Studio Arts College International (SACI) is the oldest and most prestigious American art school in Florence. The institution was founded in 1975 by painter Jules Maidoff, whose goal was to offer the finest and most challenging training to the next generation of artists, art historians, and art conservators, as well as the opportunity to live out a full, first-hand immersion within Florentine culture and customs. SACI's main facilities are two beautiful historical palazzi in the center of Florence: the Palazzo dei Cartelloni, acquired in 1999, and the Palazzo Jules Maidoff for the Visual Arts, inaugurated in 2010.
The extensive range of studio arts, design, conservation, art history, and Italian culture and language courses provides students with the means to meet their individual educational needs while connecting them with the rich cultural heritage of Italy. View a list of courses here: http://www.saci-florence.edu/courses_categories.php
In both Fall and Spring, a student can enroll in five classes for a total of 15 credits.
Academic Year and Semester Abroad Program students enjoy many opportunities to exhibit their artwork in SACI’s two galleries. The Academic Year Abroad culminates in a major end-of-year student exhibition which serves as an opportunity for students to display their work also to the Florentine public.
Over the course of its history, SACI has succeeded in fulfilling a large number of astonishing achievements. These are but a few among the many reasons the institution is so highly regarded by its students, its faculty, its alumni, and within the Florentine community itself:
• Since 1975, over 10,000 students have benefited from the high educational standards offered at SACI. Among alumni are Oscar-nominated film directors, artists who have exhibited in the London National Portrait Gallery and many other prestigious galleries worldwide, art conservators of the highest level, jewelry designers working on Hollywood productions, just to mention a few. For a more exhaustive list of our alumni success stories, click here.
• SACI's Conservation Department works on many masterpieces from the Renaissance, giving students the opportunity to learn while actually restoring works by some of the greatest maestros of Italian art. Between 1996 and 2006 the Department fully restored the historical Chapel of Santa Maria degli Angiolini, which had been closed since 1966, when it was damaged by the flood.
• Many extraordinary artists have exhibited in the two SACI Galleries, from fashion designer Elio Fiorucci to Proust Armchair creator Alessandro Mendini, from Audrey Flack to Beverly Pepper. The SACI Artists Council includes such well known international artists as Christo, Ralph Gibson, and Sting. David Hockney honored SACI with his participation in the institution's 2008 Painted Optics Symposium.
• Since 2008, SACI students have participated in a project to decorate the wards of local Florentine hospitals.
Field trips throughout Tuscany and elsewhere in Italy are an integral and deeply rewarding part of the SACI overseas study experience. Students will be attending the field trips that are scheduled in classes in which they are enrolled, as well as field trips that are open to all enrolled students. Tuition includes all required class field trips and museum entrances.
Some of the numerous sites typically visited by SACI students include Venice, Rome, Milan, Naples, Bologna, Pisa, Lucca, Ravenna, Siena, Fiesole, San Gimignano, Arezzo, San Sepolcro, Monterchi, Assisi, Urbino, Tivoli, Hadrian’s Villa, the Certosa di Galluzzo, Vinci, Faenza, Pietrasanta, and Carrara.
In addition to visiting many famous Italian cities over the course of the year, students visit local Florentine museums and historic sites on numerous academic field trips offered each term. Students visit artists’ and designers’ studios, private collections, galleries, art fairs, and theaters. They have access to modern and historic art collections, research libraries, and contemporary art museums.
SACI apartments are fully furnished. All apartments have bathrooms and kitchens, and are fully equipped with stoves, refrigerators, heat, and hot water. SACI apartments differ in style, furnishings and amenities. Wifi is provided in all SACI apartments.