New Approaches to Contemporary Art @ SACI with New Courses Offered

SACI Students visiting a Michael Lin installation at the Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato

SACI Students visiting a Michael Lin installation at the Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato

This academic year, SACI is introducing five interdisciplinary Design, 2D, Multimedia, Performance and Critical Studies courses focusing on contemporary art, design, and theory.

Through study of works by the most important art theorists and critics of the 20th and 21st centuries, students in Contemporary Art Theory & Criticism will gain the tools needed to investigate the ideas and ideologies underlying contemporary art making and art culture. They will explore analytic philosophy, structuralism, post-structuralism, epistemology, and post-colonial studies, visit galleries and museums, and attend art fairs in Florence, Bologna, Rome, and Venice. Starting in January 2014, the course will be taught each Fall and Spring by SACI’s Graduate Art History Area Head Maria Antonia Rinaldi. It will be open to students who have completed at least one course in Philosophy or Art History.

Digital Approaches for 2D Artists @ SACI

Photoshop used by SACI instructor Karen Yurkovich to transform sand into snow.

Digital Approaches for 2D Artists is an introductory-level course that will be offered for the first time in January 2014. Open to all, the course will be taught in Fall and Spring terms by SACI’s MFA Program Director Karen Yurkovich. Students will use Photoshop to gain technical dexterity in the use of paint and photographic modification tools for art-making and art career purposes. They will learn color management, photo retouching, imaging, and how to use masks and alpha channels to enhance images and environments—and will explore issues of light, texture, scale and proportion in making art and creating portfolios, business cards, and presentations. “The course was developed,” says Karen Yurkovich, “to meet the technical and creative demands of the student of contemporary art. It aims to further 2D artists in both their creative and professional practice, allowing them to participate fully in the new digital dialogue, while giving them the artistic skills fundamental to all forms of visual art.”

A recent installation/performance at SACI’s Jules Maidoff Palazzo directed by Friends of SACI member Alessandra Borsetti Venier. Photo by SACI Artists Council Member Jill Furmanovsky.

A recent installation/performance at SACI’s Jules Maidoff Palazzo directed by Friends of SACI member Alessandra Borsetti Venier. Photo by SACI Artists Council Member Jill Furmanovsky.

Utilizing their interests and abilities in a variety of subjects and media, students in Installation & Performance Art will create environments that immerse the viewer in a sensory/intellectual/emotional experience. Classes will include demonstrations and presentations by the instructor, Pietro Gaglianò, about art skills especially useful in installation and performance art based on the merger of Space and Time, and on a relationship between the artist and the audience. Students will undertake research, give reports, maintain sketchbooks, and participate in critiques and SACI’s end-of-term exhibitions. Starting in January 2014, the course, which will be open to all students, will be offered each Fall and Spring.

Infographic by SACI Design Area Head Camilla Torna.

Infographic by SACI Design Area Head Camilla Torna.

“Inform, entertain, inspire. These are the goals of creative data visualizers,” states SACI’s Design Area Head, Camilla Torna, who beginning this January will teach Infographics at SACI. Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. Says Camilla, “Infographics awakes your audience: bullet-points and pie-charts on boring presentations, goodbye!” This course, which will be open each Fall and Spring to those who have completed a Graphic Design class and have a basic knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of infographics, visual storytelling, and the software knowledge essential to improving contemporary visual communication skills. Students will devise, design, and develop each project by researching, drafting, drawing, and utilizing photography and collage. Tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Powerpoint, Keynote, and Prezi will be used to create and finalize powerful imagery for print, slide shows, and/or the web.

Students who attend SACI in the Late Spring or Summer terms will now have the opportunity to enroll in Communication Design. Open to all students, this course will focus on design practices needed to create an effective visual presentation of ideas and information, for print or digital media, in both static and dynamic forms. SACI’s Design Area Head Camilla Torna will introduce students to the theory and history of Communication Design and the fundamentals of visual communication through the use of words and images. Via practical exercises, students will learn how to organize and process data, design visuals and narratives, and disseminate them through traditional and digital media. They will acquire and develop strategic, conceptual, usability, Graphic Design, and Illustration skills, with special attention to the social and cultural dimensions of communication. Students will learn about the psychology of design, the latest trends in brand communication, and the cultural history of color. They will use tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Flash, Prezi, slideshow software, and online resources to complete diverse projects. “Due to new technologies, Graphic Design and Illustration are booming in the fields of information and education,” says Camilla. “Whether it is an idea or a project, when the time comes to communicate it, you are confronted with important choices: More words or more images? Disseminate leaflets or impress with a slideshow? Why work on a project for months only to ruin it in the end with a poor presentation? Your aim is to make your presentation successful and memorable. Mastering Communication Design will enable you to do this.”

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To see all course listings, consult the SACI website.

Apply now to SACI.

About SACI

SACI is a US non-profit College of Art and Design in Florence, Italy, for undergraduate and graduate students seeking accredited instruction in studio art, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Founded in 1975, SACI offers the following programs: Academic Semester/Year Abroad, Late Spring & Summer Studies, Venice Summer Program, Post-Bac in Conservation, Post-Bac in Studio Art; MFA in Studio Art, MFA in Photography, MFA in Communication Design, Low-Residency MFA in Studio Art, MA in Art History.

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