Joseph Biggert wrote:
Can not thank you enough for your attention during my stay at the school. It was for me a great time and productive too. You will see me again one way or another. - Sept. Residency
Needless to say, I loved being a part of the program this summer. The environment of top-notch instruction, a community of fellow professional and student artists and the splendor of the Umbrian landscape make for a magnificent experience. You have created quite a place! And, you haven't seen the last of me. - Omaha, Nebraska
Christine Silvia wrote:
I'm back in Canada! I just wanted to say thank you for all you did at the school and made me feel welcome. I loved my stay in Monte Castello. I'd love to come back next year or refer people to your school. - Kamloops, British Columbia
Mark Lang wrote:
Just a note to thank you for those three weeks in Montecastello. I learnt so much from Saied and Celia, and it was such an adventure to come and study in such an exotic place. I'm looking forward to doing battle with the elements back in Oz when I return and putting what I learnt into practice, and hopefully get some good work done. I'm sure a spell with Dan Gustin next year will be worthwhile, so I'll keep you posted on how I'm going, but I'm pretty sure I'm a starter for June 17. Take care of yerself meantime, and, crocodiles permitting, I will too! All the best to you, and thanks so much again. - New South Wales, Australia marklangscapes.com
Vassiliki Benopoulou wrote:
I miss Montecastello so much!!!! A part of my heart for ever... I recommend the school of fine arts ISA in Montecastelo di Vibio, Italy to everybody who wishes to have a unique experience... Athens, Greece www.vassiliki-art.com
Thank you for having provided me with the opportunity to spend six weeks with you all last summer; it is something I think of often. I am still in the process of assimilating the various things I learned, some very clear and some more subtle. The most obvious result for me has been a new-found confidence with landscape painting, which was in fact one of my main goals in attending the school. In the ten months since my return I have painted outdoors roughly every other day, slowly developing my skills and insights. This means so much to me... and so I extend my appreciation, and my hopes that this year's courses are equally rewarding for all involved. - British Columbia
Michelle K. wrote:
I had a fab experience in learning painting there! I feel like tranformed! I want to go back again! - Shanghai
Ellie W. wrote:
This is by far the best place in the world to paint, get real work done, eat wonderful food and drink local wine and meet other artists. I recommend it wholeheartedly for anyone who really wants to immerse themselves in a beautiful place with other artists!! - 6 years of returning residencies
I just wanted to thank you for everything. Your program was wonderful. Everything from the food, the library, the location, the model, Lani's lecture, the Florence/Perugia trips, and the studios (which in fact my studio in Morelli was the most lovely studio I've ever had the opportunity to work in and of which I already miss dearly!). Though, I think perhaps the most important thing your residency offers is time. Time enough to reflect and make the images that for one reason or another were just persisting on being made. I've been sharply learning after graduation that time will probably be a endeavor to gather enough of. So really thank you for that providing that invaluable experience. Sept. 2011
I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to you and to the school for such an incredible experience. Everything and everyone was wonderful. The painting program was intensive and invaluable. Both Dan Gustin and Dave Voros were very inspirational to me. I hope to return to the school someday! I look forward to seeing you again. July 2011
I'm back in Albany now (feeling culture shock, oddly) and am still realizing things that I learned from my experience in Montecastello. I have to say that you have done a great job with the Artist Residency. I grew artistically more in a few weeks than I did all of last year! Not only is the location amazing (obviously, right?) but the structure of the program was really great and allowed for everyone to go at their own pace and get the most out of the experience. We were also lucky to have the best group EVER...but that's another story.
Just a quick email to say what a glorious time I had at the residency! I have been missing Iliana's cooking and the slower pace of Montecastello. The school is a really wonderful place.
Thanks so much... the trip was one of the most inspiring times in my life.
