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The following questions refer to general information about Studio Art Centers International.
If the question you would like to ask is not amongst these, please visit our exhaustive FAQ page, where a large number of topics are listed and many more questions are answered.
Founded by artist Jules Maidoff in 1975, and incorporated in 1976 as a not-for-profit US institution, SACI is the oldest and most prestigious American art school in Florence. SACI's courses are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). SACI is distinguished not only by its remarkable breadth of course offerings — in areas ranging from studio art, design, crafts, art history, art conservation, and Italian culture and language — but by its commitment to ensuring that students gain maximum exposure to Italian art and culture. SACI students enroll in a wide array of courses. Students attend lectures by established and emerging international artists, film nights that feature classic and contemporary Italian films (with English subtitles), and cooking classes in which students learn how to prepare Tuscan dishes and to understand the connection between Italy’s culture and cuisine. Students participate in weekly open drawing sessions and field trips to sites throughout Italy, including day trips to Fiesole, Pisa, Siena, and Lucca, and weekend trips to Rome, Venice, and Naples. SACI remains true to its original goal of offering the finest and most challenging training to the next generation of artists, art historians, and art conservators.
The “typical” SACI student is an individual seeking a serious and rewarding foreign study experience. Many different cultures, ages and racial backgrounds are represented in the SACI student body, comprised of both male and female students. The “average” SACI student is a US college-enrolled student spending a semester or year abroad. SACI students have received credit and recognition for their work at SACI from over 200 university-level institutions such as Duke University, Northeastern University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. An advantage for all SACI students is the teacher-student ratio, which remains at about 10 students per professor for studio classes, and 10-25 students per professor for academic classes.
To complement our curricular offerings and the extra curriculum information available in the library, SACI hosts an evening lecture series featuring international artists, art historians, conservators, museum directors, curators, critics, and scholars specializing in art, art history, conservation and other aspects of Italian culture and life. Additional evening activities include exhibition openings in the gallery, life drawing classes, cooking classes centering on Tuscan and Italian cuisine and film nights which showcase the world of Italian cinema. In addition to these "in house" activities, field trips form an integral part of the SACI overseas study experience, and make SACI’s classes particularly rich and exciting. All of these activities help to provide an integrated appreciation of the Italian experience.
Studio Art Centers International is a directly accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
SACI is affiliated with Bowling Green State University in Ohio, which is accredited by NASAD and by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. BGSU is also a member of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools, the Council of Graduate Schools, and the Central States Universities, Inc.
Students may obtain a copy of SACI’s accreditation approval by submitting a written request for this material to SACI’s President or Dean.
A transcript is maintained for each student who attends SACI. The transcript lists all classes in which a student was enrolled while at SACI, the grades earned in these classes, and the number of credits received for completing each class. Each institution to which a student applies to undertake course work elsewhere will review the student's SACI transcript--and transcripts from any other university-level programs in which the student earned credit--and determine how many credits the student can transfer to that institution. The amount will vary per school--some schools may accept all course work completed at SACI and/or elsewhere, others may accept some, and others may accept no transfer credit. SACI’s affiliate institution, Bowling Green State University (BGSU), normally accepts all SACI course work in which a student received a grade of “C” or above. The only way to be certain about how many credits will transfer--whether earned at SACI or elsewhere--is for the student to request a written response from each school he or she is interested in attending (including BGSU, if the student is interested in attending there). It is very important that the student get the response in writing in each instance since then the student will have proof that an official from that particular school indicated that the school will accept whatever number of credits was indicated.
The Palazzo dei Cartelloni, SACI's main facility, is in the center of Florence, 50 yards from the central food market, 600 yards from the Duomo, and 80 yards from the church of San Lorenzo with Michelangelo's Medici Chapel. Within five minutes walking distance there are bookshops, internet cafes, coffee bars, restaurants, cinemas and a myriad of stores. The school is also near to the train station, the bus station, and the Fortezza da Basso, where all international design fairs are held in Florence.
The SACI Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Visual Arts is just a few blocks from—and with easy access to—Palazzo dei Cartelloni. Named after SACI's founder and director emeritus Jules Maidoff, the palazzo includes SACI's graduate center, with its own terrace and garden access; SACI's design center and design library; fully-equipped animation and fresco studios, an entire floor dedicated to large, well-lit painting studios; a student lounge with computers for student internet access; gallery spaces; two major lecture halls; and a beautiful Renaissance courtyard.
The palazzo is opposite the Fondazione Circolo Rosselli Library, near the city archives that contain the Tarkovsky film and theater holdings, and a very short distance from Florence's newly opened Library of the Oblate, a public library for students which has late evening hours that are ideal for both Italian and foreign students. Also nearby is the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, founded in 1288, with its remarkable artistic holdings; Florence's Archaeological Museum; and the Conservatorio of Santa Maria degli Angioli, where SACI students continue to restore the convent's artworks.
In addition to the three drawing/painting classrooms, individual studio space is provided for advanced painting students. MFA and Post-Baccalaureate students in studio art have individual studio space provided in the Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Visual Arts. All areas have natural ventilation, and most areas of the communal studio space have natural lighting. Storage space for art supplies is available as well as a work area for canvas stretching, sizing and the preparation of painting surfaces. Fresco courses are taught at the Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Visual Arts.
SACI has Visiting Artist and Artist-in-Residence programs that include internationally famous artists from the SACI Artists Council. Often exhibitions of these artists' work are featured in the SACI Gallery in the Palazzo dei Cartelloni or at the Jules Maidoff Gallery in the Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Visual Arts (see SACI Exhibitions). For students, there are opportunities to exhibit at SACI throughout the year. MFA and Post-Baccalaureate students have a group exhibition at the end of their year of study in a professional local gallery. Selected academic semester/year students exhibit work during their terms. There is also an annual end-of-year show of selected student work. Sometimes SACI students take the initiative to organize student shows in nearby restaurants, bars and cafes.
SACI's Worthington Library holdings include approximately 12,500 books, monographs and exhibition catalogs in the areas of art and art history, literature and criticism. There are extensive sections devoted to art history, conservation, museology, Italian history, language, film, literature and music. There are numerous books on drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, computer art, video, design, architecture, and other arts. Extensive art history bibliographies are maintained to assist SACI students with the preparation of research papers. The library subscribes to 50 periodicals, making its collection of English-language art magazines and journals one of the largest in Florence. It also contains CDs, video cassettes, DVDs, and over 32,000 slides and digital images which range from classical to contemporary art. SACI subscribes to the QUESTIA online library, JSTOR (database of scholarly journals) and ARTstor (database of art images), making thousands of additional resources available for extended research.