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New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts


The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts is an institution dedicated to the advancement of the fine arts in this community. It was founded in 1978 by Auseklis Ozols for the serious study of traditional drawing and painting and was first located at 3218 Magazine Street. Mrs. Dorothy J. Coleman’s interest in the school led to its incorporation as a non-profit institution in 1980 and to substantial enlargement of its facilities at its present location.

The ancient disciplines of painting, sculpture and drawing have always attracted unique persons, intensely aware of their sensations through non-verbal media. The ancient academies were collections of such people in search of others like themselves, along with a place to share their ideas. Artists working in guilds or academies have accumulated a vast wealth of information, technical as well as aesthetic, over centuries. Artists learned from their master and in turn, pass their knowledge to future generations. The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts strives to continue this legacy by providing the facilities for serious study of the fine arts.

Of paramount importance is the study of the human form in all its attributes and applications of the fine arts. Portraiture, landscape, sculpture and their corresponding technical disciplines are included in the course of study. The Academy believes that a re investigation of traditional aesthetic values from the strongest foundation for eventual creative expression and stylistic development.

The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts admits students of any race, color and national or ethnic origin, from all walks of life and levels of accomplishment. The Novice works alongside more advance d students in a spirit of cooperation and fellowship. The student may be in search of an avocation or profession, regardless of age. Entrance requirements are none other than a desire to learn.


The faculty is comprised of well-known working artists distinguished in their fields. It is augmented by instructors skilled in technical specialties and visiting artists. The Academy feels it is essential to maintain a faculty of a wide range of disciplines. The current permanent faculty listings can change from year to year, as faculty members take sabbaticals or pursue special projects, in which case announcements are made of new faculty.


Three forces have made the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts the successful institution it is. The first is the inspirational force of Auseklis Ozols who established NOAFA in 1978. The second is the motivational force of Dorothy J. Coleman who joined the Academy in 1980 and facilitated the establishment of the Academy as a non-profit institution. The third is the managing force of Patsy Collins Adams who has overseen the daily activities of the school and the gallery since 1985.

There are more than 3,000 of them, over a span twenty plus years--300 at a given time. They include internationally-known children's book illustrators, local media celebrities, professionals of every stripe, retirees who've waited a lifetime to nurture their creative interests, young mothers who are escaping children for an afternoon, and people who will go on to make art their careers. Students at the Academy, whatever their interest or future, gain a firm foundation in the classical tradition on which to build a profession or develop an educated approach to art connoisseurship.
NOAFA is as much about the people as it is about the art. "It's a safe place, a refuge," says one student. Mrs. Coleman adds, "The ambiance is incredibly important. People want to be here. It's an island of escape, a second home, a place of camaraderie. We work hard, we're serious and we're appreciative."

The Academy accepts students of varying levels of attainment. Beginners often work alongside more advanced students. Students with degrees in art from other schools enter our studios to perfect skills. Beginners entering the school are encouraged to follow basic direction. An understanding of traditional materials and techniques is a prerequisite to the venture of experimental media. Familiarity with materials such as charcoal and conte crayon precede painting assessment. Students are encouraged to proceed at their own pace.

School name:New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts
Address:5256 Magazine Street
Zip & city:LA 70115 Louisiana
Phone:(504) 899 - 8111

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New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts Art School Location

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