wow this thread is so interesting. I'm attending a 1 year prep course in Finland (3.5 hours to st.petersburg by train!! ) and our teachers often talk about this academy, like, if something is a little bit off in my figure drawings they'd be like "well it's okay, i mean, this isn't the repin academy".a couple of months ago I tried to find more info about this "mysterious school in russia" but the website was just confusing. I'm glad I found this thread.
The preparation course sounds very interesting. I want to study illustration and I don't think id try to get in the academy for 6 years to get a degree, but like I said the 1 year-course sounds so tempting. I'm just wondering.. I don't know if my portfolio is exactly what they're looking for...alot of digital work etc. I've been into visual arts for only a couple of years now, needless to say that I'm nowhere near the level compared to the students who study there. But I am willing to work really hard. In my current school we get no homework and the teachers arent strict and most of my classmates are just really lazy and dont take art seriously. I would love to be surrounded by ambitious, hard working people.
After reading all the previous posts, I just want to make sure that I understood this correctly : everybody will get accepted to the 1 year preparation course no matter what your level of skill is? How and WHEN do you apply to this course? (i'm sorry if this has been already answered). Will it look bad if you tell right from the beginning that you have no intention to applying to the degree programm? this might sound like a stupid question but I'm just wondering.
First, please read the very 1st page of this thread.
There is a copy of Lena Murray's answers to most questions related to the Academy - about studying at 6-year program and at prep courses.
Regarding your other questions, which I feel I can answer properly:
- Based on your CA portfolio I've just looked at, I don't see any problems with you studying at prep courses. Also, don't forget - you pay money and this is the most sure ticket to get there.
- You need to apply in spring - to get accepted there by October 1st (program runs until July 1st). You only need to send a copy of your passport and an application by fax (812-323-6548 ).
- It doesn't matter what you tell them - you can be a Finland Prime Minister who simply wants to paint for fun. But if you get low scores and don't show good results of your studying - you get dismissed, no matter whether you want to continue your studying there for 6 more years or not. But it seems like you're really ready to work hard, so with this attitude you'll be very much appreciated there.
And yes, you're right. You'll be surrounded by many other students (mostly Chinese), very much hard-working, who're very eager to study there, as most of them take prep courses for only being accepted for the 6-year program. Not everyone gets to the 6-year program at the first attempt though.
At prep, you study 9 hours a day (5-art, 4-Russian), then you get homework. You'll be very busy.
Again, I respond to all e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org (sorry, if it takes an extra day to get an answer, but I do respond to all the letters).
I am curious about how do foreigner makes money for their food and rent etc, do They work in st petersburg (with there visas) or some just take loan or save a lot of money before going ther. If you say 5hours+4hours+homework, I cant imagine how somebody can have a job even for the russian student.
Is there any exemple of students drawing at the end and during the prep course.
okey I read the biginning for the money
but I do want to know if jobs are easy or hard to find (graphic/illustration jobs also)
What kind of job we can find easily
Frankly, I don't know what kind of job you can find assuming you'll be extremely busy with your studying. Even if you have some time during weekends... You can try to offer some language lessons (though you have to know how to teach), though I don't think this will cover your weekly expenses.
There are also some foreign companies' branches, they might need some employees. But again, not sure they'll accept someone for such a short working load.
The only option I see here is to save some money or to get a loan from your local bank.
In any case, after you begin your studies here, after you get more comfortable with surroundings and with Russian language, eventually you'll get a much clearer picture. So later on it may be you telling me about job options for foreigners in St.Pete. :)
I am really curious of what exactly they do in the prep class, 5 hours of drawing the model straight ? and what do they do for homework.
last thing is, what is the schedule like for the 1st,2nd and 3rd year is it like 9hours of drawing per day of lets say, 3hours bones, 3 hours muscle 3h model(figure) homework is to render.
And from what I see, this is different then american or canadien school because in american in canadien school you will often learn a lot from different discipline(graphic,drawing,sculpture) but it seems here that you focus only on the drawing painting right. And do you learn painting at the same time as drawing in the prep or first year?
after that I think I am good for the question, because anyway my goal now is to finish college, then after that I can decide weather I want a year of to learn russian and get my drawing skills up or just go to university in visual arts.
I wish there was like a curriculum on the website of what are the course that they teach and the credits given
I can see that this environment is very intense!!! no time to do activities you like like dancing or martial arts 3 to 4 times a week hehe or even seeing a movie 2 times a month. its very different.
Okey I can see this is answered
from what I understand in first year
2hour long drawing pose 3hours long painting pose plus lecture maybe 3 hours for a total of 8hours per day ?
then maybe compositions.
