Founder of AdA is Joke Frima
Joke Frima has taken the initiative to establish a non-profit organisation that is committed to promoting skill-based art education. She is not alone in this. A select group of colleagues and art-lovers support Frima in this initiative and have committed themselves to becoming founder members of the association.
For biography of Joke Frima click here
Stella Ehrich first studied painting at the Banff Center for the Arts in Banff, Alberta, Canada. She went on to study at the University of Michigan and then earned a Bachelors of Art degree from the Memphis Academy of Art in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. She and her husband Fred Brownstein lived in Italy from 1975-1991 and she studied at the Simi Studio from 1978-1985. She latter earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Bennington College in Vermont where she now lives.
Stella shows her paintings and drawings in various gallery settings and executes many private portrait commissions in the United States. She returns to Italy every summer, often taking groups with her to teach landscape painting.
Her web site is: http://stellaehrich.com/
Fred X Brownstein was born in Mississippi in 1946 and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. He attended Tulane University ( New Orleans, Louisiana ) from 1964 -1968 and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California. 1970.
Fred moved to Italy from 1975 through 1991 living in Stazzema. He apprenticed in the Pasquini sculpture studio from 1976 -1980 in Querceta and studied with Signorina Nerina Simi in Florence from 1980-1984.
From 1985 to 2019 Fred has completed eleven public sculpture commissions and his work is included in collections in Italy, Canada and the US. He is a Fellow member of the National Sculpture Society and professional member of the Stone Carvers Guild.
Born 1953 in the UK
Lives in Pietrasanta, Italy.
Anne grew up on a Dorset Farm and has cultivated a life-long passion for animals. As a child she showed a natural talent for drawing, but chose instead to study the science of Zoology at Swansea University. Later, in 1980, after 2 years of illustration and printmaking at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art, she enrolled in the Simi Academy of Art in Florence, Italy under Nerina Simi.
Since then Anne has made her home in Tuscany, Italy, having exhibitions in the UK, USA, NL, Italy and participating in group competitions and exhibitions internationally.
Besides her colourful paintings which seem to always have the sunshine somewhere in them, Anne is known for her animal bronzes. The most recent being a monumental-sized mute swan with the wings outstretched which was selected as one of the finalists in the International Realism, 13th Art Renewal Center Salon 2018. Because of her knowledge of the natural world Anne has been invited to participate in international conservation projects which have taken her to The Seychelles, Northern Finland, The Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan.
Anne occasionally conducts workshops.
Mr. Alexander Katlan has been a young student at Signorina Nerina Simi’s Studio between 1977-79. Mr. Alexander Katlan has participated in micro-chemical analysis and art conservation microscopy courses with Dr Walter McCrone of the McCrone Research Institute, Chicago Illinois. He was awarded in 1979, his Master’s of Fine Art Degree in painting conservation from Dominican University, Villa Schifanoia, Florence, Italy and a Master’s of Art Degree in Art History from Queens College, City University of New York, in 1987.
Mr. Katlan, of Alexander Katlan Conservator Inc. has established a fully equipped conservation laboratory to provide in-depth museum quality work, documentation of fine paintings and research. He has carried out art conservation work on European and American paintings including microscopic fiber and pigment analysis including Infra Red Reflectography. His laboratory also has available vacuum lining tables, bioptical microscope and suction cold table. He provides art conservation services to clients located in New York City, Long Island, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, Greenwich Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey as well as services to clients in other parts of the country.
Alexander Katlan Conservator Inc.
56-38 Main Street
Flushing, N.Y. 11355
Alessandra Marrucchi was born in Florence in 1951. After her high school diploma in arts, Alessandra attended a degree course in architecture at the University of Florence and studied graphic design at the Cappiello Academy. She regularly studied at Studio Simi from 1977 to 1982, except one year, 1979, when she was in California attending classes of portrait and nude at the University of California at Berkeley and landscape lessons at the Institute of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.
Returning to Italy, she started teaching painting and drawing and developed her art and started participating in exhibitions and competitions. In 1991 she exhibited her paintings with some of her colleagues from Studio Simi at the Mall Gallery in London.
Alessandra has always specialised in portraiture and figurative art. She is a member of the Portrait Society of America and Salmagundi Club in New York.
In 2018 one of her paintings was selected by The Representational Art Conference – TRAC 2018 in Leeuwarden (Holland) and another won the 3rd prize at the Competition Arts in Rome “The Portrait”.
In 2019 her self-portrait was selected as one of the finalists in the 14th International ARC Salon Competition, NY, and another portrait was selected for the Figurativas 2019 – 10th International Painting and Sculture Competition in Barcelona, Spain.
Mathieu Witmondt was born in 1953 in Amsterdam, where he still lives, although he spends a lot of time in France in the Parc Naturel Regional de Morvan.
Mathieu has been fascinated with nature since he was a child and his passion became his profession, working as a field biologist for the city of Amsterdam and as a biology teacher.
He felt that he needed a new challenge and to discover more of nature’s wonders. Mathieu went to South America where he stayed in the Amazon forest for 11 years,
On his return to Europe he found it difficult to settle back to his previous way of life and decided to collect art and natural objects, which he still enjoys doing and exhibiting in his unique “museum”, his “Summer Palace” in the beautiful Morvan.
“Remember nature is your teacher, I am your guide”, was a prevailing theme in the studio of Nerina Simi (1890 – 1987), where Charles Kapsner’s greatest learning as a painter occurred. His artistic roots are planted in the 15th Century, yet he remains a contemporary painter whose compositions fuse old and new. He works to ensure that both art and artist are accessible, and that the images serve as educational tools.
Designated in 2018 as ARC Associate Living MasterTM (ARCALM) by the Art Renewal Center, Charles is also a member of the Oil Painters of America (OPA), Portrait Society of America (PSA), Coast Guard Art Program (COGAP) and the Salmagundi Club. He received a Career Achievement Award from the Florence Biennale, Master Artist from the Five Wings Arts Council, a Public Service Commendation from the United States Coast Guard, and the Superior Volunteer Service Medal – the highest award given to a civilian by the Adjutant General of Minnesota National Guard.
Largely a studio painter, he prefers the “Vanitas” style of still life painting in which the various objects depicted symbolize the brevity and vanity of human existence.
Interwoven through several decades and in between his studio time are community-based art projects. In 2019, Kapsner completed the Veterans Education Historic Monument, a series of five 8’ X 10’ oil paintings installed in the Committal Hall at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery. Each painting depicts the stories of the men and women of each of the five U.S military branches.
He calls Little Falls, MN home, and travels frequently between Minnesota, North Carolina and Italy.
Willeke Frima was born in 1956 in Zoetermeer, the Netherlands. She attended drawing and textile training at the South-West Netherlands Teacher Training College in Delft in the Netherlands.
From about 1999 she started concentrating on drawing and painting in the classical style. She took drawing and painting lessons with Mieke Schaper and Joke Frima, whose lessons are specialised in skills-based classical training.
Popular subjects for Willeke to paint are portraits, animals and still-lifes. Willeke teaches painting and drawing at SAKB workshops in Amstelveen.
In 2019 Willeke was a finalist in the prestigious Dutch Portrait Prize. The Dutch Portrait Prize Exhibition took place in the stately castle of Zeist in the heart of the Netherlands.
Pam was born in Lismore, Australia in 1950.
Although she showed an aptitude for drawing and painting at an early age, she studied science and maths at high school and university completing a Bachelor of Science from Sydney University in 1972.
After teaching in Papua New Guinea for two years, she travelled to Florence, Italy, with the aim of enrolling in Studio Simi. She studied with the Maestra, Signorina Nerina Simi, for three and a half years from March 1977 until the end of June 1980. During this time she was awarded Elizabeth Greenshields grant.
Since her return to Australia in 1986, Pam has continued drawing and painting the figure,
portraits, still lifes, interiors and landscapes.Over the years she has been a finalist in major Australian competitions, winning the EMSLA – a prize for still life painting – in 2010. She has also been commissioned to paint portraits and still lifes.
For the last twenty years Pam has been exhibiting with Australian Galleries, Sydney and Melbourne. Her work is represented in public and private collections in both Australia and overseas.