Michael Ballezzi, Untitled (Current student)
SCHOOL NEWS
FROM SMALL TOWN MAYOR TO REALIST ART STUDENT
Eileen Dudley in Design Fundamentals class
Current student Eileen Dudley is an artist through and through. Art – and a deep appreciation for historical architecture and the stories it holds for a town’s history – has propelled Eileen into many interesting periods of her life, including one term as Mayor of Twin City, GA.

Eileen’s path to public office began in 2007, when she and her husband decided to test market their (now) 131-year-old Folk Victorian house in Twin City. At the suggestion of their realtor, they pursued listing their home as historic under the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Two years of careful research through archival information and contact with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) eventually led to her home being listed under historical preservation with the DNR in 2010, and the NRHP in 2012. Her meticulous work caught the eye of the Georgia Historic Society, and she was asked to submit a preservation nomination for Twin City as well. She accepted the challenge.
“I needed the support and approval of the City Council, so with an eye-roll, they gave me their support, never expecting I would actually follow through.” Eileen said.

By 2012, Twin City was listed under Georgia’s National Register of Historic Places, and by 2014, it was on the National Register.

Inspired by her success with historical preservation, Eileen set out to do more for her town by enrolling it in the Better Home Town (BHT) program under the National Main Street Program (NMSP). Both organizations aim to bolster revitalization through historic preservation and city planning through design assistance and grant opportunities. As the program’s Main Street Manager, she enacted multiple festivals, re-instated the Christmas Parade, and broke ground on a new Welcome Center.
Eileen in the Twin City Christmas parade as Mayor
Eileen’s efforts on behalf of Twin City unexpectedly swept her into the Mayor’s office on a tidal wave of approval – she even unseated the 16-year incumbent!
“Being an artist was my greatest asset as Mayor. I could see the possibilities for the town while most residents could only envision what they remembered. My inspiration for Twin City was Bethlehem, PA where I grew up and the way Bethlehem remade itself after the steel mills closed.” says Eileen on her time as Mayor.

Art was an integral part of Eileen’s life for as long as she could remember – back to murals on butcher paper when she was five or making paper flowers from the McCalls Make-It Book. As she grew up in Lehigh Valley, PA, she followed her passion for art through classes at Baum School of Art, and ensured she was always in some kind of creative class from then until college. At Syracuse University, where she majored in Art, Eileen finally settled into her calling as a two-dimensional artist after experimentation in silversmithing led to setting her work bench on fire – twice.

Post-college Eileen continued to work as an artist, showing in regional shows, teaching, and taking workshops to lengthen her education. In her studies she mentored under painter JoElen Macon, who imparted portraiture and an Impressionist approach that greatly shaped Eileen’s approach to painting. Still, with years of exhibits, awards, and training under her belt – and now a Mayoral position – Eileen found herself fantasizing about ateliers and immersing herself deeper into an artist community.

She began exploring her options for an atelier education, leading her to visit with Florence Academy in Italy during a work trip with her husband. After thoroughly studying their program, Eileen felt Studio Incamminati's full color, immersive approach resonated more with her temperament. “What I saw in Studio Incamminati thrilled me. It was a marriage made in heaven – classical realism with contemporary colors! I fell in love.” Eileen said.
Eileen at the Georgia Municipal Association summer conference and training with guest speaker, astronaut Joan Higginbotham
Eileen was impressed by both the use of a full-color palette in our curriculum, and the work of our students, faculty, and alumni, as well as our community involvement and outreach – which she deems “the heart and spirit of the school.” Specifically, she appreciated our art classes with Philadelphia’s homeless aid nonprofit Project HOME, and the Craniofacial Portrait project with CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).

Now halfway through her first year, Eileen is already excited about what her education with Incamminati will bring. When asked what the future will look like for her, she stated, “Besides painting with mastery and confidence, perhaps establish a rural atelier and put classical training in reach of more young people. In general, I hope to ignite passion for art in others; teach them that art is an attainable skill, not a mystery.”
“THE REAL SUBJECT OF EVERY PAINTING IS LIGHT” – CLAUDE MONET
(L-R) Process of the ceiling being removed to wood framing and panels installed
The importance of light – both artificial and natural – in our curriculum cannot be overstated, as proven by the massive, and exciting, undertaking of our skylight studios. Beginning in the late summer of 2020 with planning and schematics, the eagerly anticipated project is now well underway with the framework for skylights fully realized in one of three planned studios.

Once completed, our new skylights will provide yet another layer of visual art training, by expanding the variables of light on form. Each of our studio spaces is designed to provide a different light experience – from artificial halogen hot lights, to cool light soft boxes, to northern light window illumination. Lighting plays in integral part of sound traditional visual art training.

