To teach excellence in drawing, painting and sculpture using methods inspired by the Renaissance and 19th century Masters, and adapted for today's learners.
The REAL Academy of Art Colorado teaches the fundamentals of drawing, painting and sculpting using methods that have withstood the test of time.
REAL’s name is derived from Renaissance Alive, a nod to the Renaissance masters of realism. Based in Denver, REAL is Colorado’s first and only art school certified by the Art Renewal Center (ARC), one of the world’s most respected fine art organizations. ARC is the foremost authority and evaluator of representational art schools. Schools earning its highly coveted seal of approval provide not only art instructors and teaching curricula of outstanding quality — but also nurture students whose artwork demonstrates mastery of fundamental skills.
REAL is committed to helping its students become professional artists if they wish by providing them with the guidance and resources they need to move from “hobbyist” and “amateur” to “business owner” and “professional” in the digital age. REAL also is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone.
The REAL Academy of Art Colorado is the first and only art school in Colorado certified by the Art Renewal Center, one of the world's most respected fine art organizations.
Our Board of Directors
Board President Marlene Kort
Marlene has been a professional artist for more than 20 years. She has held board positions, maintained membership in many art organizations and has gallery representation for her work. She also has taught art in workshops and with private students. Marlene holds a master’s degree in public health with a focus on community organizations.
Board Secretary Anne Marie Kratz
Denver-based visual artist Anne Marie Kratz has developed her art skills over several years at Iowa State University, University of Denver, Art Students League of Denver and The REAL Academy of Art. Having previously worked in the salon industry, Anne Marie’s creative evolution took her to REAL, where she made a career change and enjoys helping others do the same.
Director Christine Tatum Thurstone
Christine is an award-winning journalist who comes from a family of award-winning artists and artisans. Her Denver-based communications consulting company, Media Salad, Inc., specializes in helping artists share their work with the world and build thriving businesses.
Director Christine Nelson McCandless
Christine is a retired International Baccalaureate math teacher who was attracted to serve on the board by REAL Art Director Ali Ghassan's vision and passion for educating new artists. Christine is an active volunteer in the Denver community. She holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.