And I suppose by the time you go first year you already know all the human skeleton and a lot of anatomy ?
I'll be visiting the Academy this week. I'll stop by the Department of Foreign Education and will get all the information I can get from them.
It seems the prep courses program attracts many students from all over the world. Again, their website doesn't provide any answers to practical questions. So instead of answering many e-mails with the same questions, I better post the info right here, after I get all the proper answers.
- "And I suppose by the time you go first year you already know all the human skeleton and a lot of anatomy?" - again, please refer to detailed information provided earlier by Lena Murray (the very 1st page of this thread).
It's been mentioned here and on other threads - most Russian students enter the Academy after 5 years of art school + 4 years of art college, so by that time they're already at the level they can draw and paint. They enter the Academy to polish their skills and to become Masters. Though I find this a bit funny that their first couple of years are called "fundamentals". That includes lots of anatomy studies, but this mostly refers to "artistic anatomy". But it's not the kind of "fundamentals" that are offered by many art colleges or ateliers worldwide. This is really the most advanced art educational level, with all the tough requirements and circumstances.
too me thats almost like doing a master+phd ^^
Its kool that you may go there, What I really want most is an actuall curiculum that shows the course names and credit, I would like to talk to the university I might go into and ask them if some course are transferable or if I can do internship or independent study out there. Would be kool. I could even take the russian course in canada that would really save me time and possibility of having a job.
Thanks book guru, By the way book guru, the book whitch is in your store called Fundamental of drawing, does it pretty well instruct the education of what the academy is teaching?(style,construction, rendering, process). I am considering buying this book maybe , if it is really a good investment.
Again, I'll try to get as much information from them as possible.
Also, I'd like to make some photos of studios where the studies take place, and get names of their instructors.
Frankly, I'm much more familiar with professors teaching at the Academy... so far their prep courses is a kind of mystery to me too. :)
As of transferable credits - I really doubt that, as I know prep courses don't provide any official paper of international standard. I'll ask them anyway.
In regards of the teaching aid. It was awarded by a Silver Medal by the Academy, as one of the best books on fundamentals of drawing made in years.
Prof. Mogilevtsev is teaching drawing for over 15 years there, so he accumulated in this book the most frequently asked questions and the most common mistakes made by his students.
Russian students order this manual most often in spring (prior to exams) and in autumn (prior to studying at the Academy), for both the prep courses and for studying during first years at the Academy.
hmm then I will get this book, what I am fascinated by is how they do there hatching rendering that follow the form well and the square way they do the construction. If I can learn a bit from reading and copying the book its kool, Cuz that is the most I can do for now.
Perhaps if you do 1 to 3 year in the 6 year program you probably get credits because this leads to a master. but if you can find a documents its cool, cuz I mean every school usualy have a course list with the credits and desc
To those waiting for my response via e-mail, please be patient, it's a pre-holiday heavy season... Let me assure you I'll respond to all the letters, but please be patient. :)
Also, I suggest to post most of your questions right here, as quite often they're the same.
Here is the information on prep courses at the Academy.
1. (I was misinformed earlier on this)
You have to show your best works in order to be accepted to prep courses. The amount is not as important as the quality. Up to 10 works can be sent via e-mail, but they prefer the scans sent by a regular mail. You must show:
- drawing (2-3 self-portraits is ok)
- painting (head, figure - nude prefered)
- composition (some samples of your creative works)
You also need to include your passport copy, and your contact information (phone, e-mail, mailing address).
This should be done by the end of May 2011 - if you want to start in October 2011.
2. If your works are accepted, you'll be notified via e-mail.
Then you make your arrangements:
- study at least some basic Russian. Your art lessons begin already in October, Russian lessons will be taught in parallel to your art studies, so sooner you start to catch up - better for you (remember, no translation is provided, though of course you can hire a personal interpreter for you first several days in St.Pete, prices vary: $10-20/hour);
- make sure you make an early reservation of an apartment you plan to stay in. It's not a good idea to come here and then starting to search for a place. September/October are very heavy on rental demand as there are many students start exactly at the same time.
- get your tourist visa. You don't need any "student" or "business" visa, only a tourist visa - it's easier to get and it's good for 30 days. During your first 3 days in St.Pete you'll need to visit the Department of Foreign Education, they take all foreign students' visas and exchange them for a "long-term multi-entry" visa, which is good for one year. This service is free.
3. After your arrival:
As I've mentioned above, you need to visit the Department of Foreign Education first - to exchange your visa.
During first days of your arrival there will be a Meeting with organizers, all foreign students will need to check for the date. There you decide where you want to go - painting / sculpture / architecture. So they assign you for a certain workshop. This happens during October 5-7.
