by Diana Gisolfi
Pratt in Venice 2009 marked the 25th anniversary of our Program. Fittingly it was a stellar year. Twenty-four participants included nine graduate students, from Art History and also Fine Arts and Computer Graphics. The undergraduates were majors in Fine Arts, Communication Design, many also completing minors in Art History, and majors in Art History. Graduate TCHADA alumna Gillian Sneed served as on-site assistant and supervised housing matters. She also organized and led a visit of all interested students to the Venice Biennale.
The climate cooperated, so Dimitri Hazzikostas’ Torcello trip started the program off beautifully. Greg Drasler, painting professor and Joe Stauber, printmaking professor, both in their second year with the program, worked wonderfully together and supported and pushed students well. The final crit, and the exhibition in October at Pratt, showed a great range of excellent work in both painting and printmaking/drawing.
Graduate assistants in the art history classes, Hilary Thompson and John Gribowich, undertook helping undergraduates in the intricacies of using the Marciana Library and the Quirini-Stampalia Library. And the nine students in Materials and Techniques came through with excellent research, with topics ranging from Venetian bricks, to early printed books and manuscripts, to meaning and technique in mosaics, to pigments and underdrawings in Bellini and Tintoretto, to sustaining Venice’s ecosystem.
We again enjoyed collaboration from local experts: Antonio Stevan at the Giotto chapel, Stefania Sartori in the wood sculpture conservation lab, Maestro Piero in the mosaic lab, Bernardo Molinas on frescoes, Paolo Spezzani on techniques for showing painting processes.
And we all enjoyed the spectacular fireworks on the Feast on the Redentore.