January 2020 Newsletter

Happy New Year from the Siena Art Institute!  Our spring semester students have just arrived and our latest newsletter is here with some updates about recent & upcoming activities:

Special Programs 2020

In January 2020, for the sixth year in a row, we hosted very engaging group of students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's First Year Scholars Program for their intensive winter course "Living the Past in the Present"  Students developed insight into how historical study may spark their growth as contemporary artists, designers, and visual scholars.

Coming up in May 2020 we will be hosting a group of students from The Ohio State University for a special program led by Professor Suzanne Silver, the May Inter-Session course Pathways: Walking Through Art and History in Siena.

For the sixth year in a row, from mid-July to mid-August 2020, the Siena Art Institute will be hosting a group of students from Brandeis University for an intensive summer program combining coursework in Art History and Studio Art.  The Brandeis-in-Siena program is run through Brandeis University but is also open for students of other institutions to participate (application deadline March 19).

Incoming and Recent Semester Participants

Visit our Art & Society Class Blog for updates on our students' recent activities! We were delighted to be able to offer special scholarships this academic year for students from Greece and Albania, through our partnership with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and our East Exit Program. Our recent and current participants at the Siena Art Institute and partner program the Siena School for Liberal Arts also have included students from many of our affiliated institutions including Mount Holyoke College, Oberlin College, College of the Holy Cross, Amherst College, Hampshire College, Wellesley College, Swarthmore College, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and more. 

Current and Upcoming Resident Artists

Throughout the year, professional artists and writers are guests of the Siena Art Institute as Residents, Project Fellows, and Visiting Artists and Writers. We are currently hosting Madyha Leghari, a mixed media visual artist from Pakistan. Upcoming residents include Tatana Kellner (visual artist, Prague-USA), Sheri Simons (USA-Berlin), Chelle Destefano (visual artist and performer, Australia), Harrison David Rivers (playwright, USA), Gary Peter (writer, USA) Donna Stonecipher (writer, Berlin-USA), and Shoshana Dentz, (painter, USA).

Upcoming Application Deadlines 

April 30 is the upcoming deadline for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students to apply for our Fall 2020 semester at the Siena Art Institute and our partner program the Siena School for Liberal Arts. If you know of interested students, please encourage them to contact us. For more information about our semester programs and our online application process, visit the "Programs" section of our website.  

September 30 will be the upcoming deadline to apply for our 2021 residency season.  Professional artists and writers are encouraged to apply. See the Residencies section on our website for more information.

Upcoming Special Summer Activities

Our annual Policromia Poetry Workshop will take place Monday June 1 – Sunday June 7 2020, offering intimate and intensive writing workshops for poets of all backgrounds and ages. The application deadline is coming up on March 15. In addition, workshop participants will attend Policromia 2020, an international and cross-disciplinary festival, curated by poets Mairéad Byrne & Will Schutt. 

SienAgosto, the annual residential summer music academy for singers and continuo players led by renowned vocalist Michael Chance, will again be hosted by the Siena Art Institute in collaboration with the Siena School for Liberal Arts from August 19-27 2020. Students are invited to apply for nine days of intensive teaching, coaching, workshops and masterclasses, as well as public concerts, in the intensely stimulating city of Siena, where senses are bombarded, minds altered, and aspirations raised.

Regional Initiatives and Partnerships

The Siena Art Institute is very happy to be in the midst of a new two-year program with Stavros Niarchos Foundation in which we are co-sponsoring ten SNF-SART Scholarships for Greek students from Athens and Thessaloniki participating in our 2019-2020 semester programs.  In Fall 2019 we also were able to offer a special scholarship for an Albanian student in partnership with the Art House of Adrian Paci.

The Siena Art Institute completed several special projects and regional initiatives during the Fall 2019 semester. Through the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi we are coordinated the Space to Make project, supporting creative discovery of specific locations as gathering points of our local communities of artists and artisans. With support of the Region of Tuscany, we are pursued a collaborative storytelling project Racconti dal Margine (tales from the margin) sharing experiences and reflections on the micro-communities in our region from the points of view of our students, community members, and resident artists including Honey Jones-Hughes and our Fall Project Fellows Bik Van der Pol and John K Melvin

The Fall Project Fellowship of Bik Van der Pol culminated in a series of workshops, interviews, and a live radio broadcast "The Point: Stories that must be told" co-curated by Antonia Liguori, specialist in digital storytelling, in collaboration with Radio Arte and hosted by the Istituto Rinaldo Franci. By collecting different perspectives from the Sienese community on the city's heritage and complex contemporary realities creating a setting of interaction. As the artists explain in their project statement" Siena is in many ways a city full of things we do not immediately see. Behind the medieval facades, life, separate from the tourists that trod the city’s streets, is continuously taking shape.

The voices of Siena and its marginalized communities resonate in the wind thanks to the work of John K Melvin, who for many years has been engaged in artistic research on sustainability and social relationships within communities. This is the cornerstone around the new project of the Siena Art Institute revolves: in fact, Melvin's installation in Siena is entitled "Voci dal vento (Voices from the wind)" an installation currently on view through Feb 28 in the courtyard of the University of Siena's Santa Chiara Lab. To create the artwork, Melvin involved many Sienese groups, including residents in local senior centers, groups of disabled adults, and children from nearby high schools, who embellished the pieces of bamboo wind-chimes with additions of their personal stories and memories.

The Siena Art Institute is currently participating in CErTiFY, an innovative project promoted by the Loughborough University in partnership with Atit Bvba (Belgium), De Montfort University (UK), Spes GMBH (Austria), Istituto Luigi Sturzo (Italy), Research Paths Etaireia Ereynas (Greece) and VSL "Lyderystes ir verslo akademija" (Lithuania).The CErTiFY project, funded by the European Erasmus+ Program, seeks to help individuals wanting to work in the cultural and creative sectors.

Another current project in which we are participating, funded by the European Erasmus+ Program is AARGH!! - Art Against Radicalism and Genocide and for Human-rights!! This is an innovative multi-media, creative arts based youth exchange between five different countries, including UK, Armenia, Georgia, Italy, and Albania. Participants including Siena Art Institute alumni and interns are taking part in small scale multi-media creative arts based activities including painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, photography and video.

The Siena Art Institute also hosted Fulbright Scholar Pamela Lawton for the Fall 2019 semester. Lawton's research focused on the connection between her own art-making and multi-sensory practices in museums for people with special needs. She collaborated with Fulbright Greece alumnus Fotis Flevotomos and the Benaki Museum in Athens for two workshops in October 2019.  She also led a series of workshops in Sienese institutions as well as other locations such as the Uffizi Museum and Pitti Palace in Florence.

Friends of SART

As a non-profit organization, the Siena Art Institute appreciates the support of our program partners and sponsors in making it possible for us to continue in our mission to encourage creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness as active tools that can have a practical and meaningful impact on society, combining high-level training with many opportunities for dialogue with the most interesting voices of the international art scene.

We welcome the support of individual donors as "Friends of SART."

To contribute, please visit our webpage

Siena Art Institute Onlus  

Via Enea Silvio Piccolomini 2 - 53100 Siena (Italy) -(+39) 0577 573086

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