University of Oregon

A Tuscan Experience: Studio Art in Siena

Program Overview

Italy has a long history of fostering creativity and innovative art forms that build on the past but look towards the future. This history, as well as the rich culture and physical beauty of Siena and broader Italy, will serve as the context in which students will explore and develop their artistic skills through experimentation with a variety of painting techniques in the studio art course and the creation of personal journals. The Italian masters will provide examples in painting, and students will record their experiences and personal growth through both sketches and writing in their personal travel journals in the journaling course. The highlight of the program will be a trip to Venice to visit the Biennale, the renowned international art exhibition held every two years to showcase contemporary artists from around the world.

Academic Details

In addition to the Tuscan Travel Journal and Painting and Drawing Concepts courses, you will enroll in at least two other courses offered at the GEO Siena center. Required courses include an Italian language course and the Intercultural Communications course. You may also enroll in additional courses offered at the GEO Siena center. All courses offered in Siena are recognized and approved for academic credit by various GEO partner institutions. Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

In the Painting and Drawing Concepts course, you will learn a variety of painting and mixed-media techniques in a studio setting as well as drawing on-site at locations around Siena and elsewhere that will culminate in a group exhibition at a professional art gallery near the famous Duomo, and the possibility of inclusion in an exhibition at the Palazzo Publico (City Hall) in the heart of downtown Siena. You will see masterworks of painting firsthand in Florence and Rome as examples of techniques you will be learning in the course, and sketch on location there as well. A highlight of the program is a trip to the Venice Biennale, a major international contemporary arts exhibition held every other year in Venice, which will influence and inform your artwork. 

You may enroll in this course in either the introductory or advanced level. Students enrolling in the advanced level must have already had a foundational art class or instructor approval. This course may be recognized as studio art credit for art majors and minors by your home university. Check with your departmental advisor for more information. 
In the Tuscan Travel Journal course, you will document your time in Italy through reflection, sketching and mixed media, concentrating on developing your drawing, writing and self-expression skills.

Faculty and Staff

Shelley Jordon is a Portland, Oregon, based painter and moving-image artist and Professor in the Oregon State University Department of Art. She uses traditional drawing and painting media applied to two dimensional artwork, animation and animated installation to express the complex nature of memory; physical and emotional, collective and personal. Her artwork has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally in group and solo including the Portland Art Museum, The Frye Museum and the Wexner Center for the Arts and has been supported by numerous awards and fellowships. Shelley loves travel and has lived and taught in Italy on numerous occasions. She is very excited to be returning to teach in Siena, one of her favorite cities in the world. 

Click here to view Shelley Jordan's blog from her previous GEO program in Siena

Housing Description

Experience life as part of an authentic Italian neighborhood, living in apartments with other GEO and/or International/Italian students or students’ residence (small dorm) with other American, Italian or international students throughout the town of Siena. Some apartments are within walking distance of the GEO classroom within the old city walls, while others are in neighborhoods just outside and accessible by public transportation. No matter where you live, close by you can find small local grocers, restaurants, and cafés unique to your neighborhood. Each apartment is fully furnished with beds, desks and a kitchen table and chairs. You will share a bedroom with one or two other students, as well as the common spaces (bathroom, kitchen, etc.). The kitchens are equipped with utensils, plates, glasses, cookware, an electronic oven and a gas stove. You will also receive two sets of linens and each apartment has access to a washing machine and drying rack.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearPriority DeadlineFinal DeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Fall Quarter20173/15/20174/15/20179/26/201712/7/2017

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.