Spring 2021 Garden Updates

 Spring has sprung in our garden! There are lots of flowers blooming and plants sprouting. We had a set-back with a repair needed for the acqueduct tube which passes beneath our garden and required digging a large hole in the plots near our garden entrance, but thankfully the repair seems to have been successful and we can now work on replanting that section. We are also working to set up a provisional amphitheater space alongside our garden, full of possibilities!

Michael Eldridge x StARTers LIVE May 4th

Our series of online talks StARTers LIVE continues on Tuesday May 4th with creativity coach, painter, and photographer Michael Eldridge. This online event is part of our April-May series of talks on the theme of Art & Education, discussing ways of engaging in creative and critical thinking through art in a variety of subjects and contexts. 

The conversation will be live-streamed on the Siena Art Institute’s Facebook page and YouTube channel at 6pm Siena / 7pm Athens / 9:30pm Delhi / noon NYC / 11am Chicago/ 9am L.A. Presentation in English.

As always, comments and questions from viewers are very welcome during the broadcast.  We hope you can join us! 

Michael Eldridge is a painter, photographer and creativity coach. He is a Fulbright scholar, Fellow of the FRSA and has taught in the UK and USA.

He currently teaches in Italy where he runs art workshops in the Sibillini mountains. During the Pandemic, he has created online studio workshops which are principally about the good and bad times in the life of an artist and what it really means to be creative. And they include practical, playful tuition on image making and advice on how to get your stuff out there.

He connects with folk from his studio near Civitanova and in the summer at his mountain retreat. His online sessions are both individual one to one sessions and are also for groups via ZOOM webinars and whatsapp. They are always lighthearted and playfully challenging.

As an artist, he exhibits his work internationally and lectures on the subject of Creativity at conferences in the USA and in Europe.

A Londoner by birth, he has lived in New Zealand, South Africa and in the USA. Currently his home is in Italy

You can find him on Whatsapp + 39.3283535358, on Instagram and Facebook.

His personal website is www.michaeleldridge.net

Rodney Veal x StARTers LIVE on April 27

Our series of online talks StARTers LIVE continues on Tuesday April 27th with American choreographer, artist, and educator Rodney Veal. This online event is part of our April-May series of talks on the theme of Art & Education, discussing ways of engaging in creative and critical thinking through art in a variety of subjects and contexts. 

The conversation will be live-streamed on the Siena Art Institute’s Facebook page and YouTube channel at 6pm Siena / 7pm Athens / 9:30pm Delhi / noon NYC / 11am Chicago/ 9am L.A.

As always, comments and questions from viewers are very welcome during the broadcast.  We hope you can join us! 

Rodney Veal is an independent choreographer and multi-disciplinary artist based in Dayton, Ohio in the US.  He serves as adjunct faculty & Career Community Coordinator at Sinclair Community College. He is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a B.S in Political Science and Visual Arts. He received his M.F.A in Choreography from The Ohio State University.

Rodney currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Ohio Dance as President and on the boards of Levitt Pavilions Dayton, HomeFull, Dayton Live! and WYSO.

He is the recipient of several Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District grants and fellowships, including a MCACD Fellowship for 2010-2011.  He was one of five artists chosen nationwide to participate in the Blue Sky Dayton Project Artist in Residency Program held in collaboration with the University of Dayton in the summer of 2009.  

Rodney has choreographed and presented numerous performance installations; recent notable projects being Reveal: Five Zones of Beauty presented at the Springfield Museum of Art in 2011 and the GHETTO installation at the University of Dayton’s ArtStreet in 2015.  

Rodney can currently be seen as the Host of the Emmy© Award winning Television series THE ART SHOW which is currently in production for its 12th season and can be viewed at thinktv.org/theartshow/ on the YouTube channel The Art Show- ThinkTV and CET.

For more information:

Links for Rodney Veal:

Links for the TV show he hosts The Art Show/ ThinkTV:

SARTWENTY-TWENTY- Chapter IV: About Jacqueline Tune

Our intern, Aurora Angiolini from the Università per Stranieri di Siena, has been interviewing faculty members at the Siena Art Institute, reflecting on the challenges of 2020 and looking forward as we move ahead with 2021. In this fourth and final interview of her series, she speaks with our Photography instructor, Jacqueline Tune.