Fonda Hartman (Bala Cynwyd, PA) wrote:
My two weeks in Monte Castello was overwhelmingly wonderful. Living in such a simple, peaceful environment was such a gift. The people, the scenery, the excellent food all contributed to making the time successful. I can still see the valley and Todi as clearly as if I were still there. For me, painting or drawing every day made it possible for me to improve my skills, and I am hoping to allow more time in my hectic schedule for doing just that. Thank you again for providing such a lovely opportunity for art. It was one of the high points of my life.
Ásta Guðmundsdóttir (Reykjavík, Iceland) wrote:
I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful time I had in Montecastello, I am really happy with everything, great place great professors great program ....etc. I am working on spreading your word here in Iceland! So hopefully a storm of icelanders next year!
Until later, hopefully...
Rose McCulloch (Johannesburg, South Africa) wrote:
Dear Marc, I am finally back in South Africa and trying to get my feet on the ground after the most wonderful and enriching time we had in Montecastello. I am sorry that I seemed to miss out on saying goodbye and thank you to you and Olivera on Thursday evening. Please send her my best wishes and thanks for everything. The student exhibition was great! And it was such a lovely and joyful evening. Of all the painting trips I have been on this was by far the most lovely and cohesive group. The young people were all exceptional… talented, easy going, hard working, well mannered, a real inspiration. All the teaching was amazing... It was a privilege to be taught by Alex and to have the opportunity to interact with him at mealtimes as well. I have been an admirer of his work for a long time. He was very approachable and I feel I learnt so much and so can’t wait to get back to my painting now. I enjoyed Karina’s landscape and colour mixing exercises and Gerry’s sculpture and anatomy and drawing classes enormously. So thank you to you Marc for all the organisation involved in making all of this happen. It was a really wonderful experience for me. Best wishes, Rose McCulloch -- August 2, 2011
I would like to thank you, also on behalf of the entire Israeli group, for the wonderful hospitality for all your efforts and attentiveness. We have immensely enjoyed the beauty of Montecastello the resources & especially energies of the school and the interchange with you. We appreciate the uniqueness of the school and what it has been offering. On the whole, the organization of the apartments worked perfect. The organization of the trips worked superbly and we were most grateful for it. Overall it has been an inspiring living and working experience. We would like to thank you all. -- July 4, 2011
Adriana Kamenetsky wrote:
I want to thank you for a great experience that i had at the International School of Painting and Sculpture. I turned out to be one of the most important, not only artistically, but also personal journeys of my life. Location, organization, trips were wonderful. Please thank Ilia for me for her great cooking ( i still admire this woman's stamina and gastronomical gift) and tell her that i adopted some of her recipes that continue to delight the Americans. Thank you once again. I already miss Montecastello de Vibio and its way of life. -- July 11, 2011
I got home (Hong Kong) and I had the most amazing time in Montecastello
All of us wished that the course was six weeks instead of three weeks.
Yes, it was that hard to leave Montecastello and I still miss that place. ( and really want to go back!) Thank you again -- July 15, 2011
Lorri Kehl wrote:
Words can not explain. Amazing program for any artist at any level. I went for two weeks in 2007 and I'm still talking about this experience. Highly recommended!
RateMyStudyAbroad.com May 24, 2011
Jolanta J. wrote:
I'm writing to say big THANK YOU for wonderful time I had in Montecastello this summer. Even if it was so short I benefited a lot from the classes offered in your school. At least I realized how much I have to work to reach my previous form. I appreciate the way the working days were organized, wonderful food and welcoming and sincere atmosphere. These days will be and are unforgettable for me. Really, the school, picturesque surrandings and all what you do there deserves best recommendation. - Warsaw, Poland
Your Passion Vacations - ForbesTraveler.com article
by Emily Brown 2008-04-21
From the terrace outside the art school, Ella Yang took in the same sweeping vistas that have motivated artists since medieval times. Historic buildings hug the mountaintop in Italy that she called home for three weeks after taking a break from her high-powered New York life for a vacation to indulge in her passion: painting. “For once I’m going to do something I’ve always wanted to do,” Yang told herself.
