Work-in-progress for mid-term projects

Our students are hard at work with their mid-term projects for the Art & Society course, looking ahead to the Mid-Term Open Studio coming up next Tuesday, and the Mid-Term Group Critique on Wednesday!

IMG_20190313_131421.jpgYou can follow the activities of our students in the Spring 2019 semester Art and Society course through the blog listings of “Spring 2019” category, and through their profile pages listed here:

Talk with artist-in-residence Susan Barbour


Our current artist-in-residence, Susan Barbour, led a presentation on Tuesday March 12th at the Siena Art Institute as part of our weekly cycle of public talks “StARTers: Assaggi d’arte.”

Facebook event: 

Susan Barbour’s recent work focuses on smell and its effect on the verbal imagination. Drawing on her background as a poet, scholar, and sommelier, she is writing a hybrid book of memoir and theory that explores the relation between text and nose. As part of her research for this project, she also conducts wine-tastings and workshops in the psychological reactions to human body odor.

Barbour’s interest in the body’s traces extends to her visual art practice as well. Her poetry book manuscript, NUDE UNTANGLING HER HAIR, recounts her experience of learning to draw while working as an artist’s model and incorporates line drawings of female nudes she makes using her own hair. She has exhibited her artwork in galleries in Los Angeles and New York and has shows forthcoming in the U.K.

Barbour earned a B.A. in Literature from Dartmouth, an M.A. in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, and a D.Phil. in English Literature from Oxford, where she was a Clarendon Scholar. She also holds the Level 4 Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and is a certified French Wine Scholar. Her poetry and essays have appeared in literary magazines including Five DialsThe Paris ReviewCatapult,The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Oxford Poetry, and her scholarship has been published in academic journals such as Textual Practice, Transatlantica, and The Oxford Review of English Studies. She has been the recipient of fellowships from The James B. Reynolds Foundation, The Rothermere American Studies Institute, The Huntington Library, The Bogliasco Foundation, The Beinecke Library at Yale, The Jentel Artist Residency, The Dora Maar House/Brown Foundation, and The Institute for Art and Olfaction. She has lectured at Johns Hopkins, École Polytechnique, and Merton College, Oxford and also held research positions at Columbia University and Caltech.

For more info, visit her residency profile page.


Visiting the Fuoricampo Gallery

Today we had the chance to see the latest exhibition at the Fuoricampo Gallery, here in the historic center of Siena, with our students of the Art & Society course and the Siena Art Institute’s current artist-in-residence Susan Barbour.

Curator Jacopo Figura spoke to us about the history of the space, and the current exhibition on view, FUGGISOLEMARCO ANDREA MAGNI

For more information about the gallery, check out their website:

Visit to the Lupa Contrada

Today we had the wonderful opportunity to visit different artistic spaces in the Lupa Contrada, the neighborhood of the She-wolf here in the historic center of Siena.

We visited the Museo D’Inverno, a contemporary art space hosted by the contrada, to view their current exhibition, ENCICLOPEDIA DELLE MERAVIGLIE: Alessandra Spranzi .  We were able to meet with artist Francesco Carone, one of the founders of the Museo D’Inverno, to speak about the evolution of the space as well as his own artistic background.  For more info:

We also were able to visit the medieval fountain Fonte Nuova, the historic contrada chapel, the museum showcasing the costumes and banners of the contrada, as well as the workshop space where the hand-made banners are painstakingly created by a group of artisans from the neighborhood!

For more pictures and information about the Contrada della Lupa:

Visiting the Fonte delle Monache

This afternoon, exploring the theme of “Places of Escape” we walked from the Siena Art Institute to the city gate of Porta San Marco, and then ended up in the “secret garden” of the Fonte delle Monache, a lush hillside with olive and fruit trees, and the ancient fountains created in the 13th-14th century for the Augustinian nuns who were cloistered in their convent, connected to the fountains by an underground tunnel!

For more info: