Studio Culture

Statement of Practice by the Studio Director

At Skin & Bones Studio, we engage in drawing as a deep practice and as a form of inquiry. We start with the Western, classical, time-honored idea and ideal of the human figure as the most astonishing form, and then use the artist’s craft to pursue it. Our craft also allows us to engage in exploratory action informed by non-Western ideals and non-Western art forms. We move into new territories to define and redefine everything—-including the artist, the figure, our encounters with the figure, our artistic practice itself, and our forms of construction and portrayal.

Skin & Bones Studio engages in this level of inquiry by creating a dynamic, safe and supporting learning environment, by welcoming adult practitioners of all levels of experience, by securing top instructors and staff, and by developing exploratory pedagogy grounded in deep craft knowledge. These four energies come together to generate unique and varied learning experiences, opportunities for exploratory action, and work dynamics that fuel the making of works that aspire to art.

As a community of creatives, Skin & Bones Studio recognizes that artistic studio practice is never inherently problematic—what can be problematic is ignorance within our walls, and beyond.

We do not support efforts that engage in distasteful, abusive, or exploitative energies towards the self or others through studio practice. When it comes to seeing, knowing, and doing, we fully reject any premise, assumption, presumption, any expectation or attitude, any behavior, any ideology, any environmental setting, any work method, any tooling or process tainted with abusive, voyeuristic, fetishizing, or otherwise exploitative energies or intentions.

We actively reject any attempts to use such energies at any time against the models, and/or the instructors and staff, and/or fellow artists; we also actively reject any attempts to use such energies or intentions against the space we share, our work processes, the aspiration to art that is the goal of our processes, and the actual works themselves—partial or complete.

We aspire to art in all that we say and do.

A.E. Soto-Canino
Director/Chief Instructor/Chief Safety Officer
Skin & Bones Studio/Academy of Art of Highland Park
Highland Park, NJ USA