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Contemporary Drawing & Painting
in Florence: Renaissance Past & Present

Course dates

July 11 to August 1, 2018

Application deadline


  • Create contemporary art in the birthplace of the Renaissance. Experience classical and contemporary works and apply the philosophy of the masters to your own practice.
  • Expand your artistic vision by immersing yourself in the art and culture of Italy, studying drawing and painting for three weeks in Florence. Develop and enrich your work in this amazing Renaissance setting under the guidance of master artists.
  • Develop a body of work that examines your own relationship to this storied history.
  • Enrich your own practice as an artist through guided lectures of major museums, churches, and architectural monuments.
  • Sketch and explore in the streets, piazzas, and museums of Florence with an artist who has lived in Florence for 30 years and knows the city intimately.
  • Set up shop in your own studio space with 24-hour access in a classic Renaissance building.
  • Push the boundaries of your work through one-on-one critiques with guest artists.
  • Bring your on-site studies into your studio to develop ideas related to your existing work.
  • Discover the rich, fascinating lifestyle and food of contemporary Florence, the cultural epicenter of Italy.
  • Showcase your work in a public exhibition.


Undergraduate: ART 424, 4 or 5 units
Graduate/post-baccalaureate: ART 624, 4 or 5 units




Working artists, advanced undergraduates, and graduate students working in painting, drawing, and 2D mixed media. (Studios are equipped for painting, drawing, and 2D mixed media.) Applicants should have an existing body of work and strong technical skills. Applicants wishing to integrate historical ideas within contemporary practice should apply. All applicants should enjoy travel, new experiences, and have an adaptable, open-minded approach.

Note for oil painters: We will be using acrylic, watercolor, and tempera/gouache, as our limited timeframe does not allow for oils to dry for shipping and travel. You can purchase and use your own oil painting supplies, but there will be no support for shipping your artwork home.


  • Submit the following as a single PDF document:
    - Images of your work (If you have a current website, you may put the link in your PDF instead of images.)
    - Current artist statement
    - Short essay (approximately 300 words) detailing why you want to study in Florence, Italy. 
    - Resume, if you have one
  • Submit/upload the materials listed above when you apply online by April 9, 2018.


Professor Samantha Fields

Guest Artists

Marsha Steinberg

Marsha Steinberg is a graduate of California State University, Northridge. She received her BA and MA degrees in painting and etching. She also received a painting degree from the Accademia di Belle Arte di Firenze. She currently coordinates the studio art program at CSU International Programs/Florence. Marsha has participated in various art exhibitions in Italy and in the U.S., winning numerous awards.

She has also exhibited her art in Greece, France, the Netherlands, Canada, and Australia. Her art is part of permanent museum collections in Greece and Italy. She has been living and working in Florence since 1974. Marsha was a finalist in the Premio Internazionale Biella per l’incisione in 1996, and the Virgilio d’Argento- Premio Lubam Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze in 1978. Marsha’s publications include "Creazione dal Nulla" (2005), "Dipinti e Acquaforti" (1993), and "Dipinti e Acquaforti" (1989), among others.

Cole Case –

Cole Case received his BFA in painting from the Art Center College of Design in 1999. Cole has had solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Culver City, Santa Monica, and Seattle and is currently represented by Chimento Contemporary in Los Angeles. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Artillery Magazine, and ArtScene, as well as other print and online publications.

He loves LCD Soundsystem, commercial passenger jets, the Indianapolis 500, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Additional faculty will be featured from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence.



CSU Summer Arts does not provide group flights, arrange travel reservations, or make travel recommendations for "Contemporary Drawing & Painting in Florence." It is up to each participant to make travel arrangements and pay for their own travel.

All participants must arrive in Florence by July 11, 2018. The first class meeting will be at the CSU International Programs facility on Wednesday, July 11, at 2:00 pm. (Note that program housing begins on Tuesday, July 10, to allow you one day to get acclimated. More information is below.)

While you will be responsible for making your own travel arrangements, you will need to provide CSU Summer Arts with your travel information.


There are two housing options available for this course:

  1. Make your reservation and pay for your lodging through CSU Summer Arts for a single- or double-occupancy room at the Madonna del Rosario, a former convent. Note that if you choose to reserve and pay for lodging at the Madonna del Rosario through CSU Summer Arts, your housing will begin on Tuesday, July 10, and end on Wednesday, August 1 (22 nights total).
  2. Make your own reservation and payment arrangements with any hotel, vacation rental, or hostel you like in Florence.

