“Beauty inspires Beauty”
It is an important part of SARA’s training philosophy that the environment, in which students learn and instructors teach, should be beautiful, inspiring, positive and uplifting. Naturally, this environment has a direct effect upon the work and attitudes of students and faculty.
The Teaching Schedule and Routine at SARA
The school is open from 8AM to 8PM Monday through Thursday, on Friday we might close at 5 PM or look at movies or sketch late into the night. Typically the school is open from 2PM to 6PM on Saturdays.
Each week, one of the SARA instructors is the official teacher-on-duty, and responsible for the regular training of all students. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the teacher-on-duty is assisted by a student teacher. The teacher is on duty between 8:00 -12:00 and 13:00-17:00 Monday to Thursday. On Friday classes are held in a variety of different subjects with different teachers and usually the day ends at 16:00.
Students work on their individual projects (ie: cast drawings, still life paintings, etc.) each and every workday, but there are also special activities and programs throughout the week. An instructor reviews a beginning student’s work twice every day — once in the morning and once in the afternoon. More advanced students are reviewed everyday but are expected to be able to work more independently. The flexibility of the program allows for more reviews if needed, or less if the student is progressing well. The instructors are constantly observing and analyzing every student’s progress and adapting their instruction to best assist each student.
Hans-Peter Szameit and Sanna Tomac, are the founders of SARA and creators of its educational program. As Director and Artistic Director, their primary responsibility is to supervise each individual student’s development and training. They are also responsible for supervising the other faculty members of the school. Every other Friday Hans and Sanna meet with the teacher-on-duty as well as the instructor who will teach the upcoming week. At this meeting, each student’s work and progress is discussed and goals are set for the coming two week.
Language of Instruction and student body
Because SARA is an international school, English is the primary language of instruction. SARA’s highly specialized education attracts students from around the world and typically, 30 to 40% of students come from other countries. The student body consists of both amateurs as well as professionals seeking to improve their skills. Students of SARA intend to work in a variety of fields upon graduation including fine art (as portrait, figure, landscape and still-life painters), illustration, and concept art within the film and computer game industry.
After class Activities
Official classes usually end at 17:00 every day, but the fun does not stop there! The staff and students of SARA are very serious about their work, but that said, we also enjoy socializing and having parties! There is a volunteer student party committee that organizes parties and everyone contributes a bit of time and effort to make each party great. The school has a comfortable and cozy lounge area for students to relax and chat with each other during breaks from their work, and there are many opportunities throughout the week for students to get together after school.
The students themselves have organized an additional portrait painting group that meets every Monday night, where they take turns posing as models for each other. On Tuesday evenings we have either an concept art class or a so-called “Fine Art Night” where students can work on a personal project or bring in their personal artwork from home to share with their colleagues while listening to music or just talking. On Wednesday evenings, students are encouraged to work on master copies together with the evening class. Thursday evenings SARA hosts an open kroki, after which there is a “fika” (a little get-together with coffee and tea and something sweet to eat) so that students can socialize with the visiting guests.
On Friday nights the students often like to get together to sketch or to watch a movie projected on our giant screen, complete with stereo theatre surround sound in the figure drawing room. Bring your own snacks and there are a limited number of comfortable reclining lawn chairs so reserve yours early! There is even a ping-pong table in the recreation room for those of you who enjoy that.
For many students, the school feels more like home than their own apartment and so they arrive early to have their breakfast here and only leave when its bedtime.
The size of the student body is kept small, which allows the instructors to provide each student with the highest degree of individual attention and the students to get better acquainted with each other, forming close ties and friendships. In addition, the smaller size gives a personal and human scale to the organization – similar to a busy working studio. The student body is a melting pot of nationalities and ages. Students come to SARA from all over the world and from all kinds of artistic backgrounds. Some students may be professional painters and others may have come right out of high school. Many dream of becoming fine artists, while others seek careers in the film and gaming industry. All students work in relatively close proximity so that beginning and advanced students mix freely. The result is an atmosphere which is inspiring, encouraging, fun and supportive.
If you would like to know what some current and former students have to say about this education, you can read their comments on the Testimonials page.
See what some of our Alumnis are creating today. Just click on their names to visit their blog/website/Instagram.