ANDY JON NABONG, CO-FOUNDER AND INSTRUCTOR
Andy Jon Nabong originally comes from New York and Manila but currently lives in Vienna, Austria. He carried out post-graduate study in Psychology at the New School University, New York after graduating with a master’s in clinical psychology (with distinction) at the Long Island University, New York. He obtained his Bachelor in Arts and Sciences with a minor in Art History, as well as the completion of pre-med at Trinity College. Andy worked at several state psychiatric hospitals and cancer research institutes in New York. He has co-authored and published several studies in the fields of psychology and cancer research.
Andy has been passionate about art since early childhood. He attended classes at The Art Students League and Grand Central Academy, both in New York City. He also studied at the Academy of Realist Art in Canada, Florence Academy of Art in Italy, and in 2019 received a certificate from the Russian Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he went for an internship. Andy finds inspiration for his paintings and drawings from the tradition of Bouguereau, Velasquez, Rubens, Caravaggio, Rembrandt and the Renaissance painters. He has traveled extensively in Europe to study the art of the old masters. Andy has had several exhibitions in the USA and his works can be found in both American and European private collections. He is an active member of the Portrait Society of America, and of the Austrian Professional Association of Visual Artists (Berufsvereinigung der bildenden Künstler Österreichs).
After practicing as a therapist and researcher for a number of years, Andy left his job in 2016 to pursue his true vocation in classical art full time and to lay the groundwork for the foundation of a traditional fine arts atelier in Vienna.
MANUEL NIEDERHAFNER, ART INSTRUCTOR / ADMINISTRATOR
Manuel Niederhafner was born near Lake Constanz and grew up in small towns surrounded by beautiful landscape in Southern Germany. Early on he was fascinated by some of the expressive drawings by Egon Schiele and paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and vainly tried to understand the magic of creating.
Later he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg and came to appreciate the more calm and subtle works
of painters like Camille Corot, Johannes Vermeer and Vilhelm Hammershoi.
He also studied art conservation and restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 2018-2019
and did a 1-year internship at the “Germanisches National Museum” in Nuremberg.
In his teaching Manuel likes to encourage students to contemplate the beauty of our world, which is actually made out of light, as well as giving them the means to enfolding their own talents and making their inner movements visible.
To see Manuel’s work, please go to:
JACQUES VAN ENGEL, CO-FOUNDER AND ADMINISTRATOR
Jacques Van Engel is from Belgium. He has a Master of Art in Liberal Studies which he obtained at the State University of New York. He worked primarily for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Korea and Vietnam from 1985-1989 and in New York from 1989-2016. Jacques’s work was environmentally focused and specifically concerned with the protection of the earth’s ozone layer. He traveled extensively for his work in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The primary goal of his UNDP work was to provide industries with technical and financial assistance to shift away from harmful chemicals that destroyed the ozone layer.
After a fulfilling career at the UN for over 30 years, Jacques decided to devote himself fully to his two passions in life: meditation and art. This led Jacques to move to Vienna in March 2017. He founded a meditation center called The Still Point (see www.meetup.com/Der-stille-Punkt-Wien/ or watch his YouTube channel here). His lifelong interest in meditation relates to two traditions: Advaita and Zen. Jacques also co-founded the Vienna Atelier of Traditional Art, which focuses on traditional drawing and painting methods. Through the fulfillment of these two dreams, Jacques hopes to share wisdom with other interested truth seekers and to nurture artistic creativity and inspiration with interested artists.