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  • Locations: Bellingham, Washington, United States; Florence, Italy; Rome, Italy; Venice, Italy;
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 04/12/2019 ** Rolling Admission 06/17/2019 07/21/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Global Learning Faculty-led Language of Instruction: English
Language Prerequisite: No Fields of Study: Art, Art History, Culture
Housing Options: Hostel/Hotel, Other Minimum GPA: 2.5
Program Description:


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WWU Global Learning Program:

Arts of Italy

Course: ART 394: Arts of Italy, 8 credits

Pre-reqs: None, completion of Art and Art History foundations preferred.

Syllabus: ItalySyllabus2019_8_18.pdf

Program Dates: June 17 - August 15, 2019

Travel Dates: June 28 - July 21, 2019

Itinerary: ITALY 2019 tentative schedule.pdf

Program Description:

Arts of Italy is an intensive studio course that takes place in central and northern Italy. In this class we will explore Italian art and culture focusing on the arts and architecture in Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Venice. We will cover art and architecture from ancient through early modernity to contemporary, ending the trip at the Venice Biennale. Through critical issues and contemporary art practice students will engage in visual exploration and creative problem solving through a variety of media, tools, and techniques. Readings, presentations, and studio–based projects reflect on visits to sites, exhibitions, museums and galleries. Students at all levels are welcome. 

Course Highlights:

Beginning in Rome we will explore ancient Roman art and architecture through walking tours and site visits to the Coliseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, and Palatine Hill. We spend a day at the Vatican Museum where you will see Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Other highlights of Rome include the Villa Borghese and strolling Piazza Navona where our hotel is located. After five packed days we travel by train to Florence, where you find Renaissance masterworks from Giotto to Botticelli, climb the stairs to the top of the Duomo, visit a 13th Century Florentine palace home, and examine amazing anatomical wax sculptures created in the late 1700’s. From Florence we travel by van into the heart of Tuscany, to the beautiful and peaceful Sant’ Ana en Camprena, site of a former 15th century Benedictine monastery and our home for the next five nights. At Sant’Ana, we will work on-site, have discussions in the garden, and study the original frescos in the refectory. From Sant’Ana we will take day trips to the surrealist sculpture garden Daniel Spoerri, the Renaissance town of Pienza, and a mineral hot spring among others. We will have time to relax, spend time discussing course readings, work on studio and research projects, and visit a famous wine region, all-the-while eating delicious Italian food served in the dining room at Sant’Ana. Finally, the course culminates in Venice, were we will visit the largest and oldest international art exhibition in the world, the Venice Biennale. Here you will see up-to-the minute art works of every kind by contemporary artists from all over the world. The Biennale takes place over two massive sites, multiple buildings, and in villas throughout the city. We will also visit St Mark’s cathedral, the Peggy Guggenheim museum – a modern gem of a museum. – as well as the Accademia Museum where you can find baroque masterpieces of Venetian art and the Contemporary Museums Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi. 

Expectations of Participants: 

This course requires a lot of walking in potentially hot weather. Approximately 2-3 hours of walking per day.  Activities include visits to museums and cultural sites. With or without reasonable accommodation, must be able to walk for hours at a time in warm weather, climb stairs, and stand for prolonged periods. Access to electricity and refrigeration for the duration of the program.  


Cara Jaye 
cara jayeCara Jaye is Professor of Art at Western Washington University where she teaches a wide range of drawing courses, photography and professional practices. She received her MFA from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and her BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York City. Cara has taken groups of Western students to Italy 7 times; she loves to explore the remarkable art and architecture of this rich and embracing country.  

Jaye has recently participated in artist residencies worldwide, including at the Burren College of Art in Ireland (fall 2018), Playa at Summer Lake, Oregon (summer 2018) and at ACE Pirar in Buenos Aires Argentina (winter 2016). She has exhibited her work extensively both nationally and internationally including at Gallery Gowoon, Gyeongnam, South Korea; PUNCH Gallery, Seattle WA; ArtsWest, Seattle; University of CO, Boulder; Greymatter Gallery, Milwaukee WI; Coop Gallery, Nashville TN; and Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, CA.  
Office: FI106A
Phone: 360-650-7771
Mariah Tate Klemens 
mariah italy

Mariah Tate Klemens was born and raised Seattle, WA. She received her BFA from Western Washington University in Mixed Media Sculpture emphasizing in performance in 2013. After graduating, Klemens taught and produced work in Guadalajara, Mexico. At Escuela Superior de Arquitectura she worked as an artist in residence and traveled across Mexico working with advisors formed through ESARQ. Upon returning to the United States she remained in the Northwest, attending the Centrum Emerging Artist Residency in Port Townsend, WA. She also exhibited in Bellingham, WA, Seattle WA, and Portland, OR. Klemens now lives and works in Madison, WI, obsessing over ways of infusing memory, nostalgia, and elements of lost love into sculptures. She is currently finishing her MFA degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mariah taught the Arts of Italy course together with Cara Jaye in 2015 and is looking forward to another great summer in 2019.  

Program Cost:

See the Budget Sheet

Program Ratings:
Academic Experience:
1 2 3 4
Program Value:
1 2 3 4
Housing Experience:
1 2 3 4
Cultural Immersion:
1 2 3 4
Program Administration:
1 2 3 4
Overall Experience:
1 2 3 4
This program offers a unique opportunity for students to immerse themselves in art in Italy.  The group froms intimate bonds which serves to further inspire artists to formulate new ideas based on what they are experiencing.  Students are allowed ample free time to self explore, while also participating in a rigorously planned itinerary which utilizes the most out of every single day on the journey.  Unique experiences such as an extended stay at a Monastery in the Tuscan Countryside increase the Wow! factor for this experience.  

The ability to enter many museums and have guided tours (especially highly populated sites such as the Vatican) provide students with an experience hard to match if they were to visit Italy indepenently.  
     — Kate Yamamoto, Summer 2015
Read what others have said about this program.