ABOUT OUR TEXAS VISUAL ART SCHOOL
The Gemini School of Illustration was founded in Berkshire, England in 1984 by world-renowned fine artist and illustrator Roger Barcilon. He opened the school with one goal in mind: to share with his students the knowledge he had painstakingly acquired during his career.
Roger’s philosophy of treating students like future professionals and sharing his experiences gave students a unique “apprenticeship” education—unlike most traditional art schools at that time.
Word of Gemini School’s illustration program quickly attracted students from all over the world and the school thrived for over 15 years in its original location with over 85% of graduates working as fine artists and illustrators in their chosen field including film, advertising, publishing, and design.
In the mid 1990’s Roger discovered the power of combining traditional drawing and painting skills with technology using the computer software program Fractal Painter. With these early experiments in digital media, Roger realized the future of art and illustration was rapidly changing and encouraged his students to adopt these exciting new tools.
By the late 1990’s, the merging of art and technology was a reality as the video game industry was expanding and with it, new opportunities for well-trained artists.
In 1997, a prominent US-based video game publisher approached Roger with an opportunity to not only work as an artist in this burgeoning field, but to train their current artists using his teaching methods to create the visually compelling worlds we take for granted today. As he accepted that offer, the Gemini School of Illustration was closed and the Gemini School of Visual Arts & Communication was reborn in Cedar Park, Texas, with the same commitment to world class art education as its UK sister.
Although the location had changed, the philosophy of Gemini School of Visual Arts remained the same: “To Turn Talent into a Profession”. In this inspiring Texas Hill Country environment with a large Texas limestone structure, peaceful grounds and towering oak trees, Roger created a new, integrated curriculum combining classic drawing and painting with cutting edge graphics software training – taught by professional working artists – all leaders in their fields and committed to excellence in art education.
After undergoing a two-year approval process with the State of Texas, the Gemini School of Visual Arts opened to its first students in October 2003. By August 2009, the student enrollment hit the current maximum full-time enrollment of 24 students. Today, Gemini School of Visual Arts graduates can be found working as commercial artists in the the top video game, advertising, and filmmaking companies for studios such as:
Disney Interactive Studios
Sony Online Entertainment
Picture Plane Imaging
Zynga-Rising Tide Games
And so many more!
By the end of 2009, it became evident that Gemini School needed to apply for accreditation and offer to its students eligibility to Title IV Federal Student Aid. By the middle of 2012, Gemini School became fully accredited by the Council for Occupational Education (COE) followed a year later by approval from the Department of Education and now Gemini students are eligible to apply for Federal Financial Aid.