2011 Alma Schapiro Prize Winner
Will St. John
“The allied fine arts which enliven the Institute’s mission is well served with this Prize allowing as it does a chance for the selected artist to advance his or her career in the Eternal City in the company of other artists and scholars enrolled concurrently at the Academy,” said Institute President Paul Gunther. The endowment allowing the prize’s has been made possible by a grant from the Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund.The Alma Schapiro Prize is designed to advance the career of an artist recipient and to foster the continuity of knowledge of the classical tradition as a vital aspect of contemporary culture around the globe. The centerpiece of the prize is a three-month affiliated fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, the premier American overseas center for independent study and research in the fine arts and humanities.
Previous recipients include D. Jeffrey Mims and Michael Grimaldi (2007).
Will states on his application that his “intention is to complete a life-sized classical figure sculpture combining the knowledge acquired from the close study of nature with the artistic conventions observed in antique and Renaissance statuary.” The fellowship will allow him to directly study the conventions of classical sculpture through sustained exposure to specific masterworks.
Will graduated with a degree in creative writing and linguistics from the New School for Social Research in New York City in 2003. His desire to learn the techniques of traditional painting and drawing brought him to Nelson Shanks’ class at the Art Students League of New York. He later moved to Philadelphia to study full-time at Studio Incamminati with Shanks. Will then went on to attend Studio Escalier in France where he studied under Tim Stotz, Michelle Tully, and Ted Seth Jacobs. Upon his return to New York, Will sought out his current teacher and mentor, Jacob Collins, and enrolled at the Water Street Atelier. Currently, Will is a graduating sculpture student at the Grand Central Academy of Art.