For Yang, that meant a trip to Umbria, Italy, in the countryside between Florence and Rome. For three weeks she painted every day with instruction from the school’s faculty and listened to lectures from professionals. The International School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture was intense, she says. It had less sightseeing and more instruction than other programs, but that’s just what Yang wanted. “Like any person working full-time and only doing their passion on the weekend, you can only make so much progress,” she says. It was such a rewarding vacation, that after three weeks of painting and months of soul-searching, Yang decided to leave investment consulting behind and open an art studio bearing her name in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I live more modestly [now],” she says, “but my life is so much richer.”
Sandy L. wrote:
Hello Marc: feedback from me re: Italy this past may with Jody Joseph. I had the time of my life. The program was well run. I have come home inspired, more informed as to how to work best with my medium [oils ], and with great desire to go back. We had a great great group of 11. Learned a lot from each other and connected in a really great way. The food was fabulous and I loved the people and town...I felt perfectly safe and comfortable. Thanks for your work in making it all happen.
Beth P. wrote:
Now about the school, there isn't much that I can say to express how wonderful it was, and pretty much nothing I can say in criticism. I really loved that time I spent in Montecastello because of the town, the trips, but most of all my fellow students and our teachers. We had an amazing group that really grew to be like a family. The group was also really talented, which was great in getting me motivated to work and challenge myself. I loved... (the faculty). They all had such different approaches in their artwork that the learning experience was very dynamic. The town was great and it is one of my goals to see it again at some point in my life, even though right now all I want to do is go back! I also really appreciated the trips to other areas in Italy.
Carla P. wrote:
I enjoyed my session (June-July) in Italy so much. I constantly refer to things I learned there. The program was beneficial. The teachers in my session were extremely caring and available, and my studio space was amazing and invaluable!
Arnold L. wrote:
Thank you and all those associated with the School for the wonderful stay in Montecastello. I know everyone else feels the same from the emails I have received. It was a very productive stay for me and I am now busy making larger work from the smaller studies I completed there. My dealer has already sold several small pieces, so it looks like I will be having a show of the Italian paintings.
Ora A. wrote:
thank you for the most wonderful experience in Montecastello. My three weeks were incredible!!! The... (staff) was wonderful, the food was unbelievably good, our teachers were extraordinary, and the time to paint and converse with other artists was an opportunity I will never forget and hope to repeat!!!
Victoria W. wrote:
I just want to thank all of you for making the last three weeks so enjoyable and allowing us all to fully explore our own work, at our own pace. Everyone at the school was welcoming and supportive, from helping with shipped art supplies that didn't make it on time, to baggage and mailing stuff back home, to introducing us to local painters and artists we never would have discovered on our own. It was an incredible gift to be enveloped in an atmosphere of such joy and warmth--most of all the glorious labor of painting and sketching. I came to Italy to find refuge from my frenzied corporate world for a few weeks and to forge a discipline again with my own work. I gained in so many ways-meeting lovely, strong artists who weren't afraid to push themselves or try something new. Your critiques were kind and generous and made me feel empowered to go even further. I left refreshed, renewed and once again obsessed with the idea of working - waking from dreams of color and form was another perk that I hadn't expected. To be so fully engrossed and well taken care of on both the spiritual and practical levels is a real treasure, one that I'll try to duplicate back here in PA. But it won't be the same without your smiling faces and laughter. Con molti ringraziamento e memorie affettuose, grazie for the fabulous opportunity to experience painting in Italy! ~ I hope to return.
Ingrid P. wrote:
I want to say thank you for running your program and let you know that I'm very glad I could be a part of it. I cant imagine how much work and stress must go into overseeing an operation like that but I want you to know that its definitely appreciated.
Kathleen D. wrote:
Let me say that my daughter had a most wonderful and rewarding experience at The International School of Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture in Umbria this past summer. Thank you.