After that you'll have an evaluation class, actually 2 classes:
- Drawing (copying a head cast)
- Painting (still-life)
During your evaluation work, no assistance will be provided to you, they'll be only observing your level. This is also done to make sure you submitted your own works by mail. Yes, I'm not joking - there've been cases when students were sending someone else's works, just to be accepted at prep courses. Please, don't do that. :)
After evaluation, you'll be explained your mistakes and you even get your grades (plz, don't take this personally, most students get lower grades - usually "2" or "3" out of five).
4. So only after all these preliminaries, you'll get your one-year contract with the Academy and by that time you receive your one-year visa. This happens closer to the end of October.
So with these two papers you go to the local bank and pay for your studies - either 2,500 euro for 1 semester (half year), or the whole amount of 5,000 euro for the whole program.
They didn't increase the prep program tuition for already 3 years. So I can't guarantee the price will remain the same for the next year.
Assuming that most foreign students are usually interested in the Painting workshop (though they recently had a very talented American guy graduated from their Sculpture Faculty), during your prep courses program you'll have the following disciplines:
- painting: first - head only, later on - figure
- drawing: first - head only, later on - figure
- composition - during all your studies
The amount of classes and their length varies - it depends on you level and your achievements.
In addition, there are Russian language lessons, at least 15 hours a week.
Important: for those who plan to continue their studies and to take exams - don't skip your Russian lessons! The very fist exam you'll take in June is Russian - written and oral. If you don't pass it, you're dismissed, no way to proceed to other exams - no matter your artistic level. They're getting very strict with this requirement, as they had a bad experience with (mostly) Chinese students who don't understand their assignments and professors have to spend 2-3 times longer trying to explain it to those who don't speak Russian - which is totally unfair in regards of many other Russian and foreign students in the group.
During your studies, you'll have only one winter break (which starts from NY Eve until January 11) - it's national winter holidays in Russia (we celebrate NY Eve, then Jan 7 is our Orthodox Xmas). So it's probably the best time to visit your sweet (and warm) home. :)
By the end of the prep program, you'll have two options:
- to concentrate on your exams preparation - if you plan to continue studying there;
- to relax (so-to-speak) and continue your studies until July 1.
For the second group of students, they say good-bye and give you a Certificate:
- it's on official Academy blank
- it lists all the disciplines you had during your prep program
- it lists the total hours for each discipline
- stamp, signatures
For the 1st group of people, by the end of your program you'll make many assignments that aim at preparing you for your entrance exams - the same kind of compositions, drawings, etc that are considered to be "acceptable" during exams.
Warning: study really well, as today there are 44 students that take prep courses for the second time, several take this for 3rd time, and 1 Chinese student is taking this for the 4th time. They all have the goal to study at the Academy, so for them there is no any other way but to continue their improvement at prep courses.
(A bit of lyrics:
One young woman from Finland was taking prep courses, then she didn't pass exams. So she continued her studies during the second year. At the end of it she decided to return to Finland where... she opened her own private art school. She thanked the Academy many times for such high level of education that even prep students are capable for such achievements.)
Btw, in addition to those 2nd year prep students, there were many others who entered other different art institutes. Actually, students who've studied at prep courses are welcomed to all the Russian art institutes. What's interesting, they get more and more students from Moscow, even those who already study at different art institutions - I don't want to use any names here so my comment won't look too biased. I'm only telling you their plain statistics.
For those who want to test himself first, prior to studying here, they offer master classes, mostly in June-July. They run from 2 weeks to 1 month. These are not individual classes, at least 10 students must be there to make the studies affordable.
- it helps you to decide whether you want to study there (not only to check the Academy but also the Russian surroundings);
- it's easy to arrange - you only need to buy a regular tour to St.Petersburg, with air/hotel/breakfast included. So no worries for extra expenses.
That's all for now.
Again, please I want to encourage you to write your posts right here, as many questions are the same and I prefer other people to also see the answers.
Thanks for the info, Yeah the master class workshop would be interesting to test, I supposed its all level and no portfolio is needed for this. but the classes will probably be thought in russian
Yes, it's in Russian. All master classes - both individual and group - are provided with an interpreter. More students in class - less money is needed. 10-15 students is an ideal amount. Of course, there are might be 3 students only, but this will triple the price.
Book Guru, I just wanted to say Merry Christmas and THANK YOU SO MUCH for getting all that info for us...I cannot get this out of my head, I'm thinking about this school all the time and if I should apply to the prep course or not...but I really think that I'm going to. :) I'm already stressing about the "evaluation classes" like...what if they send me back home etc, haha, I'm just being stupid here. But yeah, thank you so much!
