Magrath Sculpture Atelier at Gage Academy of Art

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Magrath Sculpture Atelier at Gage Academy of Art



1501 10th Ave E, Seattle, United States

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"Drawing is the fundament of sculpture. It is inextricably interwoven into our practice. I want all my students to have a strong foundation in drawing, a living drawing practice... Sculpting in many ways is just drawing in clay. Adding and cutting and marking clay, drawing in three dimensions."


In-person at Gage Capitol Hill.


2023/24 Full: $5,565

Program Content & Objectives

The Magrath Sculpture Atelier is a multi-year, part-time Atelier designed to confer the core disciplines needed to become a practicing figurative sculptor at a high level of excellence. Led by celebrated sculptor Michael Magrath, students learn to become adept in both traditional approaches as well as contemporary concerns in a variety of media. Build cumulatively upon the core skills of drawing and modeling from life, while adding critical understanding of anatomy, composition in the round and relief as well as technical skills such as mold making, casting, basic fabrication and subtractive techniques in wood, stone, metal and composite materials.

We are excited about a new part-time online program, the Online Sculpture Practicum, where continuing and aspiring sculptors will meet weekly to discuss and critique work and readings, get assignments for work in home studios, and share discoveries and questions. It's a way to continue and extend our community for distant learners who may not have local access to sculpture resources, not to mention put our newly acquired virtual skills and resources to use.

Time Commitment

The full series is designed to be undertaken over three years, but may be taken part-time over several years, and culminates in a year of independent study and the production of a final, significant project.

The Magrath Atelier follows the 10-week class schedule. Students receive a 10% discount on other sculpting programs, and have access to Studio 100, a shared workspace, when the room is not in use.

Fall: Start date in September.
Winter: Start date in January.
Spring: Start date in April.
Exact Start Dates TBD at instructors' discretion.


About the Director

Michael Magrath has spent most of his adult life in the Pacific Northwest, having moved from New England in the 80's to attend Reed College, where he studied mythology and comparative religions. Though initially self-taught in figurative sculpture, he has studied and taught in a number of rich sculptural environments including the University of Washington, where he received his MFA in 2004, the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, The Art Academy of London and, since 2005, the Gage Art Academy of Art where he currently is the director of the Magrath Sculpture Atelier.

Reflecting years in the construction industry, Magrath brings a craftsman's approach to sculpture. He is a builder, and a jack of all trades; carpentry, fabrication, foundry. He was a shop tech in college art for nearly a decade, having learned about teaching from exceptional instructors in both conceptual and maker based programs. As such he seeks a marriage between elegance in concept and excellence in craftsmanship. In addition to teaching, Magrath does both private and public commissions as well as gallery sales. Clients include Microsoft, the University of Washington, the Archdiocese of Portland OR, as well as numerous private customers. He lives on Vashon Island WA, with his family.

Artist Statement

I have focused most of my artistic career primarily on understanding and representing the human form because as a subject it is virtually endless in variation and complexity, continuously relevant, and accessible to virtually everyone. It's a language we all share. And so it has potential as a lingua Franca in art, at at time when virtually all other common tongues are drowned. But yet the body is also so symbolically charged; a site of continual conflict in society, religion, politics, gender, sexuality, etc, as to guarantee high emotion. It requests great delicacy of handling. The depiction of the nude in America remains a chancy operation.

And yet my interest in the body is ultimately quieter. I'm interested in how the individual expresses the iconic, and how the Icon embodies the spirit. I am exploring the spiritual nature of physical world. If the material world is the manifest body of the divine, then sculpture is a form of prayer. My primary focus lies in the reinterpretation of mythology in contemporary contexts, and I am most interested in the potential of myth to reinvigorate the humanist project. The physical body, like nature, has been too maligned. It was once the center of creation, the distilled manifestation of a million years of ancestral desire. But has been degraded, commodified, bundled in shame. I fear that our culture cannot much longer survive the mind/body, spirit/nature duopoly that seeded our fall from the garden. If we don't find a way to reunify ourselves with creation soon we risk our chance at redemption, at least.


Founded 1990
Course languages (Check multiple if applicable) English
Full-Time Instructors 1
Students 12
Accommodation No

Full time: USD 5565 / year

Magrath Sculpture Atelier at Gage Academy of Art

1501 10th Ave E

Seattle, WA, 98102, United States

Helias by Mark Magrath

Lot's Tribe by Mark Magrath

Christina by Mark Magrath

Natakli by Mark Magrath

Pigeon by Mark Magrath

Cannonball! - detail by Mark Magrath

Cannonball! by Mark Magrath

Potnia Theron by Mark Magrath

Paradigm Shift by Mark Magrath

Artwork by John Maurice Smiley II

Artwork by Clara Schmitt

Michael Magrath

Micheal Magrath

Magrath Sculpture Atelier

Magrath Sculpture Atelier

Magrath Sculpture Atelier