Lori K. wrote:
I have not yet recovered from the melancholy I was feeling when I left on Saturday morning. Especially when the stewardess laid down the plate of airline food in front of me. We're not in Montecastello any more Dorothy. Reality is sometimes harsh. Where's the wine and the fresh fruit? Anyway, I am so grateful to have had the experience and to meet such wonderful like minded people. I miss everyone dearly and wish them all the best. Thank you so much for your note and your wonderful hospitality. The trips, the rooms, the studio space, the food, oh my God the food, and everything about the school is worth every penny and more. I don't think anyone can stay there and not have it impact them in some way. If you ever need any recommendations for yourself or the school don't hesitate to ask. I shall return.
WSU Painting and The International School of Painting, Drawing
and Sculpture in Umbria, Italy (ISA)
The professional relationship between the Wichita State University painting program and ISA continues to develop, providing exciting and meaningful experiences to painting students, alumni and friends who are interested in travel to Italy, and study or artist residency at a highly respected school. WSU painting now has 28 alumni of instructional or artist residency programs at ISA.
“If you’re thinking about making connections and working within a quality network, our relationship with ISA has already paid off. One of the things I like to emphasize about ISA is its very rigorous program, its very high standards and high quality of instruction and students.” - Ronald Christ, Professor of Painting and Drawing; Graduate Coordinator, Wichita State University
Tricia Sellmer, Sept. 2006
Best regards, Meghan Fleming, May 2006
I have just returned home after an additional month traveling around Italy, and wanted to write to tell you how very rich and lovely my experience at Montecastello was. As soon as I left, I immediately missed going to work in my little studio everyday - I had so many more images I wanted to paint! Besides the absolute beauty and gentle nature of the town and its residents, and the surrounding landscape, it was just so wonderful to be surrounded by so many artists who were painting, and painting from observation the world around them. (I primarily painted the architecture with cast shadow shapes, and a bit of landscape; eventually I'll put some on my website.)
Jody took really good care of everyone at the residency; Judy and Susanna were great, and the residents were very nice people; but my favorite part was when the students came. They were really the most wonderful young devoted artists. I adored being around them - and their excellent teachers. Such a great group of people altogether, with pristine values about art and painting and a focus and willingness to work very hard. (Plus doing great paintings.) I enjoyed watching them stretched and expanded by being in that environment.
Holly Downing, May-June 2006
The six-week course in Montecastello is great. It's a good course
that I have been recommending to my friends, who are interested in short
term painting course, to take up. I believe some of my friends (mostly
in the field of Architecture or painting classes) will be interested
as well. Their problem is always "time". I'm glad for what
I've learned and enjoyed the School very much. What I'm looking forward
to at this point of time is to see how I will paint!
Looking back and more importantly looking at the body of work which I completed during this period, I am simply amazed. Whether it be the idyllic town of Montecastello, the majestic vistas or the inspiration setting...it all adds up to a satisfying experience. My thoughts are to return again next May.
Kathryn Sanfilippo, May, 2005
Just a note to say how very much I enjoyed my stay at the International School the company of the others there and the charms of Montecastello and the surrounding countryside which produced 21 little paintings to bring home to Ireland some I think I will work up into bigger paintings and will form part of my solo (one person) exhibition next summer a couple of the small ones will be in group shows at the end of October and just before Christmas. Jody and Gina were just wonderful we shared some great conversations and laugh’s I look forward to meeting up with them again. It was a very, very happy time; I hope to have another visit in the future.
Maria Levinge, Sept. 2005 NEWTOWNBARRY HOUSE GALLERY | MARIA LEVINGE
Back from Umbria! What a great experience it was. A whole
month of drawing, painting, eating, sleeping, and not much else. I met
some great people, talked about art (which I don't get to do much at
home since my artist friends aren't nearby) and hung out with people
from all over the world at the bar. To talk about Pontormo and be understood
is something I haven't experienced since my New York days. That's ten
years ago, my friends. I didn't realize I was so depraved till this residency
thing. Thanks to my good friend and artist Brian who convinced me to
go with him to Italy!Montecastello is beautiful. That's a gimme. the
vast distances and amazing atmospheric effects in all directions were
so inspiring, I couldn't get enough of painting en plein air. In the
mornings we had figure drawing sessions with our wonderful model, Andrea,
who had the perfect forms for the kind of drawings I do. I'll remember
to upload those, too.
