The Swedish Academy of Realist Art (SARA), was founded in 2006 by Hans-Peter Szameit and Sanna Tomac as Scandinavia’s first school of fine art dedicated to traditional, realistic drawing and painting.

SARA provides the highest level of training in realistic drawing and painting using traditional techniques and methods of the Renaissance, 18th and 19th-century European and Russian academies, as well as outstanding contemporary methods. Students acquire skills that allow them to create personal, contemporary works of art that meet the standards of excellence and professional craftsmanship set by master artists centuries ago.

SARA is officially recognised by the Swedish National Board of Education and is overseen by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (Myndigheten för Yrkeshögskolan). Swedish students are eligible for CSN student loans and SARA is listed as a PCDL provider by the United Kingdom.

SARA is recommended by the Art Renewal Center as an ARC Accredited atelier.

Reasons to study at the Swedish Academy of Realist Art


SARA is located in the attractive coastal town of Simrishamn, in the beautiful region of Österlen – famous for it’s natural beauty and artistic tradition – in the South of Sweden. Simrishamn offers SARA and its students many benefits, including a high standard of living at a low cost. It is a small town, and most students find accommodation only a 5 -10 minute stroll from the school, which promotes a relaxed quality of everyday life and leaves more energy to focus on ones studies.  In fact, most things are within walking distance, like food stores, restaurants, shops, train station, library, the sea, beaches, etc.  Also, continental Europe is very close, with the large cosmopolitan city of Copenhagen, Denmark, less than 2 hours away by train. 

School environment

SARA is housed in an impressive 19th-century building that perfectly supports its beautiful, inspiring and uplifting leaning environment. The staff and students come from all over the world and are from all kinds of artistic backgrounds and ages. Many students think of the school as a home away from home. They cook most of their meals here and enjoy hanging out after hours to sketch, socialize or watch a movie together, only leaving when it’s bedtime.  SARA is a intimate school. We all feel like a family here and prioritize communication and support, both regarding artistic development as well as on a personal level.


SARA’s teachers love their work, which contributes to the overall positive atmosphere of the school.  They are highly skilled artists, who have active careers outside the school. Most are alumni of SARA, and so have an intimate and personal knowledge of the school and it’s work methods, which results in consistent instruction. Teachers also play a direct and active role in developing and improving the school, and feel personally invested in SARA.  Some faculty have their studio at the school, others in their homes, but regardless, students are invited to visit and learn from the personal work created by the faculty. Students also get the opportunity to work on projects side-by-side with their teachers, a process that is extremely valuable and stimulating. 

Individuality and creativity

SARA takes pride in making the extra effort to foster each individual student’s personal voice while they learn within the larger academic framework. We want our students to grow into themselves, not develop a “look” to their work that can be attributed to a certain school. When the academic training is very strict and structured, and a great part of the focus is technical, there can be a loss of creativity.  This intensive pursuit of technical excellence can almost make one forget why one wanted to paint in the first place.  At SARA, our goal is to help students maintain their passion and purpose, and to never forget that technique exists not for its own sake, but as a important tool towards achieving creative freedom. 

Contact SARA


The Swedish Academy of Realist Art (SARA)      Lilla Norregatan 17     272 31 Simrishamn, Sweden     +46 (0)414 68 44 71

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