The ARC Scholarship application, attachments and directions are available on the ARC website http://www.artrenewal.org/pages/scholarshipapplication.php. We suggest that all prospective applicants print a copy of the application and directions and review this FAQ thoroughly before contacting the ARC with questions.
Please do not send questions regarding scholarship guidelines to our Webmaster Brian Yoder or to ARC Chairman Fred Ross. Instead, send them to Director of Operations Kara Ross.
The ARC is a nonprofit organization and operates with the help of volunteers and a very limited staff; therefore, email received from prospective applicants that requests information which is already available on the website and contained in this FAQ, cannot be answered.
1. Is there an entry fee required to apply for the ARC scholarship?
No entry fees are required.
2. How many scholarships will be offered and what is the amount of the awards?
ARC is giving out 10 or more awards, the total amount of aid being divided among the winners is $30,000.
3. Who is eligible to apply?
The ARC Student Scholarship will be awarded only to students enrolled full-time at an ARC Approved™ program*. The award is intended for career oriented artists, artists who only wish to paint as a hobby, should not apply.
* The Art Renewal Center (ARC) is a private, not-for-profit foundation, that is affiliated with experienced classically trained artists, art historians and scholars, whose judgement is based on years of experience and research, with expertise and standards for reviewing and approving schools, artists and ateliers that foster the classical tradition in art and are deemed worthy of recognition by ARC. Such recognition does not reflect in any way the support or accreditation of the United States Department of Education or any other governmental entity authorized to accredit educational programs or institutions. In fact ARC may be in disagreement with such institutions or agencies, most of which we believe have been warped or even over-run by modernist ideology and theory. You should use our recommendations if you accept the principles, philosophy and mission of the Art Renewal Center.
We wish to encourage students who are working toward certification, or the completion of a prescribed program of study at an Atelier, Academy, Studio-school, Bottega; or students studying as apprentices under the tutelage of a Master dedicated to teaching the techniques and methods in the realist/naturalist style.
4. What constitutes an ARC Approved™ program of study?
ARC Approved™ programs will represent the "Academic" traditions, and will offer students a curriculum that is the most advanced methods of realism, grounded in the techniques of the old masters and the academies of the 19th century.
Students enrolled in colleges or universities who are majoring in art, may apply if:
A. Instructors can show that there are sufficiently knowledgeable and accomplished teachers or professors, educated and capable of teaching in the classical realist tradition.
B. The school permits sufficient time to be focused on that training while matriculating for a degree.
C. The student him/herself can demonstrate sufficient talent and mastery of technique to qualify for an ARC scholarship.
ARC Approved™ programs will focus on technique and method, humanist-inspired artistic expression and will addresses relevant contemporary realist growth and development.
The concept of this type of education is to encourage the student to master the elements of drawing, form, contour, modeling, perspective, color, glazing, composition, and design as a foundation on which to develop and build the artist's personal style and expression, preferably focused on subjects and themes inspired by human experience and our shared human condition. (This includes still life and landscape painting as well as works that tell a story or make a point.)
The students we seek to support are enrolled in programs that generally do not qualify for government financial aid, and training usually requires 4 to 5 years of intense study, but in a true effort to ferret out and nurture the greatest talents, we are flexible and will consider "special circumstances."
5. What does the ARC mean by the word "Master?"
In the historic and now revived apprenticeship system (which includes the atelier system as it currently operates), a Master (or Maestro) is an experienced, highly trained artist of outstanding and proven skill, whose students were historically referred to disciples and/or apprentices.
6. What kind of student work is the ARC Scholarship Selection Committee looking for?
The ARC Scholarship requires a minimum of ten (10) JPEG images of your best work.
The Scholarship Selection Committee seeks examples of paintings and/or sculpture rendered from life and representative of nature as reflected in figurative studies and compositions, landscapes, still lifes, and portraits -- work that seeks to capture a fully recognizable likeness of the model. Not conceptual likenesses of the model.
We suggest submitting example works such as: a portrait rendered from life, a landscape, a still life, a painting from life, a drawing or painting from the figure (nude), a cast study in charcoal or grisaille pallette, or completed thematic works. Impressionist technique is acceptable, as long as the images reinforce the subject or theme.
Compositions rendered with the aid of projectors or copied from photographs DO NOT represent the mission and goals of the ARC and should not be offered as entries for this competition.
7. The ARC Scholarship requires three letters of recommendation; whom should I ask to recommend me?
At least one of the required three letters of recommendation must come from a master painter or sculptor who is either the director of your program of study, or has served as your instructor and is familiar with your work and development. This individual must be in a position to evaluate your talent and dedication to your studies and vocation, as well as comment on your career potential.
While we suggest that the additional two letters also address your artistic abilities and commitment to humanist values in art, we realize that apprentices and students of ateliers may be studying under only one instructor or that a comparatively small number of instructors teaching at an atelier could easily be burdened with the task of writing recommendations for multiple applicants.
