Rebirth of Reason

The Foundation for the Advancement of Art

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."
Thomas Jefferson

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Foundation for the Advancement of Art is to establish innovative representational painting and sculpture as the alternative to postmodern art in the world's leading contemporary art museums.

The primary activity of the Foundation will be to host an annual lecture conference.

The Foundation will aim to influence the decision-makers of the art establishment by promoting critical awareness and creative solutions through:

  1. The examination of the philosophical and aesthetic arguments that support the viability of representational art.
  2. The re-evaluation of postmodern aesthetics.
  3. The recognition of living representational artists who are making historical advancements through their innovations.


The first annual conference is planned for the spring of 2003 at New York's landmark hotel, The Pierre. Lecturers will be philosophers, art critics, and artists. The theme of the conference is The Road Ahead: A New Era of Enlightenment in the Arts.

Dr. Stephen Hicks, philosopher, will be the keynote speaker. Michael Newberry, artist and aesthetic critic, will speak on The Enlightened Hero and Heroine: A New Form of Heroism in the Arts; Martine Vaugel and Stuart Feldman, sculptors, have been asked to discuss their creative process. A fourth speaker will be an art or aesthetic critic, to be announced.


Stephen R. C. Hicks, Speaker

Dr. Stephen Hicks is Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Rockford College, a liberal arts college in Illinois. He is also Director of the college's Honors Program in Liberal Arts, a "great books" program that teaches the intellectual history of Western civilization.

He has been Visiting Professor of Business Ethics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., a Visiting Fellow at the Social Philosophy & Policy Center in Bowling Green, Ohio, a Salvatori Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., and Senior Fellow at The Objectivist Center in Poughkeepsie, NY.

He is co-editor with David Kelley of Readings for Logical Analysis (W. W. Norton, 1998), now in its second edition. He has published in academic journals as well as The Wall Street Journal, The Baltimore Sun, and Reader's Digest. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Postmodern Mind: From Rousseau to Foucault.

He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Guelph, in Canada, and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Indiana University. Most of his graduate work was in logic and philosophy of science, and his dissertation was on foundationalism in epistemology.

Michael Newberry, Director, Speaker
Artist and Aesthetic Critic

Michael Newberry is the founder of the Foundation for the Advancement of Art. He is an artist of international repute and lecturer and writer on aesthetic issues. He has written for the scholarly publication, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, and for the cultural magazine, The Free Radical. In 2002 he exhibited at the New Museum of Contemporary Greek Art and in 1999 was interviewed on CNN's The Art Club.

He studied Fine Art at University of Southern California and The Free Academy in The Hague, Holland. He taught art at Otis College of Art and Design.

You can view his work at www.MichaelNewberry.com

Martine Vaugel, Speaker

Martine Vaugel is an internationally acclaimed sculptor and winner of the 1990 and 1992 International Rodin Grand Prize Monumental Figure Competition. She has created over 70 bronze sculptures.

Martine's work is in Hakone Open Air Museum, Japan; The Martine Luther King Jr. Memorial; The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; and in The Rockefeller Collection. Her work is also in the collections of Presidents Bush, Reagan, and Carter as well in private collections worldwide.

She taught at Portrait and & Figure Modeling at the Sculpture Center in NYC, and as Sculpture Director at the New York Academy of Art. From 1976-85 she was founding Director of the Venice Painting, Drawing, & Sculpture Studio. Since 1987 she has been the Director of the Vaugel Sculpture Studio School currently based in France.

She studied at the Philadelphia Museum School, the Art Students League in NY, the Beaux Arts in Paris, France, and in 1974 was apprentice to bronze caster Elliot Midwood in Los Angeles, California.


The presentations of the lecturers will be documented in video or audio format.

Other activities of the Foundation may include:

  1. Publication of critical essays.
  2. Collaboration with publishing houses for publications of essays and art books.
  3. Curating exhibitions with major museums of contemporary art.

Target Audience

The Foundation plans to appeal, primarily, to the decision-makers of the art establishment: directors of museums of contemporary art, cutting-edge gallery dealers, and art critics. Fifty people are expected to attend the first annual conference in New York.

Board of Directors:

The Board of Directors will be responsible for ensuring that contributions and funds to the FAA are received and stored safely, and dispensed with in accordance with the foundation's mission.

Michael Newberry, Director
Artist and Aesthetic Critic (resume above)

Robin Priest,
CEO, Mapeley

Robin Priest was a founder of Mapeley in June 1999, joining forces with Soros Real Estate Partners and Fortress Investment Group. He led the Mapeley teams that won and mobilized the STEPS and Columbus contracts and is responsible for Mapeley's corporate development and client relationship management. Mr. Priest's career has always been client solution focused.

Mr. Priest is a leading advocate of serviced space outsourcing, having developed the Mapeley concept in bidding for the DSS PRIME contract in 1996 / 97. He led the consortium - also called Mapeley - that was the underbidder.

Mr. Priest came to Mapeley after 19 years in the banking industry, the last thirteen of which involved senior management positions in the structured finance arena. He has worked in the US and Australia as well as the UK on a wide range of projects, LBOs and securitisations. Latterly he became an expert in PFI financings.

He has an MA degree in law from Oxford University.

Bonnie Downey,
Recent Director of Taxes-EMEA for Bank of America

Bonnie Downey is a U.S. Tax Specialist in corporate taxation, financial instruments, including derivatives, foreign tax credits and reorganizations. She has had significant experience with the U.K. and other developed and emerging market countries tax regimes.

She has worked as a Tax Supervisor for Ernst & Young, a Tax Manager for KPMG-Peat Marwick, VP and International Tax Manager for First Interstate Bancorp, Senior Tax Manager of the International Tax Group for KPMG-Peat Marwick, and recently served as Director of Taxes - EMEA for Bank of America.

Ms. Downey received a BS in Business Administration from Colorado State University, a MD in Business Taxation from Golden Gate University. She is a certified public accountant in Colorado and has a Certificate of Advanced Studies from the American Graduate School of International Business.

Board of Advisers (to be announced)


Lisa Thorne
Marketing Consultant
(CV to come)

Brett Holverstott
Project Manager

Brett Holverstott is studying chemistry and physics at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He is the creator of www.RomanticRealism.Net, and is serving as Project Manager for the Foundation for the Advancement of Art.

Nonprofit status:

Nonprofit status for the Foundation for the Advancement of Art is still pending. The foundation will be located in the State of California, and will be a 501(c)(3) educational organization. All activities of the foundation will be strictly limited to education under the scope of its mission.


Michael Newberry

Brett Holverstott

Discuss Project [an error occurred while processing this directive]