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Sorrento: Experiencing Southern Italy Through Painting and Drawing

JUNE 22-JULY 18, 2014

(Registration Deadline: March 14, 2014)

Sorrento Graphic

Immerse yourself in an incomparable opportunity to live and make art in Sorrento, one of Italy's most enchanting Mediterranean towns. This intensive program focuses on interpreting the landscape and townscape of southern Italy through painting and drawing while simultaneously integrating the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the area into a meaningful experience.

The full scope of creative approaches is possible, from observational landscape painting to personal interpretation based on the unique local imagery. Students will develop a portfolio of directed work. Days are spent drawing and painting independently outdoors at a variety of locales around Sorrento, producing work ranging from direct rapid sketches to more detailed, focused pieces. Explore the dramatic cliffs, Byzantine alleyways, bustling markets, Baroque churches, and fishing inlets of this sun-drenched coastline. Reside in a grand historic hotel-a former monastery situated in a botanical garden perched on spectacular cliffs overlooking Mt. Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples. A blend of slide talks and individual and group discussions complement working outdoors. Field trips to the Capodimonte Painting Museum and the National Archaeological Museum, a walking tour of old Naples, and a tour of the streets of ancient Pompeii provide context and background to further inform students' work. There is a three-day free period in the program for independent travel to Rome or further explore Capri and the Amalfi coast.

Fees include all accommodations, ground transportation, site admissions and lectures with the group, all breakfasts, and 14 dinners. Basic study in drawing and painting (or approval of program instructors), plus submission of a portfolio of artwork with the application, are required.


Ellen Burchenal is an artist who works in painting, drawing, and installation. A faculty member in MICA's General Fine Arts Department, she is also rotating Faculty in Residence at the MICA@SACI program in Florence, Italy. She has exhibited and lectured in galleries and universities throughout the region and in Italy. In March 2013, Burchenal's exhibition "Sorrento Again" opened at the Villa Fiorentino in Sorrento. She received her MFA from MICA and her BA from Trinity College in Connecticut. The recipient of several Maryland State Arts Council fellowships, Burchenal has lived and studied in Italy and maintains a passion for the Italian landscape and culture.

Howie Lee Weiss has been on MICA's faculty for more than 30 years. He earned his MFA from Yale University and his BFA from MICA. He has been a visiting critic and lecturer at numerous institutions, including Princeton University, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Vassar College, and the Corcoran School of Art + Design. Weiss's work has been exhibited in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., as well as in Italy and Japan, where he lectured in conjunction with an exhibit of his work. He is a two-time recipient of MICA's Trustee Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching.


• $5,700 (does not include international airfare)

Includes tuition for 3 undergraduate Studio Elective credits (all majors)

• $7,260 (does not include international airfare)

Includes tuition for 3 undergraduate Studio Elective credits (all majors)

+ 3 undergraduate credits in Art History (with approval from the dept.)

• Graduate credit is available to qualified students for $75 per credit above the $5,700 base fee (contact program coordinator below).


Contact program coordinator Ellen Burchenal at

Open to undergraduate and graduate students in all majors--18 years or older with a valid passport--who have completed at least one year of college. For all programs, credits can be applied to Studio Elective. For more information, or to inquire about scholarships, contact the School for Professional and Continuing Studies at or 410-225-2219.