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About Studio Incamminati

Nelson and his wife Leona Shanks founded Studio Incamminati to provide a place where artists devoted to realism could study painting and acquire other skills necessary for successful artistic careers. Created in the tradition of the Italian academia and the French atelier, the school’s name “Incamminati” is derived from the 16th century Bolognese Academia degli Incamminati, and can be translated from Italian as “those who are progressing.” Over four centuries ago, the Acedemia degli Incamminati was formed because Mannerism had channeled Italian painting away from the classically inspired realism that had shaped it from the time of Giotto. Similarly, Studio Incamminati has been founded in the belief that the classic principles of realism provide a foundation for the future of art in our society.

On a daily basis, artists at Studio Incamminati practice the techniques of drawing and painting as the basis for developing the tools of creative expression and meaningful visual communication. Students travel from around the world to enroll each year for evening, weekend and summer classes. With tuition at a fraction of average art school tuition, the school only accepts about a dozen full-time students into its intensive full-time Professional Program each year. Masters in specialized subjects such as academic drawing, anatomy, art history and aesthetics augment the dynamic teaching program with frequent lectures, workshops and museum visits.


Studio Incamminati is a unique center of art where the highly inspired come and develop. We exist to meet the expressed needs of those eager to learn the aesthetic and philosophical principles of realism and the techniques practiced by Nelson Shanks. We teach artists whose art and teaching will inspire. As Studio Incamminati and the Incamminati movement progress and as our students master the practices needed to develop careers and lives in the arts, Incamminati's influence will be felt worldwide.

“If our culture, present and future, is what a society leaves for posterity, then together we can touch immortality by creating that which makes us proud.”

Nelson Shanks
Founder & Artistic Director

About The Artists

Jeffrey Allon
Jeffrey was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and received a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in fine arts from Hampshire College and a Certificate in Art from Croydon College of Art in London. After his studies, he spent a year in Italy, painting and studying Italian renaissance art. From 1979 to 1997 he lived in Israel, working as a fine-arts studio print technician, art teacher and children’s book illustrator. Since returning to the U.S., he has continued his work as a freelance illustrator and teacher. He began studies at Studio Incamminati in 2005. Jeffrey has studied under Robert Motherwell, as well as Arthur Hoener, who was a student of Hans Hoffman and Josef Albers. In his capacity as a fine-arts lithographer, he has printed editions for artists including Jim Dine. Jeffrey’s art has been exhibited in one-man and group shows in Israel and the United States. He lives with his wife Shelly and family in Elkins Park, Pa.

Paige Chin
A Philadelphia native and second-generation artist, 17-year-old Paige was inspired to make art at a very young age by her mother, a realist oil painter. Paige has studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Moore College of Art and Design, where she won a full merit-based scholarship to the Young Artists Workshop. After attending an Emerging Artists Program at Studio Incamminati at age 14, she realized that the studio’s realist teachings and intimate atmosphere were a perfect match for her. Paige graduated high school one year early and attends Studio Incamminati full time

Mary Louise Clair
Mary Louise, who grew up in northern Virginia, followed her passion for the natural world to a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Studio Art from George Mason University. After graduating in 2003, she spent several years working in quality assurance for a private forensic DNA lab while searching for a school to seriously study oil painting. Her search led her to Studio Incamminati and a move to Philadelphia. She is in her second year of the studio’s full-time, intensive Professional Program and has studied at workshops under Michael Grimaldi, Jon deMartin and Patrick Connors. She has exhibited at The Union League of Philadelphia.

Farley Craig
Farley was working in retail in Eugene, Ore., when he read an Artist’s Magazine piece on Nelson Shanks which inspired him to come to Studio Incamminati. The University of Oregon graduate, now in his second year of the Professional Program, supports his tuition by monitoring Open Studio Sessions on weekends, where artists from the community paint life models alongside studio students.

Jon deMartin
Jon, an instructor at Studio Incamminati, received his B.F.A. in Filmmaking from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He has studied with Nelson Shanks, Michael Aviano, Gustav Rehberger and, independently, with Daniel Greene. Additionally, he trained in cast drawing with Millet Andrejevic and Edward Schmidt. Jon is represented by Hirschl & Adler, New York; John Pence Gallery, San Francisco; and The Classical Gallery, Alexandria, Va. He is an instructor at the Art Students League, N.Y.; the Lyme Academy, Conn. and the New York Academy.

