General Program

Tuesday, May 1

  • Welcome by the municipality of Leeuwarden
  • Opening lunch hosted by the municipality  
  • Lecture: Michael Pearce PhD
  • Paper presentation by Max Ginsburg
  • Tour through the canals of Leeuwarden on barges
  • Opening of the 'Classical Art' exhibition hosted by the Classical Academy of Fine Arts Groningen
  • Optional: Visit to the museum exhibition about M.C. Escher
  • Lithography demonstration by Minno Banning
  • Woodburning demonstration by Nick Willems
  • Painting demonstration by Elvira dik


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 Ginsburg will explain his ideas on Social Realism.

Next, in classic Dutch style, you will be brought to the center of Leeuwarden in barges skilfully steered along historic canals to Leeuwarden’s ‘Frisian gallery’, for the opening reception of its retrospective exhibition of Northern Realist painters. You can also 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.

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 that are more or less related to art education. See Discussions Art & EducationMandy Theis will describe 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. 

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 city center of Leeuwarden: sign up here. (Materials will be provided by The Fine Art Collective.)

Thursday, May 3

  • 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
  • Painting demonstrations by Henk Helmantel on how to start a still life
  • Etching technique demonstrations by Reinder Homan
  • Egg Tempera Demonstration / workshop by Esther Leuvenink
  • Plein air painting sessions 
  • The International League of Fine Art Schools.
  • Announcement of Prix de Norvege

This day we will 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 International 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 continue: sign up here. (Materials will be provided by The Fine Art Collective)

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 the exhibition: "Romanticism in the North" and  “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 by The Fine Art Collective.)