Jacqueline Tune was born and raised in the English county of Kent, between village and town, immersed in the countryside which was made up of both cultivated and wild nature, with pockets of storybook landscapes filled with flora and fauna. This inspired her to develop a deep interest in portraying the nature that surrounded her through photography.  Photography has remained a strong life-long passion for Jackie, and was the focus of her studies at college. 

Jackie spent a short period of time in London, where she collaborated with interesting characters to explore womanhood through surreal and theatrical depictions of the self.  Jackie then decided to move to Italy, seeking a new life and diving into new horizons for art and work. This change brought her to new and exciting locations and atmospheres. In this new context, her artistic and personal path became totally different from what she had previously pursued. She became deeply immersed in a new reality, which has shown itself to have more of a dreamlike quality than true tangibility, some sort of an “imagined reality”, a dream inside which she has managed to enter and inside which she is now living and working.  This new reality constantly challenges her preconceptions through new discoveries: encouraging the will to explore which has been growing inside Jackie’s heart since her childhood.

Her creative process which guides her work maintains its unchanged roots: the exploration of what immediately surrounds her mixed with her constant keen observation and connecting to the natural world. 

Everyone’s inner nature

Jackie is particularly drawn how people interact with nature. The atmospheres of Tuscany helped her to develop and enhance her personal research: for instance, the wild and quiet  Merse river valley offered a new perspective and an unexplored perception of light, a fundamental element in photography.

Jackie defines herself as a “photographer who loves documenting”, meaning that she portrays various facets of inner and outer realities, meticulously collecting and selecting images and materials taken from the world around her.

Generally, Jackie prefers working in series, showing each component of a group in its own uniqueness. Some examples are her series of formal portraits of pregnant women, entitled Lo stato interessante, her series Download Now of children looking at their electronic devices. Turning her gaze towards the landscape, her series Territories portrays specific human interventions like abandoned quarries and wastelands, heaps of materials (such as hay, agricultural waste, and rubble), and seemingly-natural interventions such as rivers and animal tracks. Jackie tries to look at each specific subject in a different way, and each becomes a type of portrait.

Jackie’s new project, Odd one Out, has a more specifically natural insight, using botanical subjects to talk about marginalization, and the importance of celebrating diversity. Every leaf, though similar to others and coming from the same type of plant, is unique in its color, form, and markings. 

Most recently, nature and artificiality are fused in another ongoing project developed during this past year’s lockdown, which Jackie spent in the Montagnola Senese territory. In this project, Jackie collected as many plants as possible and pressed them into handmade clay tiles, immortalizing each plant and showcasing its unique beauty. Craftwork and using her hands have always been important for Jackie, allowing her to express the qualities and limits of various materials using her special touch. In addition to clay, Jackie loves working with other materials like metal (because metal, like clay, can be shaped with an additive process rather than a subtractive one, such as with marble).

Throughout her work, Jackie aims to be in conversation with herself, her materials, and her surroundings.  She also tries to empathize with other peoples’ personal experiences, and uncover what shapes our shared society. In Jackie’s view, understanding ourselves means coming to know what is hidden inside us in order to express it to the outside world through artistic process. 

Jackie & SART

In general, Jackie’s work makes connections between nature (representing the outside world) and ourselves (our most inner and most hidden realities). Jackie has always worked a lot on these themes, examining both herself and others, also thanks to the opportunities she has found at the Siena Art Institute, where she teaches photography. 

From her very first meeting with the Siena Art Institute’s director back in 1999, Jackie’s work at SART has grown in new and unexpected directions. Jackie not only serves as a  teacher but also is one of the “building blocks” of SART, where she works in friendship alongside her students and colleagues.

Jackie encourages all her students to use their cameras to explore and portray the world, to look at and connect with everything surrounding them from a perspective that is cultural, social, and visually different from everything they already know. At the same time, they focus and reflect on what motivates and fulfills them, bringing forth their emotions and discoveries, so that they can creatively respond to stimuli and build up new life experiences. Another important aim is to help students to develop a new visual and poetic language by which they can express themselves.

As a teacher at the Siena Art Institute, Jackie enjoys being able to offer inspirational guidance to many young and talented artists coming from all over the world.  Her students offer her a lot in return as well. They provide many opportunities for comparing different viewpoints through which Jackie can more deeply understand her real, inner purpose: being a spark that can help to ignite the creative flames that reside inside every soul.

Exploring everything that is “other” from us is a meaningful way to reach one’s own intimate knowledge.

This is Jacqueline Tune.