Joe Dolderer
Convinced that the mastery of a fine art demanded his undivided attention, Joe - who had studied piano for years - plunged into art after seeing Nelson Shanks on television. After a year studying in Studio Incamminati’s Portfolio Program four nights a week, Joe made the commitment to become a full-time student in the Professional Program. His main interest is painting the human figure, something he hopes to do as a professional.

Kerry Dunn
Kerry joined Studio Incamminati in 2002 after studying with Nelson Shanks at the Art Students League in New York. He has taught in the Incamminati Professional Program, the Portfolio Program Evening Classes, a painting workshop with fellow instructor, Leona Shanks and at Nelson Shanks’ Intensive Painting Workshops at Studio Incamminati and at the Armory Arts Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. In February 2007, Kerry and fellow Instructor Robin Frey will conduct an Incamminati workshop at the Sarasota Art Center in Florida.
Kerry’s work has been exhibited in the Studio Incamminati group exhibitions at the Chauncey Center, Princeton, N.J., the Daylesford Abbey, Paoli, Pa., and the annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tour (POST) exhibition at Studio Incamminati. His work is in the collections of Larry and Anne Hall, W. Bryce Thompson and Anne Van Lent.
Kerry earned a B.F.A. from the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla., where he was awarded the Best of Ringling award for three consecutive years. He also won the 1998 Marie Zurich Award for Painting. Kerry continued his studies at the Art Students League in New York before moving to Philadelphia to study at Studio Incamminati.

Stephen Early
Steve, who served as Nelson Shanks’ teaching assistant at the Art Students’ League in New York, joined Studio Incamminati at its 2002 opening. In addition to his role of Curriculum Advisor and Instructor in the studio’s Professional Program, Steve has taught Portfolio Program Classes and the Emerging Young Artists Program.
Among his notable commissions are the Hon. Judge William Hart Rufe III of Bucks County, Pa.; Stanley Angelo Sr. and Romolo Angelo of Philadelphia; and Henry Siegel of Moorestown, N.J.
Steve’s work is included in the Larry and Anne Hall Collection as well as the Westinghouse Lighting Corporation, SeaGull Lighting Company, and Mr. and Mrs. William Noonan. He has served as principle instructor in Nelson Shanks’ Intensive and Advanced Painting Workshops at Studio Incamminati; Armory Arts Center Workshops in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Workshop, and the New York Academy of Fine Arts Workshop. In 2006, he was invited to reach “Figure Painting Workshop with Stephen Early” in Charlotte, N.C.

Robin Frey
Robin, who has studied at the studio since its 2002 inception, has received the Portrait Society of America National Conference Scholarship and the Award of Excellence at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists Juried Show, Ridgefield, Conn. She has participated in group exhibitions at The Union League of Philadelphia; Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, N.Y. and the Chauncey Conference Center, Princeton, N.J.
Her work has been exhibited at the Philadelphia Sketch Club Juried Show; the Main Line Art Center, Haverford, Pa.; Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, N.J; the Artists’ House Gallery, Philadelphia, Pa. and the State Art Museum Juried Show, Harrisonburg, Va. Her work is in the Larry and Anne Hall Collection and the collections of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Weiler and Mrs. Edward I. Haupt.
She holds a B.F.A. from Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Va.

Rob Goodman
Before a workshop with Nelson Shanks inspired him to attend Studio Incamminati, Rob worked for several years as a social worker in North Philadelphia. He is studying figure drawing and painting through the exploration of gesture and form. The Philadelphia native received a B.A. in theater arts from Drew University and is working toward his goal of becoming a portrait artist.

Jennifer Hagen
After working as a commercial artist for several years, Jennifer moved from Clearwater, Fla., to attend the full time Professional Program at Studio Incamminati in 2006. She has participated in art exhibits since her first exhibition in 2000 at the Tampa (Fla.) Museum of Fine Art.

Anne E. Hall
Anne turned from a successful career in book publishing and marketing to the serious pursuit of painting. In addition to studying with Nelson Shanks, she serves on the board of Studio Incamminati and has edited two catalogs of the master’s work. Her goal is to use color, line, shape and atmosphere to tell a story as well as she can with words. Anne is married to Larry Hall.

