Teaching: Image and Word: Florence 2023

 Image and Word: Florence 2023

(Click on the form to print and complete. Online application not available):

2023 Application Form: Application Form Florence 2023

Applications are now open and will close on February 6, 2023

For more information contact Vita at: mailto:vita@vitainstitute.org

Image and Word: Florence, Italy 2023 The Program:

Image and Word: Florence, Italy is a 2-week (May 8th-May 21st) intensive inter and intra-disciplinary program that addresses the question: “What are the relationships and differences between Images and Words, in this place, that give them the ability to express a creative narrative that can only happen here?”

Theme: Liminality; a threshold, a state of transition… a journey between origin and destination. Across workshops, we will explore “liminality” and how it relates to the written word, performativity, two-dimensional and three-dimensional works. With the life experiences we each bring with us, we will seek inspiration in the city of Florence, from its streets, its architecture, and its people. If you are at a point of transition or searching within your work and seeking to deepen your development, these workshops offer you a supportive and creative group dynamic with which to explore your concept and process.

The Workshops:

Workshops in four fields, Two-dimensional Art, Three-dimensional Art, Writing, and Performativity will balance group discussions, conducted by the four instructors, with directed “studio” activities. Discussions activities will take place in the morning (9:00-10:15), workshops taking place in the morning 10:30-12:00 and in the afternoon 1:00 (13:00) -3:00 (15:00). These workshops offer participants new creative directions, intensities, and/or a renewal of their personal artistic practice.


Participants will have the opportunity and are encouraged to work alongside and with other participants in the other workshops to investigate the similar and unique aspects of their chosen media as they relate to the expression of concepts through Image and Word.

Writing on the Threshold: Exploring the Intersection of Self and Place: Shelley Reed

Writer Pico Iyer says good writing and meaningful travel both require one to “go places you have never been before and uncover things you didn’t know you had inside you.” This advanced creative writing program immerses participants in fascinating Florence, Italy, to celebrate the role of place in the complex relationship between self and world. Writers in all genres are invited to enrich their craft by exploring perception, landscape, belonging, and the many ways that space shapes narrative and narrative shapes space. Participants will learn specific literary techniques to capture place as a rich gathering of historical, cultural, and sensory particulars while simultaneously examining acuity and meaning in their writing.

Writers will gather each morning for interdisciplinary discussions with fellow program participants, followed by activities specific to our writing workshop. Afternoons will be spent exploring the city and writing in inspiring spaces. Weekends allow for guided discovery of new places with accompanying readings and writing prompts. The goal of the course is for each writer to emerge with a collection of deeply-considered, polished work and a pathway to publication.


Workshop: Two-Dimensional Composition and Concept: Don Seastrum: https://www.seastrum.com

The workshop is intended for participants with experience with water-based media, colored pencils, pastels, and/or graphite. Working on-site in and around Florence, Italy the workshop addresses how images, developed from and within the local environment, can be employed, beyond technique, to carry the concept of transitional points. The workshop will investigate the unique qualities of time and spaces associated with hallways, arches, doorways, and passageways of all types that function as intermediary points between origin and destination. The workshop will encourage each participant to investigate her or his own vision of the world while gaining experience with the development of shape, space, color, and light in the visual arts.

Upon completion of this workshop participants will have a collection of studies that they will be able to take back to their personal studios and use as a source for more in-depth and completed compositions.

Workshop: Dimensional Drawing: Jennifer Wells http://www.jennwellsstudio.com

Walks through the beautiful and historic city of Florence will feed our sketchbooks. From our sketchbooks, we will select our best lines to create three-dimensional drawings, created from iron wire. Iron wire mimics the pencil line and allows us to draw in space. Layering our wire drawings, and distorting them, we will seek to selectively recreate lines from our sketchbooks, transforming them into a dimensional sculpture. All three-dimensional work will be completed using annealed iron wire, formed and manipulate by hand using only pliers. Various techniques on how to work with and manipulate the iron will be demonstrated, so no previous experience is necessary. Good hand strength will be necessary to complete this coursework.

Participants can expect to leave will full sketchbooks and multiple mini wire sculpture drawings or a larger more complex wire sculpture drawing. All of the wire work can later be combined with other mediums, ie: encaustic, Paper Mache


A Dramatic Narrative Map of Florence: Paul Edwards

A map of some kind is essential to get us from point A to point B. The dramatic narrative map most frequently used by writers and artists charts the navigation of a path by both individuals and groups from stasis (a perception of stability) to disruption to the establishment of a new stasis. In writing for theatre and film, the text used in a theatrical production serves as a kind of map for actors, directors and designers, among others. They, in turn, through the interpretation and use of the map, create a narrative journey for an audience that can be used as a kind of map in real life. But a dramatic text, or map, may also be used in other writing genres, and even in the visual arts and music, although the process and intent may be different.

This two-week workshop will place all of us in the less familiar setting of Florence, Italy and deprive us, to varying degrees, of our reliance on American English. Within this context, we will use artistic practice for each of us to develop a “map” (in a broad application of the word) of Florence which can serve as a guide in the creation of an artistic work in any discipline or practice employing a narrative.


We will be coordinating with our affiliate Santa Reparata International School of Art; Via San Gallo 53 R, 50129 Florence, Italy for the use of:

  • Classroom access, evening and weekend access to the shared classrooms, studios, and lounge areas.
  • Orientation activities include orientation to Florence, housing, a safety presentation by a local police officer, SRISA handbook map.
  • Welcome Banquet: A sit-down full-course dinner at a local restaurant
  • Siena Field Trip: Transportation and walking tour of Siena with a guide and SRISA group leader.
  • Cultural Program: The Cultural Program is available to all students and faculty participating incourses at SRISA over the summer. Hosted by Full Time SRISA Faculty, daily activities include walking tours of Florence, and lectures covering numerous aspects of Italian culture such as art, history, food, and fashion. A full list of topics will be available prior to the program.
  • On-campus Internet, WiFi
  • SRISA Library, books from the extensive SRISA Library may be checked out for off-campus use.
  • SRISA Emergency Assistance, 24/7
Translate »