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Simon Levenson - Drawing America Founder

Simon Levenson began his artistic career shortly after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 1994 when he became the youngest artist to be represented by Wally Findlay Gallery in its then 126-year history.

His oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings are currently represented by Cavalier Galleries Inc. located at 3 west 57th street, New York City, with additional locations in Greenwich Conn. Nantucket and Florida. 

Simon is an instructor of oil painting at The Art Students League of New York City and an instructor of drawing at The Morgan Library and Museum, The Museum of The City of New York, and The National Arts Club.

Writing has always held an additional interest for Simon throughout his artistic career. He has written and optioned two animated films to 20th Century Fox.

In 2011, Simon was commissioned by the MTA Arts for Transit Program to create a large-scale permanent installation at the Beach 60th Street A Train Station in New York City.

With creative success in several different mediums, Mr. Levenson has received a Puffin Foundation Grant and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Grant for his public artwork in sculpture.

In 2013, Mr. Levenson created Drawing New York, an organization that creates original programming for cultural institutions including, The Morgan Library and Museum, The Museum of The City of New York, and The Museum of Arts and Design.

Mr. Levenson served as a judge for The Morgan Book Project 2017-2018. He has taught drawing classes for The Morgan Library and Museum for exhibitions: David Hockney, John Singer Sargent, Drawing in Tintoretto’s Venice, Thomas Gainsborough, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony Van Dyck, and Jordaens,  Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection, Poussin, Claude, and French Drawing in the Classical Age, Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions,  Rembrandt’s First Masterpiece,  Piranesi and the Temples of Paestum: Drawings from Sir John Soane’s Museum

Simon specializes in teaching beginner drawing and advanced oil painting. CLICK Below to read student reviews from Simon’s teaching at Drawing America.

Simon is a true professional and a patient, encouraging teacher! I came into this class with an enjoyment for drawing but no formal education or experience and walked out feeling like I had a solid grasp of the foundations of figure drawing. The class is long but you get a couple of breaks and the format follows a very sensible mix of lecture and putting what you just learned into practice. Definitely ok for people w/o experience or who think they can’t draw – Simon will show you that you can!

Simon does a great job teaching the basics, and overall is an excellent teacher. He knows his stuff, and is able to relay the material in an easy to understand format. He is also very punctual, for both start and finish times. I wholeheartedly would recommend this class.

Simon Levenson is a phenomenal teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed the class.

Simon is a wonderful teacher. Organized, caring, informative and just a nice guy. I really enjoyed the classes.

Awesome class. Simon’s instructions were great! After taking the class, I am a lot more confidence in my drawing capabilities. Thanks, Simon!

Really fun-not intimidating at all, from someone who can’t draw a circle or a straight line. Simon was encouraging and funny. Was a great experience and hanging out at the Met in the evening, what could be better.

Simon was a great teacher ! I learned a simple way to look at an object when drawing. will come back to his class again

Best teacher ever- motivating, excellent instructor and so much fun!

Great teacher! The set up was also super conducive to learning. I actually feel like I learned a lot and it made me want to keep drawing even after the class. The only thing I would change about this class is that I wish we had had more time at the end to draw more poses. Highly recommend this class if you want to learn the basics of figure drawing!

It is not easy and Simon doesn’t sell it as so–but breaks it down into an approachable system. I thought he was wonderful and approachable, too. You get the idea that he is enjoying the process of teaching something he has a passion for. Nice.

The intimidation of a blank piece of paper and a pencil was overcome by Simon’s clear instruction and excellent teaching methods. He was also funny. Which helps.

Simon has a great attitude, clear and informative way of communicating, and the class goes and at a pace that was engaging and never dull. I’d recommend this for all beginners and people looking to gain confidence in their skills.

I loved everything about this class. Is a great idea having the classes at the museum. The teacher is very professional, patient and kind . Just excellent!!

Because I took his class the previous week, he sent me off to begin to work on the concepts that I learned last week with the intention that the lesson would build from there. It was great because he could tell the shift in my decision-making and approach to adding volume. We dove deeper into the concepts of working with negative space, direction, and even shading. I highly recommend for any beginner.

What I enjoyed about this class was how Simon broke down the basic concept that makes drawing drawing. It no longer felt intimidating to pick up a pencil. He also talks about the differences with paper and pencils. I never had that in my previous drawing classes. He takes the time to go to each person to see their progress and give feedback. Fantastic guide in the journey of drawing.

This drawing class was amazing! Simon Levenson is a very skilled teacher. His instruction was clear and concise. He taught us the basics after which we worked in a group. He then gave us individual instruction while we were in the process of drawing statues at the Met. By the end of class we shared our drawings and it was quite impressive!

Great instructor, with a good sense of humor, very informative class, amazing overall experience!

Amazing teacher! I really feel like he re-directed my perspective and thinking on how I approach drawing, and it’s so gratifying to see the pay off in such a short period of time. This class rocks!

Learned a lot in a very short time, and it was lots of fun. Simon is a great teacher!

I feel like I acquired a semester’s worth of knowledge in one class! Instructor made learning really fun and cared about the students having a great experience. A+

Simon thank you so much for your generous attention to each one of us. I learned from listening and doing. I am encouraged. You are one talented instructor

Highly recommended! Great class for beginners or those looking to get back into drawing. Simon was a wonderful instructor.

