The Director and Senior Instructor at the Academy of Realist Art, Fernando Freitas has close to 20 years of teaching experience. He also conducts drawing and painting workshops throughout North America and Europe, as well as works on portrait commissions. Most recently, his work can be seen on the hit NBC show Hannibal. Fernando has produced three highly regarded instructional videos: Drawing the Figure, The Bargue Drawing Companion, and In the Studios of the French Academies, all of which are available for purchase here.
Senior Instructor Ryan Gauvin engages in projects ranging from small, intimate drawings to etchings. Many of Ryan’s works hang in group shows as well as in private homes. Ryan is currently working on a number of commissioned projects including portraits and landscapes.
An avid artist since childhood, Esteban Rodriguez began copying the Renaissance masters at the age of 12. He believes that realism in art allows him to “communicate with poetic beauty the ideas and passions of shared humanity”. Esteban received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Cuba before joining ARA. He brings to the role of instructor strong realistic representational skills in a variety of mediums. His works have been shown in exhibitions in Toronto and Cuba.
Miriam is an award-winning realist artist, having won first place in the 2018 Art Renewal Centre (ARC) Scholarship contest and placing as a finalist for multiple pieces in the prestigious international ARC Salon. She knew from an early age that realist art is her passion, and she completed the full program at ARA while inspiring her peers to raise their standards to new levels. She continues to share her craft as an instructor and notes that teaching allows her to share what she most loves with her students.
“Marco” Colangelo joined ARA in 1998 after graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design with a degree in fine art. A specialist in portraiture, figurative work and dream imagery, Marco has participated in group shows, and has sold a number of his works to private collectors. Marco mainly focuses on helping students master sketching and life drawing skills. Marco also teaches figurative drawing and painting at Humber College.
Visiting Instructor Juan Carlos Martínez is an award-winning artist trained in the atelier tradition who works in the classical realist style, focusing on the human figure. Juan was a senior Instructor at ARA and taught with us for over 15 years. In addition to working on commissions, Juan has acquired an international reputation as an art educator. He has won several awards in the Art Renewal Center’s (ARC) Salon competition, as well as from the Portrait Society of America and the Portrait Society of Canada. Juan authored a popular six-part instructional series in International Artist Magazine entitled “The Academy Way” and has appeared on Bravo! TV’s “Star Portraits” program.