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Carve stone with me in Italy next summer!

2013 November 19

I am very excited to be co-teaching a class this through the Maryland Institute College of Art this summer IN ITALY!  Art historian, Jenny Carson, and I developed this class to explore the historical and contemporary relationship between the “artist” and the “craftsman.”

  • WHEN: June 21 – June 14, 2014
  • WHERE: Rome, Florence, Carrara
  • WHAT: Experience both historical and contemporary studio spaces, culminating in a hands-on marble carving workshop
  • WHY: Because it will be awesome! (see full details below)
  • COST: Visit the MICA website  for pricing details



Summer Course PageITALY:  Traditional Art-Making Practices from the Renaissance to Today
JUNE 21 – JUNE 14, 2014


“Rome was not built in a day.” One thing all art students understand is that it takes time to create great things. Ancient Romans also referred to their home as “The Eternal City,” forever strong regardless of what other empires rise and fall.


Carve out your own piece of history and become part of a story that stretches back to the legendary founding of Italy’s capital. Then explore the artistic heritage of Tuscany—birthplace of the Renaissance—and end in Carrara, famous for its mountains of marble. Your life and your practice will be eternally changed.


This course is designed to introduce students to traditional artistic practices, such as fresco painting and stone carving, while they learn about the development and/or the evolution of the artist’s studio from the Renaissance to the present. Using canonical Italian artworks as case studies, such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling frescoes, students will learn about how art was made, usually by busy workshops, and thus have a firmer grasp of art’s cultural context. Students will also visit contemporary artists’ studios and workshops.


Among topics this course will explore are the changing role of the artist in society, the evolution of the studio space itself, how art theory and science influenced art production, art education, art materials and labor, and finally, how artists marketed their works.Students will document their travels in Italy through photography, video, painting, and/or drawing. Students will pay particular attention to the art of stone carving, and how sculptors organized their studios and/or labor forces, and what role technology played in this lamentably diminishing field of sculptural practice.


At the end of the course, students will have the opportunity to carve marble under the direction of a master carver.


Registration deadline: March 14, 2014.
Open to all undergraduate and graduate students—18 years or older with valid passport—who have completed one year of college.
For more information, or to inquire about scholarships, contact the School for Professional and Continuing Studies at or 410-225-2219.


School for Professional and Continuing Studies
1300 West Mount Royal Avenue | Baltimore, MD 21217



Jenny Carson holds a PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and an MA in Art History from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She was the recipient of a Senior Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum to conduct research on 19th-century sculptor William Henry Rinehart, and is currently organizing an exhibition of his work. Carson has lectured and published extensively on artist studio practices.

Sebastian Martorana is a sculptor and illustrator who received his BFA in illustration from Syracuse University and his MFA at MICA’s Rinehart School of Sculpture. His current studio is part of the stone shop at Hilgartner Natural Stone Company in Baltimore. Martorana’s sculptural work was recently selected to be featured in “40 Under 40: Craft Futures,” the 40th Anniversary exhibition of Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.