Amazingly fun as always with Simon! With the great instructions I am able to see significantly more details from the status in the museum during the drawing.

What a way to spend a Saturday night! I went to this class alone, with no idea what to expect. I love instruction, and found the way Simon structured the class was stress free, a great use of the time, and fun!!! And my drawing visibly improved exponentially. Simon is an extraordinary communicator, and a really approachable, pretty cool dude. I would- and already have!- recommended this course to close friends, I think it would be a great this to do with a boyfriend/girlfriend or a parent! … You’re at the Met. What’s not to love.

Great class!!!!! Simon is a wonderful teacher. He is patient and explains the concepts in a simplistic manner. It was so much fun learning from him.

Simon was incredibly helpful responsive and positive. With helpful remarks and good sense of humor, his comments were constructive and a sense of learning was definitely achieved. Invigorated to get back into drawing!

Excellent beginner class. I appreciated the very supportive critiques & informative lesson. I look forward to more drawing classes soon!

This was my first drawing class. It was informal, relaxed, yet engaging. I didn’t expect to learn so much in such a short period of time. I will never again look at a sculpture in the same way. Thanks Simon

When I signed up for this class, I was expecting a few quick tips from the instructor and some meditative time to draw in a supervised environment at the museum. And, indeed, that’s what we got. What stunned me, however, was just how empowering and useful those few tips were. With the information he packed into two roughly 20-minute sessions during the class, one at the beginning and one after we’d had an opportunity to sketch for awhile, Simon, the instructor, managed to make me feel like I’d gone from knowing nothing about drawing (never having had any previous instruction) to being armed with the basic fundamentals I need to draw and make progress on my own for the rest of my life. In addition to having good communication skills and being a nice guy, he had clearly thought very carefully about how to maximize his teaching time, and his instruction was really organized, presented in terms anyone could understand and very useful. If you’ve never had any drawing instruction (or only minimal instruction), I can’t recommend this session more highly. You’ll leave feeling like the big secret artists know and that you don’t has been revealed to you. (Oh … and it also helps that what he taught actually worked in practice. I’m very happy with what I made.)

This was a great class! Simon is a awesome teacher. He really helped me understand where I need more practice and how to improve. This is a great class for anyone that is learning to draw or getting back into drawing. I needed the learn the basic techniques and this class definitely helped. I recommend this class with Simon. Thanks so much!

I really enjoyed the class! Simon was very friendly and encouraging. I was surprised to see that we each got quite a bit of one on one time to discuss the progress of our drawings. His tips were really helpful, I feel like I have enough to go on now on my own, though I might go back to the Met and maybe join again. It was fun!

This was a great class to take to learn the basics and be re-introduced to drawing! I learned a lot and have been able to incorporate everything into my drawings outside of class. The teacher is very knowledgeable and presents the material in a way that is easy to understand.

Simon is such a talented teacher! He’s able to break the process of drawing into simple steps, and at the same time makes the lessons fun and engaging. I’m looking forward to my next class!

I really enjoyed this course at MET, the location is just fantastic and Simon is a great teacher! You get to meet nice people from different backgrounds and compare you work with them while learn a lot about drawing in just few hours: a real positive experience!

Simon is a awesome teacher, who cares about his students. Gives great advice and focuses on the basics, which provide a great foundation for growth. I am looking forward to my next class with Simon and would recommend him to anyone!

Simon is patient, insightful, talented and kind. Taking this class was informative while feeling as though I was on a delightful vacation. I would definitely take another class with Simon. Susan Schachter

Simon is excellent. He presented the material in a way anyone without art experience could understand. I am so pleased with the class that I plan to take an extended course with him. thank you

I took Simon’s drawing class at the Met. I always wanted to be one of those people sitting on a stool drawing something cool in the Met, but I didn’t want to just go do it by myself, and also I need guidance. Simon was a big help, and very encouraging. Drawing is hard! I got a feeling for some of the challenges, and made a drawing I liked also. I felt like I accomplished something! You can take this class as a total beginner, no problem. You could also take this class many times if you wanted to.

This course is perfect for those who are just starting out. You will learn the fundamentals of drawing in this class. Our instructor Simon Levenson, was great and very helpful. I highly recommend it.

Very excited about being able to look forward to this class for the rest of my summer! This was exactly what I needed to fall back into my creative self. The instructor Simon is able to break down each step of the drawing process in a way that makes it understandable, easy and fun to any person no matter if they are a complete beginner or a little more advanced. It’s important while learning something new to be with an instructor that is able to inspire you creatively and with peers you are able to grow with. I am confident these classes will continue to provide me with what I need to become the best drawer I can be! 🙂 plus, I feel the MET is just a magical place to be on it’s own. You can’t get better of an environment than that!

This served as a wonderful beginner’s class to drawing. No talent required — all you need is an ability to look closely and be openminded about the way you approach a sketch. Simon was excellent and taught us several basic techniques in a simple, accessible manner. Great Saturday afternoon activity!

This is a great class to get interested in drawing, particularly from life. It equips you with the basics to start putting shapes down on paper and developing them into a drawing.