Terry Miura, May, 2005
Marc, I have now been home awhile and just
processed all my photos. I look back on that time almost like it was
a dream. I have pictures of the school, the town, the festa and go cart
race, where I lived as well as that fabulous landscape. My favorites
are the ones at dinner on the roof. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed
it all and what a fabulous job you are doing. This time I was able to
work with the teachers more and enjoyed meeting Martha, Barry and Ying. Dan is
a legend that I learn more from and about each time I experience him.
I especially wanted to say how nice Josef was. He makes a difficult job
look easy and is always attentive and caring. He waited for the bus to
come before he left me when I went to the airport.
Suzanne Andersen, June 2005
Marc, words cannot capture what I've experienced in Monetecastello or even come remotely close to giving a vague description of the place itself. this whole trip as been like the peak of my life in that sense it gave me so much that I'll carry on forever with me. You know, priceless stuff. God bless you for starting a program like this.
Aaron Swindle, June 2005
This is Monica Haak from the first summer session. I have a few Final favors to ask of you, but let me first say that I made more progress than I could have imagined through the International School. I can't tell you how invaluable that program was for me and I want to thank you for your unending work to organize it and keep it running smoothly. It significantly changed my painting practices. Having my own studio (which was an ideal space; I'm very grateful for the assignment I got) and the input of the faculty made me develop much better habits and I have continued to maintain a higher level of productivity since I left. I am now taking my senior seminar at Penn with John Moore. During my previous three years in college I've focused more on my philosophy major and taken the art major more lightly. This summer definitely shifted my priorities and turned my attention to MFA programs. Running the School must have required a lot of personal sacrifice on your part and I can't thank you enough for providing such a unique and formative experience.
Monica Haak, June 2004
I have returned home safely and just wanted to send a quick email telling you what fabulous a time I had at the International School. It has been by far the best art school experience I have had so far!! I thought the teachers were excellent. I was especially inspired by Martha’s work and think that Dan was so wonderful to let us come to his studio to paint for the landscape seminar. What a treat!! I really had a delightful time. Josef and Marija were very helpful throughout the summer—everyone thought they worked so hard and did such a great job trying to deal with everyone’s various needs. They really do not receive enough praise for all of their hard work. I hope the new program is going well and the new people are getting adjusted well.
Anyway, thanks again for such a wonderful program and a delightful summer!!
Trina Gordon, June 2004
I wanted to thank you again for an INCREDIBLE summer.
I never imagined I would be so transformed in just 6 weeks. The school
and, most importantly, the teachers saved me years of struggling with
technique and made me earn my right of confidence. No words could express
what I learned this summer because I learned so much about art and ALL
of life that it blows my mind. My art work is really starting to take
on it's own in a way that I would have never imagined thanks to the International
School, and a "thanks" just isn't enough...but I guess it'll
have to do for now.
Mary C Delony, June 2004
I wanted to write again to thank you for everything this summer -- for arranging such a great program. Rock Solid staff, good eats. I learned so much. I need to make sure I keep painting this year, so I can begin to see all the lessons mature. It's always too much to take in in 6 weeks.
Every one of the teachers brought something distinctive -- whether their personality or their ability to communicate -- or simply their different technical approaches to painting. Something for everyone. As a returning student -- the experience of the school was completely different from my first time there. During my first year I attended the school- I was simply trying to take in the volumes of information flowing my way from every direction regarding how to paint, how to create an image, how to really see more deeply and honestly. This time around my focus changed dramatically. This summer was all about the ideas and the inspiration behind painting, the "why" of painting, how to make art work with real integrity. I left with an increased confidence in myself as an independent artist, an idea of the direction in which my work needs to grow, and again enough technical information to keep me busy for a few years. All in all it was a very rewarding, valuable experience.
I just wanted to say thanks and I hope the last session is a great success for you and your students. All the best to you and your family.
Jed Appelrouth, June 2004