Florentine Artists to Teach CSU Summer Arts Students in New Program

(June 10, 2002) The thousands of art lovers flocking to Florence this summer will include 34 California State University students who will come not just to look, but to learn from five of the city's most prominent artists: Gianni Cacciarini, Sandra Batoni, Antonio Ciccone, Marsha Steinberg and Domenico Viggiano.

In the newest element of the CSU system's unique Summer Arts program, these Florentine and American painters and printmakers will help the Californians develop formal observational skills in painting and drawing, working with live models at the California State University International Program's studio workshops (at Via G. Leopardi, 12).

They will share with the students their perspectives on Florence's rich heritage of Renaissance art, visiting masterpieces in the city's many museums, churches and Palazzi. "CSU Summer Arts is excited about this new offering," said director Jim Spalding of the June 16 June 29 program in Florence. "It's all about creating art without borders."

The "Art Without Borders" exhibit and reception for the student-produced paintings and drawings is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 28, at the Via G. Leopardi location.

The Artists:

  • A former student of famed figurative painter Pietro Annigoni, Gianni Cacciarini is himself a painter and printmaker of great stature in the Florentine art world.
  • Sandra Batoni, professor of the Scuola del Nudo (Drawing School) at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze (Florence's Academy of Fine Arts), is one of the city's respected figure painters. She also earned a degree in architecture from the University of Florence.
  • Another Annigoni pupil, Antonio Ciccone is a painter and drawing expert whose work is well known in and around Florence.
  • Marsha Steinberg, who has lived in Florence for nearly 30 years, is coordinator of studio art for the California State University International Program. A highly regarded painter and printmaker, Ms. Steinberg teaches figure drawing and painting.
  • The distinguished Domenico Viggiano, director of the Accademia di Belle Arte di Firenze, chairs its School of Etching. He is a professional sculptor.
Course coordinator for the new program is Domenic Cretara, an important American figurative artist whose large-scale narrative paintings are inspired by his knowledge of the Renaissance masters.

CSU Summer Arts, now in its 17th year, is an annual six-week program of workshops and public events that gives students a chance to study art, music, dance, theater, creative writing and much more with well-known artists, professionals and academics. Many of the artists give performances that are open to the public. This year, the main Summer Arts program takes place at California State University, Fresno from June 30-July 27. Additional information is available by calling the Fresno Summer Arts office at (559) 241-6090.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the United States, with 23 campuses, nearly 400,000 students and 42,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever- changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu.

Contact: Colleen Bentley-Adler, cbentley-adler@calstate.edu, 562-951-4801

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Last Updated: 10 June 2002

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