I think I've overlooked one questions of yours:
- "If you say 5hours+4hours+homework, I cant imagine how somebody can have a job even for the russian student."
I can't imagine either. :)
Well, prep course studies are usually taken for entrance exams. And Russian students pay less than foreigners. There is no such thing as free prep courses, no matter who you're.
Though not everyone passes exams after the 1st attempt, but the most successful do, especially if they have 9 years background of art studying prior to that. Others - they have to pay tuition (it's also different for Russian and foreign students). So this is another reason why competition there is so high. It's FREE education, besides many art supplies are provided for free. In addition to that they get a stipend (enough to survive for a week) + free campus. The campus life is not a paradize (plz, don't compare this to American campuses, it's quite different). In any case, most students only sleep there, the rest of time they spend in workshops (often until midnight).
So all they have to spend money for is food, but most students (worldwide, I guess) usually don't spend too much on that (mostly for economical reasons). Besides, there are many places in St.Pete where you can eat relatively cheap.
There are examples of some young women who not only graduated from the Academy, but became successful artists... and who had a baby born at their 2nd or 3rd year of education, had no break in studies... and still made it. I think these ones deserve a monument or a medal, at least. I'm serious.
It's all about dedication, I guess. So if you want to find a job, you'll find it. If you want to make through your 6 years - you'll make it. As easy as that. :)
3.5 hours is not so far... comparing to someone from Florida! :)
Seriously, if you send your best samples, and you get admitted, there is absolutely no doubt you'll pass the evaluation class. Again, this is mostly done to see your level, which helps them better to organize the group.
Hm... thinking of this. I think this actually can help many artists - to send some samples of work, and then to receive a free evaluation from the Academy. "Rejected" means you need to improve, "Accepted" means you're at quite a good level (relatively speaking).
I hope the Academy administration people are not going to hate me for this advice. :)
Merry Xmas to you too!!
//Off topic - you say 3.5 hours...? Has the Allegro train finally made its first move? The promisses were for the end of December. Or you've been talking about air travel?//
Thank you Kat!
Can you please list some of the professors names in every department? Googling after professors' works can give a quick authentic impression about school's level and nature.
If you have some photos of works from the sculpture and graphics courses, uploading them here can really be great.
And - what is your relation to the Russian academy in florence?
- "please list some of the professors names in every department"
The list of professors is huge... But to give you a rough idea of who is teaching where, here is a short list (however, this has nothing to do with prep courses):
Vladimir Mogilevtsev - teaching drawing at Sokolov workshop, Painting Faculty
Nikolay Blokhin - teaching drawing at Reikhet workshop, Painting Faculty
Yuri Kalyuta - teaching painting at Sokolov workshop, Painting Faculty
Khamid Savkuev - teaching drawing at Krylov workshop (icons, religious and historical), Painting Faculty
Arsen Kurbanov - teaching drawing at the Architecture Faculty
Andrey Sklyarenko - teaching drawing at Kim workshop, Graphics Faculty
I gave you the names of professors I know personally, besides their names are quite easy to Google, all are successful artists, well-known in Russia and abroad. The only exception is Mogilevtsev (not practicing as much as a gallery artist) as he spends most of his time with students and creating teaching aids (he's working now on Fundamentals of Painting, the next will be Fundamentals of Composition).
Again, there are dozens more, but this information can be obtained directly at the Academy.
- "what is your relation to the Russian academy in florence?"
Any private school can call itself anything they want, including the "Kremlin Artists Academy".
I don't want to criticize anything there in regards of education as it will be biased.
They do have some former students of our Academy that now teach there. But I don't know any professor from our Academy teaching there.
They might invite from time to time some professors for short-term master classes, but this happens everywhere - our Academy professors go all over the world - from Finland through China to the US. But again, this doesn't make any private school that invites them to be called a "Russian Academy".
Do they get the same breaks as us in the us and canada ? like March break, christmass and 3 or 2 month summer vacatons :D
Okey here is my really most important question.
I am fascinated by their student work at the st petersburg academy of art. In particular the drawings and some of the easel painting.
I really want to learn how to draw this way. is there any school in america or canada like this. I suppose the bridgview is the closest ?
The things is I am also interested in a creative program which give the possibility to explore the figure in a free way and also gives me my masters degree. For this I believe the new york academy of art is were I want to go.
Thing is time is precious, I want to know if I study from 1-4years at the academy of art in russia Am I able to get in a school like the new york academy of art. Will they consider my education as an undegrad degree. because I know after 6years they give you master.
