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The Venice Biennale 2013, Six credits: Art History and Studio Art

The Biennale is the world’s oldest and most prestigious art exposition.  This program gives students the opportunity to explore the work of global contemporary artists featured at the Biennale sites and museums.  Students will be immersed in the unique culture of Venice, Italy, where they are surrounded by the works of artists of both the past and present.  The works explored and discussed will help students draw their own inspirations for their final project.

Two instructors, as well as rotating visiting faculty, teach this combined studio/art history program and meet with students five days a week for four weeks.  After consulting with a faculty advisor, the students work towards creating a body of work that will culminate in an exhibition that will be an ancillary project of the Biennale.  The concentrations are painting, drawing, sculpture, digital photography, or cross-disciplinary.  Students will also be introduced to glass-art and glass-making as part of the studio art experience. Students are expected to have a background in art history, studio art, or similar experience.

Biennale Brochure pdf


The Venice Biennale has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Ever since its foundation in 1895, it has been in the avant-garde, promoting new artistic trends and organizing international events in the contemporary arts in accordance with a multi-disciplinary model which characterizes its unique nature.


This program will consist of a combination of on-site lectures, studio art workshops, and critiques designed to engage students in the exploration of contemporary art and culture. Each student will be assigned a studio space.  Students will have the opportunity to develop a significant body of studio work, while experiencing Venice; its museums such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Gallerie dell’Accademia, Scuola San Rocco, Punta della Dogana, and the Biennale festival. They also will explore Venice’s outlying islands, and other significant sites in the Veneto region.  All lectures will be in English or with an English translator.

This intensive 4 week combined studio/art history program, meets 5 days per week, and will focus on the Venice Biennale, opening in June 2013. Through close proximity and exposure to the national pavilions in the Giardini and elsewhere, as well as the Aperto and ancillary project spaces, students will be immersed in the wide range of work that global contemporary artists are creating. Studio production will be informed by not only the day-to-day experience of visiting the Biennale sites and museums, but also through an understanding of the history of the Biennale (the world’s oldest and, arguably, most prestigious art exposition) and the unique nature and history of the city of Venice itself.

The program will be held from June 7 to July 7, 2013.


Six (6) credits will be offered for the program. Courses will be listed by Marist College as:

  • ART 358 N: Venice Biennale and the International Influence (Studio) 3 cr.
  • ARTL 315 L: Venice Biennale (Art History) 3 cr.


  • 9 am – 12 pm  Studio
  • 12 pm – 2 pm  Lunch
  • 2 pm – 4 pm    Visit to Biennale or other art site
  • 5 pm – 10 pm  Studio

Program Notes:

  • Applicants should demonstrate flexibility and a sincere desire to increase their understanding of contemporary art and studio art media, and should possess the emotional strength to adjust to a foreign environment.
  • Marist LdM Programs reserves the right to modify or cancel the program as dictated by current economic and/or political situations. This may include changes to the scheduled itinerary or program dates.
  • All fees will be refunded if a program is canceled.
  • Information is subject to change.


Marist College, known for its commitment to teaching excellence, is home to approximately 4,200 traditional undergraduate men and women, as well as graduate and continuing education students. Marist offers 33 programs leading to bachelor’s degrees, 11 toward master’s degrees, and numerous professional certificate programs. The College has a branch campus in Florence, Italy, offered in partnership with Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici.

Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici (LdM) started life in 1973 as one of the first centers in Florence to specialize in teaching Italian as a foreign language. Later the school branched out into Studio Art courses, and has now become Italy’s leading study abroad institution, with centers in Florence, Tuscania and Rome. LdM offers approximately two and a half thousand men and women a year the opportunity to live in the midst of Italian culture and share their study experience with others of different nationalities.


Ed Smith is a Guggenheim Fellow in Sculpture and Drawing. His work is represented in public and private collections in the United States and abroad. These include The British Museum, The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp Belgium, Ministry of the Flemish Community, The Hood Museum, the Davis Museum, Yale University and many more. He has had over 35 one person exhibitions and innumerable group exhibitions. A frequent guest lecturer and visiting artist in the U.S. and abroad, Mr. Smith is an Associate Professor of Art and Director of the Marist College Art Gallery.

Richard Lewis is the author of two college textbooks, The Power of Art, published by Wadsworth, in its second edition, and Digital Media: An Introduction, published by Prentice-Hall. He is a former Dean of Academic Programs and currently Professor of Art and Chair of Art and Art History at Marist College.  His studio work, which combines digital and traditional painting, has been exhibited in galleries and museums across North America.

A variety of other visiting artists will be announced.


Ed Smith, Program Director, Venice Biennale Summer Program

Marist College, Steel Plant Art Studios, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

845.575.3000 x2308