Studio History

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Los Angeles

The Vaugel Sculpture Studio first started in 1976, in Venice, California. Martine Vaugel started her sculpture school along with two figurative painters, who started a painting school. The combined effort was called "The Venice Painting Drawing and Sculpting Studio".  It became a nonprofit art educational corporation in 1977 and flourished, in various forms, until 1986.

Many international artists came to the studio to draw, talk, paint, talk, sculpt, argue and drink coffee. It became a hub of intellectual stimulation for the then growing counter culture that figurative artists, and students of the figure, represented. Jan Saether, one of the painters who started the studio school with Martine, is now a most renowned painting instructor in Norway, and Odd Neurdron, who was a frequent visitor, the most famous painter in Norway. Figure sculptors and painters from all over the world who found themselves lost in the so called "contemporary" art world of Los Angeles would find themselves a "home" in the studio. Musicians, actors, writers and dancers found their way to the studio as well, and it became a creative Mecca for many artists whose lives were forever touched.

After a year of being open, thirteen artists, from America, Israel, Yugoslavia, Rumania, Canada, Italy, France and Norway were teaching their skills to young figurative artists who could not find in any universities or off campus classes, the quality and technical instruction they sought and found in the Venice Studio. These classes ranged from grinding pigments and pouring bronze, to all the forms of educational training necessary to paint, draw, or sculpt, figuratively.

New York

Martine Vaugel was the director and ran the Venice Studio, from its inception until 1986, when she left Los Angeles at the invitation of Stuart Pivar, Founder of the New York Academy Of Art in New York City, to create a sculpture studio for the NYAA.

As well as training the gifted students of the academy from 1986-1992, Martine opened her private studio doors during her stay in New York. She again created a studio where young visionary artists found her skills as a teacher were an integral and necessary part of their educational process. Jacob Collins, Branly Cadet, David Peterson, and Randall Von Bloomberg were all students at the same time in her private world of intensive figure analysis.


Being a first generation American, raised speaking French, and with the French figurative sculptors being her personal favorites, it was only natural that Martine found a venue for a life in France. This came in 1988 when her contemporary, Ted Seth Jacobs, offered her an opportunity to teach in a small town in the Loire Valley. She began to teach an intensive course in France. Each July it was held in a beautiful chateau, formerly the home of Louis XIV’s finance minister, The Chateau Colbert.

North Carolina

In 1994 Martine moved to North Carolina. She again opened her studio doors and created an educational environment that would stimulate students. In a relaxed studio atmosphere, she taught the visual techniques and physical controls that are essential for the structured knowledge demanded in the creation of great figure sculpture.


Martine is now living full-time in France where she continues to teach and sculpt.  She travels and teaches at various locations in the world; most recently Portugal, California and Texas.