I am looking for a way to get a bit of everything I need everywere
I am looking for a maximum of 6 more years of school on top of the 3 years that will be done from illustration.
I am looking for oneday to develop a style which is unique to me and I believe I will developpe this by studying systems I like study from different artist and explore nature.
my email is
by the way I sent the credit question to the new york academy to see what they answer
If you're talking about studying at the Academy (not prep courses), then you'll follow Russian holidays. We have a long national holiday from Jan 1 til Jan 11, that includes our NY Eve celebration (the most loved holiday in Russia) and our Orthodox Xmas, which is Jan 7.
December 24/25 are regular working days. The same goes for March, no spring break.
During summer, students usually go to different pictoresque locations for a practicum - there are special locations close to Pskov where the Academy goes every year for plainair. Of course, I think you might get a permission from the Academy for going to your homeland, but it's in in your own interest to keep your studying with the others.
Comparing the Academy with other private schools that exist in the world... I've written about this many times, so you better refer to my previous comments.
The Russian Art Academy is the only one of its kind. It requires 101% of dedication if you want to succeed. Not everyone can afford so many years of an art prison. And not everyone who wants to become an artist really need that. Also, please keep in mind that there is a high competition for getting there. Of course, you compete not with Russians but with foreign students, but most of them spend at least one year at prep courses, so they're quite well prepared.
In regards of other schools' acceptance of credits, you better check with them directly (which you're doing already). I think if the Academy gives you a certificate showing how many total hours you had in different disciplines, any art school would consider this for a credit.
Some students, who study at the Academy not for degree, do just that - they master their skills and leave (but it's a relatively small amount of students).
Besides, I've written earlier about one woman from Finland who opened her own private school - after she studied for 2 years at prep courses... So you get an idea.
I am most interested in the Ilya Repin Academy as well. I have spoken with several students from the US who currently attend there. Do you have any information on Grants or any other way we can lighten the financial burden? Cost is my only concern right now. I have a year and a half until I get my BFA in Illustration then I would go to the Repin school. I started studying basic Russian and I started saving, but to pay for 7 years is a lot. Anyone with advice on studying abroad, grants and such would be much appreciated.
Sorry, there are no grants for foreign students at the Academy.
The Academy is not a private art school, like most others in the world.
It always run by the government support, which used to be the Royal support (until the Revolution the Academy was called "The Imperial Academy of Fine Arts").
Which means - for Russian students - yes. And here, it's not called "grants".
It's completely free education. But for Russian residents only.
However, comparing to other art schools (many of which are quite far from being really in "fine arts"), the tuition is quite modest.
Also, not many foreign students take such a long trip. To some, 3-4 years are maximum what they want. As long as they feel they've mastered their skills, they leave.
It's not the paper that you enter the Academy for, though for many Russians this degree is very prestigious.
Another crazy idea of mine. If you advance already after your first year at prep courses, you might use your 2 months summer break for teaching art in your homeland (some basics for children or amatures). This probably won't cover your complete tuition, but for sure might help to decrease the total yearly expense. Just an idea...
Finding students isn't that easy. It takes time. It's much less satisfying but much more likely to just get a shitty jobs waiting tables for a few months than it is to actually find enough people to teach to with the limited skillset learned in 1 year.
Also Russia's art scene is very different from the rest of the world. There's a lot more room for realism over there.
Hence why potential students might not even seek the russian system. It's a niche market at this moment, mostly due to the market itself and lack of knowledge about repin.
emmm... As I said, it was a crazy idea of mine.
This all depends on motivation. I used to riding a bike to a shitty wharehouse, working nightshift, and then cleaning shitty households during daytime...
This was a long time ago. But I became strong, at least mentally. :)
I truly believe that a Homo Sapiens can achieve anything if he really wants to. Really wants to.
I keep thinking more and more about this and I'm seriously considering the 1 year course - though probably a shorter master class first to see how it all is. Thank, Book Guru, for all the info!
I am a believer that If I stop school, to work and get money, I might progress at a slower rate.
it is a risk to take a loan of 20 000$ for like 3 years, no degree but a lot of skills.
Out of curiousity guys How much money you guys owe ?
I owe like 12000$ for my 5 years of study till now.
Thank you for the information Book Guru. I have a few more questions.
Could you tell me a bit more about the studios you get to choose from and when you choose them. Also what are the nightly compositional sketches the students are doing? I am interested in telling stories with pictures like Gerome or Repin did with some of their images. Do they teach that at the academy? I seem to have found some images that suggests they may. If they do who teaches it and when do you get to start doing things like that? The images on the bottom row: