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Pre-College in Tuscany Curriculum

Drawing and Painting the Tuscan Landscape

The Pre-College Studio Residency curriculum in Tuscany is an intensive course, centered in Drawing and Painting the Tuscan landscape. Students gain a stronger understanding of both the landscape and their own creative vision through this college level experience with other talented students from around the U.S.

Taking advantage of the region’s spectacular geography, focus is on the landscape. The course is individualized based on each student’s experience. Students may work with a variety of materials, but emphasis is on acrylic painting. Instruction focuses on a student’s personal voice, with painting styles ranging from traditional naturalism to abstraction. Students are also immersed in the culture of the region through several off site excursions including:

  • Siena, one of Italy's best-preserved towns.  It is filled with outstanding examples of Gothic architecture.  Siena is also famous for its markets and the Palio--a colorful, traditional horse race between neighborhoods
  • Argentario, to visit the Tarot Garden of famed sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle
  • The Mediterranean Sea, for painting and swimming
  • The thermal baths in Seggiano
  • Roselle, the ancient Etruscan town and amphitheatre
  • Florence, once capital of the Kingdom of Italy and the place considered the birthplace of the Renaissance.  It is the home of Michelangelo's David (housed in the Galleria dell'Accademia, with other works by Renaissance luminaries like Bronzini, Ghirlandaio, and Botticelli) and the Uffizi (where students can see masterpieces by Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Titian, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Botticelli).  Students also visit the Palazzo Pitti, where they can see Renaissance paintings by Raphael, Titian, Correggio, Rubens, and Pietro da Cortona.  The Palazzo Pitti also has collections of 19th and 20th century Italian painting, as well as porcelain, carriages, theatrical costumes, and treasures from the Medici family collection.

Student Exhibition

At the end of the program, a formal exhibition is held in Castel del Piano’s city hall. All students participate in the final exhibition.

Faculty and Staff

The faculty and staff possess a vast knowledge of the Tuscany region. In addition, a lead faculty member from MICA instructs students in drawing and painting the landscape. Rounding out the staff are two well-qualified teaching assistant/resident counselors (TARCs). Among the skills that the TARCs bring to the program are knowledge of Italian language and culture, lifeguard certification, assistant teaching experience, and work in residence life.