Please note that the Madonna del Rosario has a curfew of 12:00 a.m. midnight. If you would like to be able to stay out later than midnight, we suggest you choose another housing option.

The rate for a bed in a two-person room reserved through CSU Summer Arts at the Madonna del Rosario is $1025. The Madonna del Rosario also has a limited number of triple-occupancy rooms available at a cost of $825 and a limited number of single-occupancy rooms at a cost of $1255.

The Madonna del Rosario is a five-minute walk from the International Programs facility.

To reserve a room at the Madonna del Rosario through CSU Summer Arts, please complete the "Contemporary Drawing & Painting in Florence " housing reservation form which will be emailed to you when we receive your course application. Room occupancy preference will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.


Note: The application process for this course differs from that of other CSU Summer Arts workshops. Please read the following information carefully.

Completed application is due on Monday April 9, 2018 (due, not postmarked) 

Students notified of status of application:  Monday April 16, 2018


Enrollment Fee
Undergraduate, California resident, 4 or 5 units $1685
Graduate, California resident, 4 or 5 units $2102
Undergraduate, Non-California resident, 4 units $3269
Undergraduate, Non-California resident, 5 units $3665
Graduate, Non-California resident, 4 units $3686
Graduate, Non-California resident, 5 units $4082
Housing Fee (if booked through Summer Arts)
Triple room at the Madonna del Rosario $825
Double room at the Madonna del Rosario$1025
Single room at the Madonna del Rosario $1255
​Other Fees​
Materials fee
Insurance fee$100
Airfare (estimate)
Food/spending money (estimate)

Payment deadlines: The following are due dates, not postmarked dates:

Housing reservation and deposit (for housing booked by CSU Summer Arts): $500
Due on Friday April 27, 2018 – check or money order payable to Trustees of the CSU

Insurance: $100
Due on Friday April 27, 2018 – check or money order payable to Trustees of the CSU

Note that the housing deposit and insurance can be one payment of $600.

Housing Balance: (amount varies)
Due on Friday June 22, 2018 – check or money order payable to Trustees of the CSU

Enrollment Fee:  (amount varies)
Due on Friday, July 6, 2018 – electronic check, Visa or MasterCard payable to Fresno State

Materials Fee: $150
Due on Friday, July 6, 2018 – electronic check, Visa or MasterCard payable to Fresno State

80 percent of CSU Summer Arts students receive some scholarship assistance. Awards range from $100 to $2000. Scholarship funds are not available for housing or travel costs.

To apply for scholarship assistance, please complete the Summer Arts scholarship application when you apply online for admission to the course.


While CSU Summer Arts will provide some materials, students will be expected to bring the following basic art supplies. As the date of the start of the course approaches, the course coordinator will post a list of the supplies she will be buying in Florence. You may choose to wait until you get to Florence to buy things such as tubed acrylics and mediums/glue.

Art Supplies

  • One set of watercolors and/or gouache in tube or cake form for excursions. We suggest cake form for easy travel,
  • At least six watercolor or tempera brushes in a variety of sizes
  • At least two sketchbooks, one with watercolor/mixed media paper for excursions and one with regular paper for sketching/note-taking
  • One 18" X 24" watercolor block, cold pressed. They have these in Italy at Savini; you might wish to buy one there. 
  • Travel water container for painting on site
  • Portable watercolor palette with hinged lid that can close (some small watercolor kits have one built in)
  • Any materials that are specific to your practice
  • Basic drawing supplies such as a selection of graphite drawing pencils, charcoal drawing pencils, charcoal sticks, conte crayons, erasers, etc.
  • Small bag for excursion art supplies, snacks, etc. 


  • Digital images of your portfolio (this can be in the form of a website)
  • Your artist statement
  • Any source images you need for your work
  • Flash drive or portable hard drive
  • Camera or your phone for taking photos


  • Comfortable shoes for walking. (This is a must; we suggest sandals.)
  • Shawl and/or long pants/skirt for church visits
  • Light, breathable summer clothing
  • Sunscreen

Optional Items

  • Small folding travel stool or plastic-backed blanket for sitting on during excursions
  • Sunhat 
  • Sunglasses

All participants will need a valid, current passport for travel to Italy. You will need to provide your passport number to CSU Summer Arts by June 29, 2018.

If you do not have a current passport, you are encouraged to apply for one immediately. Please check the Passport Office schedule before you apply and find out if you will need a rush order to obtain your passport in time. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Italy, however, citizens of other countries may. Contact the CSU Summer Arts office for more information about passports and visas.

For additional information, or if you have any questions, contact Joanne Sharp at, or 562-951-4065.

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