History and Purpose

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. It 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. 

Auseklis Ozols Founder and Director

Auseklis Ozols
Founder and Director

Dorothy J. Coleman President

Dorothy J. Coleman

The ancient disciplines of painting, sculpture and drawing have always attracted unique people with intense awareness of their sensations through non-verbal media. The ancient academies were collections of such people who sought 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 the 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 reinvestigation of traditional aesthetic values forms the strongest foundation for eventual creative expression and stylistic development. 

The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts admits students aged 16 and older of any race, color and national or ethnic origin, from all walks of life and levels of accomplishment. The novice works alongside more advanced students in a spirit of cooperation and fellowship. Entrance requirements are none other than a desire to learn.