The Academy of Realist Art, Boston was established in the historic leather district of Boston in 2009 by Cindy MacMillan. We have grown into a cozy medium-sized academy that prides itself on providing a nurturing environment with enthusiastic instructors that care about their students while demanding the highest standards of performance from them. Students receive individualized practical instruction advancing at their own pace while working to achieve the highest levels of draftsmanship and painting skills. This intensive and focused teaching methodology has a proven record of success with students enrolling as beginners and those more advanced. 

We implement a curriculum that has been modeled after 19th century French Academies with refinements that reflect the modern world. Our instructors have studio space in the school and welcome having an open discourse about their own art and work experiences as a complement to their class instruction. We also offer numerous high quality workshops with in-house and outside instructors that we admire. For a downloadable pdf about our school click here.


ARA Boston Instructors at FACE conference

Eric Johnson will be faculty at the Figurative Art Conference and Expo in Williamsburg VA in November of this year. Julie Beck, received the 2019 Educator scholarship to attend FACE as well.

The Figurative Art Convention & Expo is designed to help artists accelerate their careers and elevate the quality of their work by allowing them to study under some of the finest artists in the world.You can watch demonstrations from top artists (we have big screen monitors so you can see every detail in high resolution). You can float from stage to stage for demos or speakers, some of which are top experts in the art world.

Recent Student and Instructor Accomplishments

2019 Guild of Boston Artists Gold Medal - Eric Johnson
2019 FACE Conference Educator scholarship award - Julie Beck
2019 Guild of Boston Art’s Award - Eric Johnson
2019 Stacey Scholarship: Brittany Haynes, Ryan Gondarowski, Eric Johnson
Richeson Annual Still Life and Floral Competition: Best in Show Instructor Julie Beck, Third Place Instructor Eric Johnson
Guild of Boston Artists Silver Medal: Instructor Julie Beck
ARC Scholarship 2018: Eric Johnson First Place, John Asimacopoulos and Noah Olsen Third Place
Richeson Figure and Portrait Honorable Mention: Instructor Garrett Vitanza
Head Start Competition Winner: John Asimacopoulos
Head Start Competition Honorable Mention: Brittany Haynes
2018 Stacey Scholarship Winners: John Asimacopoulos, Eric Johnson, Noah Olsen
ARC Salon Winners: Emanuela De Musis (1st and 2nd in Portrait)

Atelier Schedule

Fall Term 2019: Sept 9th to Dec 6th (no classes the week of Thanksgiving)
Winter Term 2020: January 6th to March 27th
Spring Term 2020: April 6th to June 26th

ARA has exceeded my expectations! The instructors in this school are highly accomplished artists, which in turn is reflected in their ability to instruct. Class sizes are small and support is abundant. If you are looking to improve your technical skills and observation abilities, this is the place to go. I cannot recommend this school enough!
— Ryan, Atelier Student
The mood and atmosphere of support, teaching of skill and technique as a way of sharing information, has been wonderful. There is never a time when one feels talked down to, or incompetent or in competition with other students. It is truly an inspiring place to be.
— Lynn, Atelier Student

Breakdown of Students