Marist at the 2015 Biennale
Student's work on display in Venice during world's premier art exhibition
For four weeks earlier this summer, eighteen student artists immersed themselves in one of the world capitals of art and culture during a major global exhibition and created works that were shown to an international audience in a centuries-old church.
The students, working through Marist and its Florence Branch Campus partner, Istituto Lorenzo de' Medici (LdM), completed the Studio Art program, which its director, Professor of Art Ed Smith, described as "acting as a post-Baccalaureate program."
"The point of the program is to allow students the time to do in-depth study with their work," Smith said, "to immerse themselves in that four weeks not only with the Biennale and the City of Venice, but within themselves, the faculty, and most importantly their peers. This is a concentrated effort to find out what it is that they do."
The immediate results were works of sculpture, digital photography, glasswork, drawing, painting, bookmaking, video, and cross-discipline media, which were produced at the Marist-Italy Venice studio, located in the Church of Saint Geremia on the Grand Canal of Venice, the world’s most historic and popular waterway. The longer-term outcome was their collective development as students and artists.
“The participating students have had a great deal of success in terms of acceptance to graduate programs and access to job opportunities,” Smith said. “Every student who has applied to graduate school after this program has been accepted, most of them with significant scholarship support. The input of the committed faculty and our important partner in Florence, LdM, assures the high quality of the program and the success of participating students.”
This is the fourth time Marist-Italy students have presented work at the Venice studios, during the Biennale. Held every other year, the Biennale has been in the avant-garde since its inception, promoting new artistic trends and organizing international events in the contemporary arts in accordance with a multidisciplinary model that characterizes its unique nature. The theme of the 2015 Biennale is “All the World’s Futures,” something that describes well the young artists in the Marist-Italy program.
Marist Executive Vice President Geoffrey Brackett, visiting the Venice studios for the final exhibit, noted the importance of the international experience as a central part of the College’s mission: “The Biennale Program presents students with the opportunity to engage in practical applications of classroom theory, and to do so in the context of the world's greatest exhibition of art. Distinctive international experiences such as this one are terrific examples of the global focus of Marist College's mission.”
The intensive, six-credit session brought the students together with on-site faculty, as well as rotating visiting faculty from both Marist College and LdM, who taught this combined studio/art history program and met with students six days each week over the course of the four-week residency, helping to
inspire and guide their work and their growth as artists.
Geared toward college juniors and seniors who are considering attending graduate programs in art or entering directly into the working world of artists, the Venice location offers many levels of inspiration:
- The studio structure of working alongside a professional artist in residence, a distinguished teaching faculty, visiting artists, on-site lectures, studio workshops, and critiques designed to engage students in the creative process.
- The opportunity for deep interaction with committed peers from diverse backgrounds and sustained activity in a committed studio practice.
- The rich cultural and artistic heritage of the City of Venice itself, where students have the opportunity to visit museums such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Scuola San Rocco, and Punta della Dogana, as well as experience the architecture and traditions that line every canal and street throughout the city.
- The Biennale Festival itself, which brings artists and their work from every part of the world to challenge and inspire new and traditional concepts of art.
The 2015 Biennale, which continues through November, has 100 countries around the world presenting unique artwork in selected pavilions and throughout Venice. The Marist Biennale program included students from Canada, Colombia, and Europe as well as the United States, ranging from Alaska, California, New York, New Jersey, and Texas. The students came from a broad range of colleges, including IAIA, Paris College of Art, Saint Anselm College, and many more under the direction of Marist College and LdM.
To learn more about the Marist-Italy Venice Biennale program, visit the Marist College Italy website