediums of charcoal, watercolor, and oil paint, as well as water based and oil based clay in the case of sculpture.  Throughout an artist’s tenure at The Academy, we also make conscious to the artist, the importance of the Principles and Elements of Design and Composition.  This aspect of picture making is within the fabric of each and every exercise that the artist is engaged in the during their progression through the curriculum.

Does The Academy teach a ‘style’? -  No it does not.  That said, we do base our visual assessment on the fidelity to representation, which becomes the benchmark for all to objectively gauge progress. The Academy is dogma free in it’s position on style and subject preferences.

Which technique does The Academy use when oil painting? -  The Direct Method, which is neither ‘Alla-Prima’ nor is it a ‘Grisaille Underpaint/Glaze’ method.  The Direct Method is what will be used when working on curriculum projects.

When can an artist commence the curriculum? -  At any quarter during the year.  The artist is approached each day by the instructor with full consciousness as to the artist’s current level of skill and linear position in the curriculum.

Who are the faculty members and how were they selected to be instructors at The Academy? -  Instructors are selected for their teaching abilities and their knowledge, and additionally on their abilities as a practicing artist.  Our instructors come from various locations throughout the State of Wisconsin.

Why are there so many faculty members? -  To ensure that a broad point of view is being presented on each aspect of The Academy’s curriculum.  Also, to make certain that resonance occurs between the many faculty and artists participating in the dialog required for advancement and learning.

How will an artist be taught at The Academy? -  Artists will engage with instructors on a one to one basis for critical judgement of their work.  Occasionally, group critiques and group witnessed demonstrations (both ‘working’ and ‘audienced’) will occur pending appropriateness to the individual and the artist body as a whole.

What is The Academy’s objective/mission? -  Improvement.  Regardless of how long an artist comes to train at The Academy, he/she should expect improvement.  Of course, the longer the artist’s tenure at The Academy the greater the improvement that can be expected.