In this case, we leave it to the student to seek out other pertinent individuals who will be qualified and willing to support your application.
Letters of recommendation written by family members are not deemed appropriate.
8. My instructors do not have access to a computer or are not comfortable sending recommendations as attached files in an email; what should I do?
The ARC would greatly appreciate the efforts of instructors to scan letters of recommendation, and to send them as attached files. Our international jury will be reviewing all application packages online. However, if this poses a problem or an inconvenience, we will accept letters of recommendation sent in the traditional format via the mail system.
Note: Due to the unpredictable nature of the international mails, we ask that letters mailed from countries outside the US be mailed via a courier service such as FedEx to ensure a timely arrival. Please send physical material to:
Art Renewal Center
9. How will the ARC Student Scholarship be judged?
ARC judges will review completed applications online from their home countries. They want to know a little bit about the applicants -- their backgrounds and their career goals. The ARC seeks to support students who are seriously dedicated to the realist tradition. However, the final decisions will be based primarily on artistic merit, i.e. the quality of the artwork submitted. Cases of extreme financial need will also be considered a factor, but not the main focus.
The decision of the judges is final.
10. Who should NOT apply?
This competition is not open to work inspired by abstract, conceptualist, neo-conceptual or non-traditional works. These include genres such as Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, Constructivism, Dada, Fauvism, Futurism, Minimalism, Modernism, Post-Modernist, Op Art, Pop Art, Found Art and related modernist genres.
Also excluded are examples of commercial design arts such as fashion and interior design, crafts, architecture, photography, computer art, modeling, graphics and animation, commercial illustration or related genres.
It is the determination of the Board of Trustees that illustration clearly can raise to the level of fine art; therefore example illustrative works will be considered.
11. Is my college or university program approved by the ARC?
Students who are enrolled at colleges or universities usually do not qualify to apply.
For the most part, the contemporary visual arts curriculum offered through colleges, art colleges and university programs focus first and foremost on novelty and individual "expression" at the expense of the mastery of technique and method. Accomplishment of technique and method was the focus of art education before the modernist era. ARC Approved™ Academies and studio-schools that teach classical realist drawing and painting have built on techniques developed during the Western European Renaissance and taught by the Guild Schools during the 17th century period of the Old Masters and use the most up to date methods of realist training. Unfortunately, through replacement and natural attrition, academically trained painters/instructors were removed from college and university teaching positions. Academic art training virtually disappeared by the mid 20th century.
12. If my college teaches a couple of courses or a foundation year that addresses realist painting technique, then does the school qualify?
The studio schools, academies, ateliers, programs and Master painters and sculptors we are talking about, concentrate on mastering classical drawing, sculpting, and painting techniques.
Students focus on technique throughout 3 to 5 years of intense training. An example of this training would begin with sight-size drawing technique, Bargue drawing, cast drawing and figure drawing from the live model, and lead into cast painting, figure painting, still life, portraiture, advanced portraiture and possibly landscape painting and plein-air.
Courses can include materials preparation, art history, and anatomy. Students are immersed in this training during three to five years of comprehensive study.
Example: Students do not progress by completing a grade and moving on to another "grade," i.e. freshman, sophomore, junior and then senior year. Instead, students accomplish one skill at a time, individually and to the best of their ability, and then move on to another skill or technique until they have mastered all the material being taught and have earned certification or a diploma. This educational method is called systematic progression and is that used in establishing the progress of apprenticeships, by the historic Guild Schools and by the Academies as exemplified by the Ecole Nationale Superieure Des Beaux-arts of 19th century France.
While some university programs are better than others, such programs cannot match the intense focus on skill-oriented material of the type that contemporary ateliers and ARC support. One or two classes in technique cannot compare to a comprehensive system of study.
13. What if I believe my program DOES meet ARC qualification criteria?
The ARC is seeking to support students who attend institutions or are apprentices to Master Artists who focus on teaching classical techniques. If you think that the entire program of study offered through your visual art educational program, art college, college or university does in fact meet the ARC's training criteria and mission, then please get back to us and also encourage your school to apply for ARC Approval™.
We will require a concise full-term program outline from the Dean, Director or Head of the Art Department at your school. The outline must cover all classes taught over the period of years required to complete the program of study. The outline will be presented to our Board of Trustees for review.
We suggest you discuss this with you program Director or Department Head. If that individual is in agreement with your own evaluation, please request that they contact ARC Director of Operations, Kara Ross, firstname.lastname@example.org.
14. "My college/art school is considered one of the best in the US. I don't think it requires nomination for addition the ARC Approved list of schools, so I'm just applying."