To take it further, specialized light-diffusing, museum-light glass window panels were specifically chosen for the skylights in order to minimize harsh shadows that could be cast from natural light. The state-of-the-art panels are Kalwall, an innovative company whose panels use light-diffusion technology to create an affect where light fills a space with balance. The panels are also highly insulating and energy efficient.
Kalwall paneling
Our hope is to complete the project by spring of this year, wherein our staff and Faculty will begin developing and fine-tuning artificial light systems to compliment the natural light. We plan for the skylit spaces to be multi-use, with cast and sculpting classes, painting and drawing, demonstrations, and filming and streaming for virtual courses, Workshops, and digital content.
ERLEBACHER CASTS FIND A NEW HOME AT STUDIO INCAMMINATI
Studio Incamminati is fortunate to add two stunning Walter Erlebacher casts to our growing library of plaster casts as teaching tools for our faculty and students. The full figure casts were graciously donated by William Velerio, Director and CEO of the Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill, after the museum acquired the original Erlebacher sculptures.

When Woodmere received the originals, Velerio immediately thought of Studio Incamminati, a school with a strong focus on realist art training, as the perfect recipients of the casts. Erlebacher, a prominent figure in realist sculpture who studied at Pratt, was also a fixture in Philadelphia’s art history, much like our Co-founder Nelson Shanks.
Our connection to Erlebacher runs even deeper, as our Dean of Fine Arts, Dan Thompson, explains: “Martha Erlebacher, his late wife, was my anatomical drawing instructor. Martha's fearlessness and intelligence for anatomy have had a profound impact on me.” In addition, Thompson was awarded the Walter Erlebacher award when he completed his MFA at NYAA.

Like all our casts, these two large sculptures will be used to study light and shade with a preoccupation on the aesthetics of the human form, in a manner similar to how medical students study cadavers of various physical characteristics. With this type of study, students will arrive at an aptitude of what certain structures of the body resemble, and challenge preconceived notions on what our eyes initially hide from us.
UPCOMING EVENTS
FEBRUARY 6, 2021

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE
Zoom
12 - 2pm EST
Join us on a virtual tour of our space, watch demos, and ask questions about our articulate-BFA track with Rowan University and the prestigious Advanced Fine Art Program.
Aneka Ingold, Postpartum, mixed media on paper, 72 x 48 inches, 2018 (Bennett Prize Winner)
MARCH 17 - MAY 9, 2021

RISING VOICES
The Bennett Prize® for Women Figurative Realist Painters
Building Bok, 7th Floor
Days/Hours TBD
An exhibition of 29 works by the ten finalists and winner of the Bennett Prize, the largest-in-the-nation art prize offered solely to women figurative realist painters.

This show highlights and recognizes the achievements of women painters that have been too long overlooked at a time when the craft of realist painting is being re-discovered. 
BENNETT-SCHMIDT LECTURES ON THE HIGHER AIM OF ART
This lecture series invites internationally renowned artists and thought leaders to discuss personal creative philosophies on a wide variety of topics from history, to modern art, to art's place in medicine.

Cost is $10, or free for area art students.
Currently, all lectures will be held on Zoom, unless otherwise stated.

The series is supported by art collectors and philanthropists, Steven Alan Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt, Founders of The Bennett Prize.
The Creation of Historical Portraits on the Contemporary Painting
with Carmen Chami
Date: Wednesday, February 24
Time: 6pm EST
ART CLASSES
WORKSHOPS
Day-long intensive classes recommended for intermediate to advanced artists.
Composition and Color in Still Life for Art Educators
with Natalie Italiano
Date: July 12 - 16
Time: 9am-4pm EST
Location: Studio Incamminati
(Act 48 credits offered; discounted cost for art educators)
Portrait Painting Fundamentals for Art Educators
with Natalie Italiano
Date: July 19 - 23
Time: 9am-4pm EST
Location: Studio Incamminati
(Act 48 credits offered; discounted cost for art educators)
CONTINUING EDUCATION
10-week, once a week classes focused on skill development. Recommended for beginners and those looking to brush up on basic skills. 
Color Theory for Range and Key
with Jason Jenkins
Date: Saturdays, Feb 6 - April 10
Time: 1-3:30pm EST
Location: Zoom
The Poetic Portrait in Sanguine Chalk
with Wendy Wagner
Date: Tuesdays, Feb 9 - April 13
Time: 6-8:30pm EST
Location: Zoom
Still Life Painting
with Barbara Zanelli
Date: Wednesdays, Feb 10 - April 14
Time: 6-9pm EST
Location: Studio Incamminati
Color Study of the Figure
with Nell O'Leary
Date: Thursdays, Feb 11 - April 15
Time: 6-9pm EST
Location: Studio Incamminati
The Living Sketchbook
with Sarah Annesley
Date: Fridays, March 12 - May 14
Time: 6 - 8:30pm EST
Location: Zoom
BLOG
Richard Rossello
Meet Board member and gallery owner, Richard Rossello
Rosello is not just a Board member, but an avid supporter of our Project HOME classes, and owner of Avery Galleries. Learn about how he got involved with Incamminati and Project HOME, and how his gallery is surviving the pandemic.

Studio Incamminati exists to meet the express needs of students eager to learn the aesthetic and philosophical techniques and principles of humanist realism.

info@studioincamminati.org
(215) 592-7910