General Program

Henk Helmantel
Welcome to TRAC2018, held at the WTC hotel and conference venue in Leeuwarden!
Your hosts: The Classical Academy of Fine Arts, the Municipality of Leeuwarden, and the Classical Salon Foundation

Tuesday, May 1

Tuesday, May 1

  • Opening lunch with a brief welcome by the Mayor of Leeuwarden: Ferd Crone
  • Lecture: Michael Pearce PhD
  • Presentation by Max Ginsberg
  • Tour through the canals of Leeuwarden on barges
  • Opening of the ‘Classical Art’ exhibition
  • Visit to the museum exhibition about M.C. Escher
  • Lithography demonstration by Minno Banning, plus many more demonstrations

Today we have set aside time for getting acquainted with your fellow attendees, the venue, and the conference program. The conference opens with a lecture by the founding father of The Representational Art Conference, Michael Pearce PhD. After that,  Max Ginsberg will explain his ideas on Social Realism.

Next, in classic Dutch style, you will be brought to the center of Leeuwarden in barges skillfully steered along historic canals to Leeuwarden’s ‘Frisian gallery’, for the opening reception of its retrospective exhibition of Northern Realist painters.  We’ll step next door to the Fries Museum, where an exhibition of the work of artist M.C. Escher is on view. You may also observe a demonstration of lithography given by Minno Banning at the Graphic Centre Friesland. In the evening, visit our other demonstration artists as they work at the conference venue, Wiliam Oberst will present a short film and you can enjoy meeting your fellow delegates.

Wednesday, May 2

Wednesday, May 2

  • Keynote lecture: Stephen Hicks
  • Keynote lecture: Mandy Theis
  • Keynote lecture: Ernst Van De Wetering & Gezien van de Riet
  • Panel discussion about skill-based art education and the need for an international organisation of art education institutions
  • Plein air painting sessions
  • Woodblock cutting demonstration by Siemen Dijkstra
  • Painting demonstration by Conor Walton
  • Sculpture demonstration by Margot Homan
  • Papers about 21st Century representational art

Our day begins with a keynote address from Stephen Hicks with a remarkable analysis of post-modernism and the future of representational art , followed by presentations of papers by other members of our distinguished faculty. Mandy Theis describes the extraordinary successes of The Da Vinci Institute, which is transforming art education in many states across the U.S., including California and New York. We will lunch together, then hear the renowned Rembrandt expert Ernst Van De Wetering speak, in dialogue with Gezien van de Riet and we enjoy demonstrations by studio artists including Conor Walton and the Dutch sculptor Margot Homan. 
This will be followed by papers about 21st Century representational art, more or less related to art education. See Discussions Art & Education .

For those who seek variety, a demonstration of woodblock cutting will be given by Siemen Dijkstra at the Graphic Centre Friesland.
And experienced Dutch teachers will be leading a plein air painting session in the picturesque city center of Leeuwarden: sign up here. (Materials will be provided through the generous sponsorship of The Fine Art Collective.)

Thursday, May 3

Thursday, May 3

  • Keynote lecture: Andreas Blühm
  • Discussions with Odd Nerdrum about Kitsch
  • Keynote lecture: Dr. Corinna Wagner
  • Papers about 21st Century representational art
  • Panel discussion about skill-based art education by Kara Ross and Tom Hageman
  • Demonstrations by Henk Helmantel (painting) and Reinder Homan (etching techniques)
  • Plein air painting sessions
  • The International League of Fine Art Schools.

We begin the day with an important address from Groninger Museum director and curator Andreas Blühm. We then enjoy papers presented by several of our fellow delegates. After lunch  Odd Nerdrum will give some statements about art  Dr. Corinna Wagner speaks, and we enjoy demonstrations by Henk Helmantel on how to start a still life.  This will be followed by papers about 21st Century representational art combined with discussions on Art  & Assessment and a panel with Kara Ross and Tom Hageman who will discuss the relationship between standards for assessment and for education in art.

In the evening we will be witness of the official investigation of a new organisation: The Internationnal league of Fine Art Schools.
A new prize benefitting art students worldwide will be  announced by Egbert Pijfers: the Prix de Norvège.

A demonstration of etching techniques will be given by Reinder Homan at the Graphic Centre Friesland. Opportunities for plein air painting with members of the Classical Academy continue: sign up here. (Materials will be provided through the generous sponsorship of The Fine Art Collective.)

Friday, May 4

Friday, May 4

  • Keynote lecture: Joseph Bravo
  • Plein air painting sessions
  • Grand museum tour to
    • Groninger Museum – “Romanticism in the North”
    • Drents Museum – “The American Dream” 1945 – 1965
    • Kunsthalle Emden – “The American Dream” 1965 – Today
  • Closing dinner
  • Final address from Michael Pearce PhD

Joseph Bravo begins the day with an energizing speech. Delegates can choose to watch a demonstration at the conference venue, or they can make a “grand tour” by bus to the Groninger Museum to see Romanticism in the North, an exhibition of works by Kaspar David Friedrich, Turner, and other Northern European artists from the 1800s. Next we visit “The American Dream,” an exhibition of American realism from WW2 through today, presented at two veues: In the Netherlands, the Drents Museum (Assen) surveys American realist art made from 1945 to 1965; just across the border in Germany, the Kunsthalle Emden examines American realism after 1965. The project’s U.S.-based advisor Peter Trippi will discuss this show and the role of representational art in the 21st Century.

We conclude this busy day–and our entire conference–back at the WTC with a delicious dinner and a stimulating final address from Michael Pearce.

Opportunities for plein air painting with members of the Classical Academy continue: sign up here. (Materials will be provided through the generous sponsorship of The Fine Art Collective.)

Saturday, May 5

Saturday, May 5

Post-conference entertainments: see this website’s Activities page.
May 5 is Liberation Day in the Netherlands with numerous festivities on offer throughout the country.

A more exact timetable will be ready about 3 weeks before the start of the conference.