Natalie Italiano
Natalie, who served an apprenticeship with Nelson Shanks in the 1970s, has been with the studio since its opening. She teaches Still Life Drawing in the Studio Incamminati Professional Program and assists in the Portfolio Program. She is an instructor in the Nelson Shanks Intensive Painting Workshop and taught at Shanks’ workshops in West Palm Beach, Fla., and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Natalie has received the Portrait Society of America National Conference Scholarship; the Recognition Award for Contribution to the Arts, Haddonfield, N.J. and a Scholarship to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her works are in the Larry and Anne Hall Collection and the collections of Mr. and Mrs. R. Mooney; Mr. and Mrs. J. Paneyko; Mr. and Mrs. James R. Abbott and Ms. Gloria Evangelista. Natalie has a Teaching Certificate from the Moore College of Art, a B.A. from Rowan University and a Certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Peter Kelsey
Peter is a student at Studio Incamminati. He is Chicago native where he has worked as a portrait artist and muralist. He has trained at the School of Representational Art in Chicago under Bruno Surdo.

Darren Kingsley
Darren, a member of Studio Incamminati’s Professional Program faculty, has conducted a workshop in ‘Form Painting with the Figure.’ His teaching experience also includes Nelson Shanks’ Intensive and Advanced Painting Workshops at Studio Incamminati and workshops in West Palm Beach, Fla. Darren won the prestigious American Society of Classical Realism Scholarship in 2000, and was a finalist in American Artist Magazine’s “Realism Today” competition.
Darren, who joined the studio in 2003, has studied with Nelson Shanks, Michael Grimaldi, Anthony Ryder, Robert Liberace and Ted Seth Jacobs. He studied at the Art Students' League in New York, and spent four years at The Atelier in Minneapolis, instructing in drawing and painting.
His work is in the collection of the Union League of Philadelphia and Studio Incamminati as well as many private collections including those of Nelson and Leona Shanks, Dr. and Mrs. Allen Kwon, Mr. Christopher Cimarusti, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Paneyko and the Larry and Anne Hall Collection. Darren is represented by the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco.

Kelli Kuest
Growing up in Napa, Calif., Kelli’s passion for art already was evident. She attended the California State Summer School for the Arts as well as The Oxbow School, a fine-art boarding school. She began studies for a degree in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, but a summer Intensive Painting Workshop with Nelson Shanks prompted her to enroll full-time at Studio Incamminati. She is in her second year of studies at the studio, and her prime interest is the human form.

Chia-Fang Lu
Before her arrival at Studio Incamminati in 2003, Chia studied at the Art Students League of New York (where she was awarded a Merit Scholarship), the Continuing Education Program at the New York Academy of Figurative Art, and Greenwich House Pottery. She holds a B.A. from the City College of New York University.

Erin McGrath
Erin attended a Studio Incamminati workshop in 2004 and knew immediately she wanted to pursue art there. She began formal studies at the studio in 2005 after graduating from Connecticut College that year.

Ruth Miller
After several years as a high school English teacher, Ruth took a sabbatical to attend Studio Incamminati part time. The experience, she says “exhilarated” her and the following year became a full time student in 2006. Ruth traces her interest in art to her childhood, when, inspired by her environment, she would find a quiet place and draw for hours. She is the artistic director for the Tibetan Refugee Fund where she has contributed paintings for sale and exhibition. She studied under Studio Incamminati instructors Kerry Dunn, Robin Frey and Chia-Fang Lu, as well as Phillip Corey. Her work is in several private collections including that of Dr. Christopher Hillman. She has been exhibited in the Red Cross of Central New Jersey auction, the Union League of Philadelphia auction and the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours.

Yoni Park
Yoni comes from a talented Philadelphia family in which both sisters are professional musicians. She was a pianist for 20 years but recently realized that her true passion is the visual arts. She was accepted into the full-time Studio Incamminati program in 2002 where she has developed her personal style of painting. She looks forward to still life and portrait work.

Diane Rappisi
Diane joined Studio Incamminati’s full-time Professional Program in 2006, after completing two semesters in the Portfolio Programs and working in the administrative office. She has participated in workshops with Robert Liberace, Steve Early and Darren Kingsley, sculptor Phillipe Fauraut, and Daniel Greene.
Diane’s work has been exhibited in invitation solo shows at Medford Leas Gallery, Medford, NJ, and Tavistock Country Club, Haddonfield, N.J.
Diane also has exhibited in the Red Cross of Central New Jersey Auction, the Union League of Philadelphia Auction and the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours.
Diane is active in her local New Jersey arts community, teaching in local programs and serving as Chairman of the Medford Cultural Arts Commission, and President of the nonprofit Friends of the Medford Cultural Arts Commission.
She holds a Nonprofit Management Certificate from the University of Delaware and is completing her B.S. in Management Science from the University of Maryland.

