KCAI at SACI
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 live in apartments located in the city's historic center, attend classes at the 3 campuses of the Studio Arts College International, Florence (SACI) with dedicated studio spaces located 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 work with artists from around 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.
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, Communication Design. Batik, Italian Languag, Jewelry Design and Ceramics. Juniors and Seniors in Design may also apply for a 3-credit Design Internship where they work on-site with a design firm in Florence thought the duration of their stay.
Florence, Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance and perhaps the most influential city in the development of Western aesthetics and Humanist philosophy, immerses the student in Italian culture through a synthesis of painting, sculpture, architecture, music and cultural artifacts experienced in their original context in museums, churches, villas, monasteries, piazzas and gardens, serving as an extension of the studio in this historically intact, yet thriving contemporary community. The Florentine environment and the student’s integration into the SACI community provides a lived education in a city that set the stage for the political philosophies of Machiavelli; the ecstatic fundamentalism of Savonarola; the dramatic dealings of the Medici family as nascent Mafioso and patrons of the arts and innumerable innovations in engineering, architecture, cartography, natural history, the natural sciences, philosophy, literature, fashion, textiles, ceramics and the decorative and visual and performing arts. The city houses innumerable masterworks by its Medieval, Renaissance and Mannerist 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, Rosso Fiorentino, Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo Bounarotti, Galileo Galilei, Bronzino, Pontormo and Perugino to name but a few. Daily we stroll under Donatello's most influential hands, cooled by the shadow of Brunelleschi's monumental Duomo, stuck breathless by Alberti's masterpiece of Humanist architecture Santa Maria Novella and tempted to fall victim to Stendhal's syndrome. The main palazzo fo 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, holding vast collections, including works by Lippi, 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 (historic soccer) 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
Program Includes: 6-credits tuition, SACI application fee, apartment in the historic center of 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, 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 a 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 or pay an additional fee for a private room.