A 6-credit collaborative summer program in Florence, Italy                       


An Exquisite Corpse: KCAI at SACI

This program, begun in 2011 ('11, '13, '15, '16, '18) by Jessie Fisher, Professor in Painting at KCAI, immerses the student in the art, history and culture of Florence, Italy. Through a collaboration with its consortium partner SACI, KCAI students will live in apartments in the cities historic center, attend classes at the Studio Arts College International, Florence (SACI) and have dedicated studio spaces at the Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Arts. This program consists of a 3-credit drawing class taught by Professor Fisher, with an additional 3-credit course of the students’ choosing from the Late Spring curriculum at SACI where they will be integrated into the student body at SACI to study with artists from all over the world. Studio Art College International is a directly accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and a United States non-profit 501c(3) educational entity established in 1976 by painter Jules Maidoff to facilitate international artistic collaboration and production in Florence Italy. SACI offers semester abroad programs, full-year study abroad programs, late spring and summer sessions, a summer program in Venice, Italy and a post-baccalaureate certificate in Studio Art or Conservation. Though a dedicated and full-time faculty, including unique program offerings in conservation, fresco, Italian fashion design, the history of Italian opera and stone carving, SACI has recently become the only NASAD accredited full-time institution to offer dedicated European MFA programs in Studio Art and Photography, MA Programs in Art History and Communication Design and a low-residency summer MFA program in Studio Art.


The Classes:

In Professor Fisher’s class, From Masaccio to Pontormo: The Discovery of Pictorial Composition in the Florentine Renaissance, students will work on site at museums, gardens and cathedrals through a series of lectures that will analyze uses of color theory, composition and appropriation in the Florentine Renaissance. Students will prepare traditional grounds and create an ongoing series of preparatory drawings that culminate in a final project.


Students will also choose a course from the Late Spring SACI curriculum, including: Painting, Boun Fresco, Drawing, Printmaking, Sculpture, Black and White Photography, Renaissance Art History, Conservation, Serigraphy, and Communication Design. Batik, Italian Languag, Jewelry Design and Ceramics courses are available but may overlap with our KCAI course time. More info TBA. Juniors and Seniors in Design may also apply for a 3-credit Design Internship where they will work on-site with a design firm in Florence.


The City:

Florence, Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance and perhaps the most influential city in the development of Western aesthetics and Humanist philosophy, will immerse the student in Italian culture through an intensive synthesis of painting, sculpture, architecture, music and cultural artifacts experienced in their original context in museums, churches, villas, monasteries, piazzas and gardens, which will serve as an extension of the studio. This historically intact city, a work of art in itself, provides the student with an experience and awareness of not only artistic precedent but of the symbiotic relationship between tradition and innovation that make its Mannerist movement a counterpart for the contemporary practice of making "art about art." The Florentine environment and the student’s integration into the SACI community provides a lived education that will broaden their worldview as well as provide an example of the heights of human aesthetic achievement. The city is at the core of the political philosophies of Niccolo Machiavelli; the ecstatic fundamentalism of Savonarola; and the dramatic dealings of the Medici family as nascent Mafioso and supporters of the arts. The city houses innumerable masterworks by its Medieval and Renaissance inhabitants, including Giotto, Cimabue, Dante Alghiari, Giorgio Vasari, Alberti, Masaccio, Botticelli, Verrocchio, Fra Fillipo Lippi, Fillipino Lippi, Fra Angelico, Ghirlandaio, Luca della Robbia and clan, Uccello, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Andrea del Sarto, Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo Bounarotti, Galileo Galilei, Agnolo Bronzino, Pontormo and Perugino to name but a few. We will stroll by Alberti's masterpiece of Humanist architecture, Santa Maria Novella, which houses the first use of scientific perspective in Masaccio's Holy Trinity. The SACI school itself is the former house of the model who posed for the Mona Lisa and served as the secret meeting house for the followers of the controversial research of Galileo. The collections of the Uffizi and the Palazzo Pitti run the gamut of Italian painting and sculpture, including works by Lippi, Piero della Francesca, Titian, Bellini, Tintoretto, Bronzino, Pontormo, del Sarto, Raphael, Canaletto, Carracci, Mantegna, Bellini, Duccio, Giotto, Perugino, daVinci, del Piombo, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Gentileschi, Giovanna Garzoni, Parmigianino, Canova, Boldini and Gentile de Fabriano. Van Dyck, Rubens, Velazquez, Rembrandt, Chardin, Durer, Cranach, van der Wyden, van der Goes and van Eyke all find homes there as well. All of this is in a setting that is a synthesis of science and perception - a walkable city that offers aesthetic splendor at every turn.


In addition to the immense collection of masterworks in the 74 major museums on the city, the markets, the rose gardens on the walk up to San Miniato, the cappuccinos, the sunsets, the Giardino di Boboli and the Opera Festival will create an unforgettable experience that will follow you for the rest of your life. In addition to the curriculum and experiences that come along with a travel program in this inviting, accessible and safe city, Florence offers a remarkable range of cultural and popular events and activities during the summer months, such as late evenings at the Uffizi, the Palazzo Strozzi and the Accademia Museums; The White Nights Festival; the famous Calcio (soccer) in Costume, during which the different quarters of the city compete in this well-known game; the Maggio Musicale, a series of outdoor and indoor events ranging from ballet to opera to symphony concerts; outdoor evening film festivals; and the Estate Fiesolana, which includes concerts, film and theater held in a Roman amphitheater. During the last week of the program the entire city will celebrate St. John’s Day with elaborate processionals and a fireworks display over the Arno River. 

Program Dates: Late May- June | 5.5 weeks

3 credits KCAI Drawing Elective

3 credits SACI Elective: Student choice from SACI Late Spring Term courses

Estimated Cost (not including airfare) $6,300.00*


*Price Includes: 6-credits tuition, SACI application fee, apartment in the historic center in Florence with free wi-fi, dedicated studio space, passes to city museums and gardens, 4 SACI field trips led by Art Historians to Tuscan towns such as Fiesole, Siena, Arezzo, Pisa, Lucca, Sansepulcro and San Gimignano, access to the SACI Worthington Library,  SACI computer lab with free printing, SACI classrooms and facilities, weekly open model sessions, weekly film nights, exhibition programming at 2 SACI Galleries, fully staffed administrative support and 24-hour emergency services and a 3-day orientation program hosted by SACI. Transportation from the Florence airport to SACI, welcome and farewell dinners, mid-term dinner parties, transportation to sites outside of the city, admission to museums, evening critique meetings and materials for the KCAI drawing course are all covered by program fee. There are no VISA requirements for this program. SACI requires an additional $400 refundable housing deposit returned to you after completion of the program. Students will stay in a room with another student from KCAI in a 2-3 bedroom apartment with other SACI students. Any gender may room together upon request. There is a $550.00 fee for a private room.


Palazzo dei Cartelloni, SACI Florence