Hans-Peter Szameit

Co-Founder, Director, Instructor

Hans is born in the US. He earned a degree in Literature and Philosophy from Augustana College in the United States before focusing his attention on art. He studied drawing and painting at The Florence Academy of Art, Italy from 1995-1998 where he also received a scholarship to teach while still a student. In 1999 he briefly studied with the painter Odd Nerdrum in Norway. In 2001 he founded Pantura Studios in the United States together with Sanna Tomac, where they worked and taught a growing group of students coming from across the country and abroad. In early 2006 they moved to Sweden and founded The Swedish Academy of Realist Art (SARA). Hans has been a main teacher and lecturer at SARA since it’s foundation and has a deep passion for teaching and sharing knowledge.  Hans’ paintings, drawings and etchings can be found in public and private collections throughout the world.

Sanna Tomac

Co-Founder, Artistic Director, Instructor


Sanna is born in Sweden. She studied drawing and painting at The Florence Academy of Art between 1996-1998.  Afterward, she studied briefly with the painter Odd Nerdrum in Norway together with Hans-Peter Szameit, being the first students from the FAA to connect with Nerdrum and the Norwegian school.  In 2001, Sanna and Hans founded Pantura Studios in the United States, and taught growing group of students on the same time as establishing her career and starting to take commissions.  In early 2006 Sanna and Hans moved to Sweden and founded The Swedish Academy of Realist Art (SARA, then called Atelier Stockholm).  Since then Sanna has devoted her time to teaching and developing SARA’s education as well as her own artistic work.  One of her most prominent paintings is a monumental ceiling painting commission for the Bååtska Palace in Stockholm.  She has also done a number of portrait commissions, of which one of Prins Bertil hangs at the Royal Swedish Palace.  Sanna’s paintings and drawings can be found in public and private collections throughout the world.

William Andersson Hägglund

Assistant Instructor

Instagram: Uiriamu

William is born in Sweden and trained at The Swedish Academy of Realist Art (SARA) in Stockholm, Sweden, where he served as a student teacher in his final year. Before studying at SARA, William went to boarding school where he studied sculpture, ceramics as well as drawing and painting. His passion for William-Adolphe Bouguereau influences his work.


Miles Johnston



Miles is born in the United Kingdom but as a young boy he lived in Borneo.  He has always been drawing but begun to seriously self-teach through art forums as a young teen. He studied at The Swedish Academy of Realist Art (SARA) from 2011 to 2014. Afterwards he free-lanced as an illustrator for publishers such as Wizards of the Coast and Applibot.  He has exhibited pencil works internationally and got experience in games’ studio. In 2015 he moved to Simrishamn and started teaching at SARA. He has a strong online presence where he shares his work, both digital and with his pencil drawings.

Sigrid Appelberg

Assistant Instructor

Instagram: appelz


Sigrid was born in Sweden and has always enjoyed drawing. She studied at The Swedish Academy of Realist Art between 2016 and 2019, where she was also a student teacher. Now she works with commissioned paintings and drawings as well as teaching at SARA.


Torgeir Fjereide

Assistant Instructor


Torgeir was born in Norway. He has been drawing and painting for most of his adult life and studied at the Swedish academy of Realist Art from 2014 to 2017. He served as a student teacher in his final year of school. Now he works as an illustrator and as an assistant teacher to the school

Tor faculty

Theodora Capat



Theo's huge still life copy

Pernilla Persson

Anatomy Instructor


Pernilla is born and raised in Sweden, but spent 11 years in the US where she obtained her Art education at California State University of Northridge with a major in animation. She spent a few years in the animation industry while starting to show her personal artwork at shows in and around LA. Parallell with her work in the studio, Pernilla is an Associate professor of Art at Uppsala University - Campus Gotland, Sweden, where she is renowned for her dynamic approach to drawing and painting. 

Per Elof Nilsson Ricklund

Guest Instructor Anatomy/Drawing


Per Elof Nilsson Ricklund was born in Örnsköldsvik in the northern part of Sweden. Growing up in an atmosphere full of artistic endeavours, early on instilled an awareness for art, painting in particular. His passion for stories and poetry was what instigated his journey, pen and brush being his tools of choice.
He attended the Florence Academy of Art in Gothenburg in his early twenties, where he got the responsibility to design and set up the schools program for anatomy, which he ran for some years. He was later offered the job as the Director of Anatomy at the Florence Academy campus in Italy. Here he got the opportunity to learn from the old masters in person, he spent almost a decade painting in Florence.
Per Elof now resides in his hometown in Sweden, where he works from and shares his experiences on art.

PENRicklund_Cyclopes studies
PENRicklund_Cyclops study

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

The Swedish Academy of Realist Art 

is supported by Simrishamn county

SARA is officially recognised by the Swedish National Board of Education and the education is overseen by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (Myndigheten för Yrkeshögskolan). 

The Swedish Academy of Realist Art 

is ARC ApprovedSM