The process for nominating a school or program that is not included on the ARC list of recognized ateliers, studio schools and art programs are very clear. There is a required process for nominating a program of study that is not yet recognized by The Art Renewal Center, as noted above.
If an application is received from a student attending a non-recognized program of study that does not include the required information for nominating their school, that application will be considered incomplete and will be disqualified. Please have someone from your school contact us and direct them to review our school application process that can be found at http://www.artrenewal.org/pages/atelierapplication.php
15. How do I go about preparing JPEG images of my work for submission online?
ARC's panel of judges is located all over the world, making it necessary to evaluate applications via the Internet. Therefore, students who wish to apply are asked to apply via email and to submit not less than 10 and not more than 15 JPEG images (as close to 800x1200 pixels as possible) of their best work as attached files. We recommend that you crop and size your images using PhotoShop or similar editing tools. There are a number of ways of capturing the raw image depending on your available resources. The best thing to do is to have a professional scanning service capture the image. If the image is small you can use a flatbed scanner to capture the image. For larger images you may need to use a digital camera (no flash!) to capture the image. You can get some tips on good ways of doing this at http://www.diyphotography.net/taking_pictures_of_paintings
Images should be emailed along with the completed application, attachment, essay and student curriculum vitae (bio) to: email@example.com
16. I don't have the resources available to send scanned images of my work, what should I do?
The ARC Student Scholarship is an Internet-based competition. We strongly prefer that all entries be submitted in the form of high quality jpeg images that best reflect the color, tone and contrast of the original.
ARC believes that any student who plans to eventually market his work as a professional artist should logically make an effort to learn how to use Internet technology, and especially how to prepare high-resolution images of their work and send them as attached files with an email. We encourage students to make and effort and learn how to present their work in digital format.
Since we have a small staff and limited funding, we cannot take the time to prepare such files for you. If you cannot find a way to send us jpgs, unfortunately we cannot accept your application.
17. What if I miss the deadline?
Completed ARC applications and required supporting material must be received no later than the date indicated on the Scholarship Prospectus in order to qualify for consideration for scholarships.
No applications will be accepted if they are received after the deadline.
18. How should I send my application?
We suggest using Microsoft Word and completing your application on your computer.
Then save the file with a filename including your name such as John-Doe-Application.doc the file, save it and send it as an attachment file with your email to the ARC scholarship coordinator. Make sure your name is included in the subject line of every email sent.
Most students will have to send multiple emails due to the size of the files. Be sure to include in the Subject Line: Name, nature of file, the number of the file. Letters of recommendation may be sent in email format or as an attached file.
Example Subject Lines:
The ARC Scholarship will be judged internationally. We ask that every student make a special effort to submit applications via the internet. Please be aware that ARC is on a limited budget and with a very small staff. We do not accept slides or physically mailed photographs. We ask you to find away to convert these to a digital form and submit via e-mail.
19. Will the ARC mail me a physical application and copy of guidelines to my home or a specified address?
A downloadable application, guidelines and instructions are available on the Art Renewal Center website at www.artrenewal.org/pages/scholarshipapplication.php
Emails requesting that applications be physically mailed directly to the student will not be answered.
However, if a student is having difficulty accessing the ARC Website, he or she may email the Director of Operations, Kara Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org and the above noted documents will be return emailed to the student as attached files.
20. I have my own website which contains images of my work. Can I submit my website address in place of sending dedicated images as part of the application?
No. We accept a specific requested number of images. The scholarship must be consistent and websites will often contain additional images that might well provide the jury with more information than that provided by another applicant.
21. How will I know if I've won?
ARC Scholarship winners will be contacted by mail as soon as a decision has been made. The names of winners will be announced on the ARC Website.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Applicants who have not been chosen to receive an ARC Scholarship will not be contacted individually. However, an e-mail will be sent to all applicants once the results are posted on the ARC Website.
22. I may not be able to apply this year; will the Art Renewal Center be hosting another scholarship competition next year?
We anticipate conducting the contest on an annual basis as long as financial circumstances allow.
23. What kind of organization is ARC?
The Art Renewal Center is 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization dedicated to supporting students of fine art, and to providing a venue for research into visual art history. It is primarily funded by individual donors.
Part of our much broader mission is to recognize the artists of today and tomorrow, as well as the Masters of Realism throughout history. We believe that in order to support the rebirth of recognition and appreciation of realist art in our contemporary society, it is vital that we acknowledge the needs of those who will ultimately carry the torch of humanist art into the 21st century and beyond.
We hope that more of the individuals who write to us, praising our museum and goals, will become supporting members and ensure that projects like the ARC Scholarship will not only endure, but will expand to offer more awards and a larger first place fellowship in support of our most gifted and talented emerging painters and sculptors worldwide. If each of our visitors donated as little as a dollar, ARC could not only expand every one of its existing projects, but create an endowment to secure the scholarship program.