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The School’s internationally-recognized Marathon programs were developed in 1988 by Dean Graham Nickson, initially as a measure for the rest of the semester at the start of the program year. The program has since expanded to become a core component of the School’s curriculum. Meanwhile, intense outside interest led to the extension of the Marathons to a wider audience of participants outside of the full-time student body. Renowned artists, art historians, dealers, collectors, art educators, writers, journalists and students of all levels and affiliations have since experienced the intensity of the program.

The Marathon course hours are 9:00am to 6:00pm, with a lunch break from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. In some Marathons, there may be critiques. The specific critique schedule will be determined once courses have commenced.

If you are currently enrolled as a full-time student at NYSS, or if you have successfully completed a Marathon or full-time program within the last five years, you are not required to submit an application in order to enroll in upcoming Marathons. Learn more here.

Upcoming Marathons SUMMER SESSION 2019: June 3 – July 19, 2019

Session I:
Monday, June 3 – Friday, June 14 (no classes on weekends)
-Drawing Marathon with Graham Nickson and Guests
-Sculpture Marathon with Bruce Gagnier

Session II:
Wednesday, June 19 – Tuesday, July 2 (no classes on weekends)
-Arbor Vitae Painting Marathon with Graham Nickson and Guests
-Sculpture Marathon with Brandt Junceau
-Portrait Painting Focus with Joe Santore

Session III:
Monday, July 8 – Friday, July 19 (no classes on weekends)
-Why Paint the Figure with Elisa Jensen
-Color Marathon with Kaitlin McDonough

Please email info@nyss.org with any further questions. Hope to see you this Spring!

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Drawing Marathon – with Graham Nickson

9am - 6pm

In this Marathon, students learn the importance of drawing as the basis of understanding one’s experience of the world. Drawing is seen here as the most direct route to the examination of our perceptions.

Sculpture Marathon – with Bruce Gagnier

9am - 6pm

Drawing and modeling in clay are practiced from the live model to learn the abstractions of the plastic idea. Knowledge of how to describe the human figure is practiced in relation to this goal.

Arbor Vitae Painting Marathon – with Graham Nickson

9am - 6pm

In this painting marathon, students will have the rare opportunity to combine working from perception and synthesizing that information with a model in a studio setting. The class will work approximately half of the time in the quiet splendor of Old Westbury Gardens, Long Island, working from the landscape.

Sculpture Marathon – with Brandt Junceau

9am - 6pm

This course is a working conversation, hands-on, in the studio, with occasional slide talks that refresh and catch up to the conversation. We begin with found items (students will bring them), natural and manmade, with some degree of figural association; a twig, a stone, a doll. By modeled additions, carving subtractions, and some quick and dirty moldmaking and casting, those suggestive found objects are made to talk figure and image.

Portrait Painting Focus – with Joseph Santore

9am - 6pm

This is an opportunity for serious painters to spend two full weeks focusing in on the figure. The class will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions to accommodate the changing light. Students will begin working small on one session paintings and focusing on the heads. They will work directly from life and from reproductions.

Why Paint the Figure – with Elisa Jensen

9am - 6pm

This figure painting class will explore in depth the development of figurative imagery in art. Focus will be on finding a personal imagery and developing that imagery to the fullest extent by working from life, from the imagination and from memory.

Color Marathon – with Kaitlin McDonough

9am - 6pm

This Marathon will elevate and expand our sensitivity to all aspects of color. Placing practice before theory, we will explore the wild richness of color functionality and mutability. Exercises will deepen our understanding of hue, tone, saturation, deception, intervals, boundaries and color relatedness.

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