Katherine Savage
Katherine moved to Philadelphia to study at Studio Incamminati after meeting Nelson Shanks in New York. She has studied figure drawing at the Art Students League of New York and the Woodstock School of art with anatomists Dean Keller and Michael Burbon. Katherine’s is included in the collections of Chukky Okobi, Max Starks and Joey Porter of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Olympic Equestrian Todd Minikus and Juddmonte Farms. She has shown work at the Salmagundi Club in New York City and the Trustee’s Room at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.
Katherine received her B.F.A. from Skidmore College where she was class valedictorian.

Liora Seltzer
Liora, who studied architecture, has been a Studio Incamminati student for three years. She studied at several different schools before finding what she calls a new “language” at Studio Incamminati. Liora exhibited in auctions at the Red Cross of Central New Jersey and the Union League of Philadelphia and staged a solo show in Philadelphia.

Leona Shanks
Leona, with husband Nelson is co-founder of Studio Incamminati. Since entering the studio’s Professional Program in 2002, Leona has attended workshops offered by notable affiliated faculty Jon deMartin, Michael Grimaldi, Robert Liberace, Anthony Ryder, Dan Thompson and Ted Seth Jacobs.
Her work has been exhibited at the Union League of Philadelphia; the Chauncey Center, Princeton, N.J.; Studio Incamminati’s Annual Exhibition, Philadelphia; the Cosmopolitan Club, Philadelphia; and the Daylesford Abbey, Paoli, Pa.
Leona’s paintings are included in the Larry and Anne Hall Collection as well as the private collections of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Weiler, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Mertz, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick C. Haab, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Humes, Ms. Mickey Graham, and Mrs. Irene Goldman.
Leona attended classes at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and The Arts Students League in New York.
Leona won the 2002 Edmund Stewardson Award for Sculpture at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She studied sculpture with Evangelos Frudakis at Frudakis Academy in Philadelphia.

Lea Colie Wight
In addition to serving on the Studio Incamminati faculty, Lea has taught at Nelson Shanks Intensive and Advanced Painting Workshops; the Armory Arts Center Workshops in West Palm Beach, Fla., and was principle Instructor in the 2007 Summer Intensive Painting Workshop at the Studio. She also has been a teaching assistant to Nelson Shanks at the Art Students League in New York. She has studied with Michael Grimaldi, Robert Liberace, Anthony Ryder and Ted Seth Jacobs.
She has participated in many group exhibitions including the Chauncey Center in Princeton, N.J; the annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, The Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club Annual Open Juried Exhibition; the N.J. American Artist’s Professional League Fall Open Juried Show and the Monmouth Festival of the Arts Juried Exhibition.
Lea earned a B.F.A. from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and studied printmaking at Georgian Court College in Lakewood, N.J.
Lea’s work is in the private collections of Mr. and Mrs. George Harms; Mr. and Mrs. James Orphanides; Mr. and Mrs. Biggins; Mr. J. McFadden; Mrs. Carol Fitzgerald; Navy Cmdr. Ellen Emerson and the Larry and Anne Hall Collection; and can be seen at Main Street Gallery, Manasquan, N.J.

Bruce Winsor
Bruce in his fourth year as a full-time student at Studio Incamminati, previously, studied for several years at the Art Students' League of Denver, Colo. and attended the summer program at the Florence Academy of Art. He also attended numerous workshops with various well known artists. Bruce is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters' Association, the American Society of Marine Artists, and a past member of the Art Students' League of Denver and Pictura (Lund, Sweden). Bruce has a B.S. from the University of Missouri at Rolla and an M.S. from the University of Texas at Arlington, both in electrical engineering, and a J.D. in law from the University of Denver.
Before coming to Studio Incamminati he was General Counsel and Sr. Vice President for Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property for Gambro, Inc., a major healthcare products and services company.

Noelle Wister
Noelle, who has been fascinated by the visual language of paintings since childhood, has had her paintings exhibited at the Wingspread Gallery in Northeast Harbor, Me., and in her own private showing in Philadelphia. She also has participated in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art's Summer Student Show and her work is held in several private collections.

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