Visiting Artist, Alison Hall

Alison Hall from Hollins University visited us at our hotel and gave our group an engaging talk about her work and the role that Italian art and culture have played in its evolution, and in her thinking about what it means to be an artist. The video below features an interview with the artist on the occasion of her 2013 exhibition at the Taubman Museum in Roanoke, Virginia. In it she discusses particularly the influence of Giotto on her work, and touches on the idea of collaborative working processes, so much a part of the way art was made for centuries, and which, for the artist, relates strongly to her working class origins in a small Virginia town.

Sarah Miatt

Our day spent with artist Sarah Miatt at her home and studio is the subject of an earlier blog post. (“Day Eight.”)  Miatt recently opened an exhibition of her work at Cortona’s MAEC (Museo dell’Accademia Estrusco e della Citta’ di Cortona), a unique pairing of a contemporary artist’s work alongside the collection of Etruscan artifacts for which the museum is renowned. While it is rare for a prestigious historical museum such as the MAEC to open its walls to a contemporary artist, their decision to pursue such an experimental juxtapositioning of the ancient and the new is a tribute to the artist for her profound relationship with Etruscan culture and art, and the influence that it has had on her work over many years. A recent interview with the artist discussing her work, and the exhibition, is captured in the video at the bottom of this post.

Day Eleven

On Saturday morning we made our way down to Camucia to catch the train to Passignano, a small village on Lake Trasimeno. The journey took about 20 minutes from station to station. Our final destination was Isola Maggiore, a large island in the middle of the lake that once was home to about 200 residents who were renowned for their fine handmade lace. From Passignano we caught the ferry to the island and spent the day exploring the island and painting.

Day Ten

Liz Rigdon is a painter from the UK who moved to Italy around 16 years ago. She works mainly in watercolor. On day ten the group marched with their painting gear from the hotel up the southern side of Cortona for a demonstration of watercolor at Liz’s home. After the demo Liz provided materials and personal instruction to students who wished to experiment with watercolor. Others chose to work in oils.