Exploring Siena with Bik Van der Pol

The Siena Art Institute’s Fall Project Fellows Bik Van Der Pol have been exploring the resources and inspirations of Siena, including the Biblioteca Briganti, the Palazzo Papesse, the Accademia dei Rozzi, the Palazzo Sansedoni of the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi, and other sites in the city center, with their explorations open to the Siena Art Institute’s resident artists, faculty, and students.

Researching at the Biblioteca Briganti:

On Art & Creativity

Many perspectives on art & creativity from resident artists and students of the Siena Art Institute.

The Siena Art Institute Onlus is a small non-profit arts organization based in the heart of Siena, Italy. We welcome artists from all disciplines who are interested in the intersection of art and civic life, and who wish to explore how the theoretical content of our individual practices can be translated into socially-meaningful projects that produce a deeper understanding of the cultures in which we find ourselves. We organize Project Fellowships, and Residencies for professional artists and writers. We organize public arts programming such as conferences and workshops together with collaborative partners, and offer unique study programs for international Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate art & writing students, as well as Intensive Summer & Winter Courses.

We would like to thank our many program participants involved in this montage, including our resident artistssemester students, students of the Brandeis-in-Siena summer program & the artists of our Pratt Institute Partnered Residencies.

Residents featured in the montage include:

Student voices & artwork featured in the montage include:

Guidebook Work in Progress

The young international artists of the Siena Art Institute are hard at work creating their artistic guidebooks, sharing their personal inspirations and interpretations of Siena’s cityscape using the format of a book, inspired by our visit to the artisanal bookbinding studio of Sator Print, and seeing the Librartis contemporary artists books at the Biblioteca Briganti and the ancient books in Siena’s City Archives collections.

Open Day at Il Punto + Workshop of Bik van der Pol

Sunday September 29th – FREE ENTRY

An afternoon of events dedicated to contemporary art, sustainability and deaf culture to celebrate the opening of “Il Punto | The Point ”, the new headquarters of Siena Art InstituteMason Perkins Deafness Fund and Siena School for Liberal Arts!

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/477767476390759/

Schedule details: https://www.sienaart.org/News/INAUGURATION-IL-PUNTO-THE-POINT-29-SEPTEMBER/

OPEN STUDIO of the artist-in-residence (15.00 – 17.00):
Meet the Welsh artist expert in social practice Honey Jones-Hughes or discover the ongoing work of young American, Greek, Dutch and Albanian artists who will study at the Siena Art Institute throughout the fall. On September 29, the artists of the Siena Art Institute open to the public the doors of their art studios – a unique opportunity for art lovers and the curious!

OPEN DAY (15.00 – 17.00):
Join our workshops in ceramics, silversmithing, photography, horticulture, creative writing, drawing, painting, watercolor and English: only at the inauguration of Il Punto | The Point special discounts for new participants will be offered! Moreover, if you are a student, ask for information on scholarships available thanks to the contribution of the Fondazione Mps for the #SpacetoMake project: you may be entitled to attend some of our courses completely free of charge!

STORIES FROM THE MARGIN: social practice workshop with Bik Van der Pol (5.30 pm – 7.00 pm). Made with the contribution of the Tuscany Region and GiovaniSì for the Toscanaincontemporanea2019 initiative:
How can creativity be used to actively involve isolated or marginalized communities? Discover the duo of Dutch artists Bik Van der Pol during this seminar open to the public but especially aimed at cultural operators, community leaders and representatives from the world of youth associations!

Visiting Sator Print

Our study abroad students visited the studio of Sator Print and met artisan Piergiorgio Bertolozzi Caredio .  Sator Print, in the heart of Siena just around the corner from the cathedral, specializes in making and restoring hand-crafted books, prints, manuscripts, etc. as well as beautiful examples of calligraphy, drawing upon traditions especially from Jewish heritage, linking the past with modern times.

For more information, visit http://www.satorprint.com/EN/


Visiting the Biblioteca Briganti

With our study-abroad students exploring Siena‘s Biblioteca Briganti part of the museum complex of Santa Maria della Scala, and seeing the Views of Rome (including the Campo Marzio map) by Piranesi, antique guidebooks from Siena, and contemporary artists’ books of the Librartis collection, providing inspiration for students’ own alternative guidebook projects!  Many thanks to the library staff for being so helpful in welcoming our students to utilize the resources of their collection!

For more information: https://www.santamariadellascala.com/en/services/#fototeca

Upcoming visit to Sator Print and the Briganti Library

Students are currently diving into the Guidebook project,  a response to a single location or a response to a path that they follow in & around Siena.  Specific themes to consider in the booklet response: multi-sensory materiality, site-specificity, alternative/non-touristic approaches, living heritage of artisans, connecting past to present.

We are looking forward to our trip on Thursday to visit Sator Print and Biblioteca Briganti.  We’ll have the chance to meet artisan Piergiorgio Bertolozzi and see his creations of calligraphy and book-binding at his studio Sator Print.


At the Briganti library we’ll explore references of historic and contemporary guidebooks, including the collection of “Librartis” contemporary artists’ books in many different formats, and the antique fold-out prints from Piranesi‘s “Views of Rome.”