Indrapramit Roy x StARTers LIVE April 20th

Our series of online talks StARTers LIVE continues on Tuesday April 20th with Indian painter and educator Indrapramit Roy, part of our April-May series of talks on the theme of Art & Education.  We will discuss ways of engaging in creative and critical thinking through art in a variety of subjects and contexts. 

The conversation will be live-streamed on the Siena Art Institute’s Facebook page and YouTube channel at 6pm Siena / 7 pm Athens / noon NYC / 9:30 Delhi.

As always, comments and questions from viewers are very welcome during the broadcast.  We hope you can join us! 

Indrapramit Roy studied printmaking (BFA) at the Visva-Bharati University of Santiniketan and painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts of M.S. University of Baroda, India. Subsequently he was awarded Inlaks Scholarship to study MA Painting (1990-92) at the Royal College of Art, London, which included a term at Cite des Arts, Paris. He also spent a term in Berlin on an Erasmus Exchange Scholarship.

In a three decade long career he has had 16 solo shows, 2 duo shows and over 90 Group shows and several art camps and workshops to his credit. 

He has taken part in Group shows in New York, London, Melbourne and Yangon and has represented India in Asian Art Exhibition in Macao and the Cairo Biennale, Cairo. In 2013 completed a 12 x 26 feet mural for Terminal-2 of the new Mumbai International Airport (now rechristened – Jai Ho Museum).

Honours and fellowships include Kanoria Centre Fellowship, Inlaks Scholarship, Govt. of India-Junior Research Fellowship, the Fulbright fellowship, USA and more recently Artist-in-Residence at The Siena Art Institute. 

Indrapramit has an abiding interest illustrating for children. 

Two of his illustrated books won Museum publishing award in the US and Alcuin Children’s book award from Canada. 

The artist has been teaching Painting at his alma mater Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU of Baroda since 1995.


StARTers LIVE April 13

Art & Education online talk with Irene Lupi, Lisa Nonken & Jacqueline Tune

Our series of online talks StARTers LIVE continues on Tuesday April 13th.  SART teachers Irene Lupi and Jacqueline Tune will be speaking with Academic Director Lisa Nonken to kick off our April-May series of talks on the theme of Art & Education.  We will discuss ways of engaging in creative and critical thinking through art in a variety of subjects and contexts. 

The conversation will be live-streamed on the Siena Art Institute’s Facebook page and YouTube channel at 6pm Siena / 7 pm Athens / noon NYC / 9:30 Delhi.

As always, comments and questions from viewers are very welcome during the broadcast.  We hope you can join us! 

StARTers LIVE with design researcher Tom Bieling March 30

Tuesday March 30th our online conversation is with design researcher Tom Bieling. We’ll be discussing #accessibility and #inclusion in #design, including his work on the “Lorm Hand” designed as a tool of communication for deaf-blind people.Live-streaming at 6pm Siena / 7pm Athens/ noon NYC on the Siena Art Institute FB page. This online event is part of our series of StARTers LIVE.As a postdoc senior researcher and lecturer on design based in Hamburg, Tom focuses on the social and political dimensions of design, particularly on aspects of inclusion and exclusion.

Elena Aparicio, StARTers LIVE March 23

This season of StARTers dedicated to accessibility and inclusion through art and design continues! On the 23rd we will be speaking with Spanish expert in educational and cultural accessibility Elena Aparicio. Appointment in Italian.


La stagione di StARTers dedicata all’accessibilità e all’inclusione attraverso l’arte e il design continua!Martedì 23 alle 18.00 parleremo con l’esperta spagnola di accessibilità educativa e culturale Elena Aparicio.Appuntamento in italiano.

Elena Aparicio è storiografa dell’arte per l’Università Rovira i Virgili di Tarragona e museologa e gestora culturale per l’Università di Barcellona (UB), specialista in educazione di musei da istituzioni come il MoMA di New York o il Museum of Fine Arts di Boston, ed esperta di accessibilità educativa e culturale per l’Università Internazionale di Andalucia e diverse entità specializzate come Fondazione ONCE Madrid, Società Federata di Sordi di Malaga, Plena Inclusión Madrid o Dançando com a Diferença (Maderia).

Dal 1995 crea programmi educativi e curatorialli dove si promuove la partecipazione attiva e l’inclusione effettiva attraverso l’arte: nella XII Cairo Internazionale Art Biennale (Egitto); nel ciclo “Musei per l’uguaglianza, la diversità e l’inclusione” del progetto La Cultura del Governo di Baja California e nel 5º Simposio Internazionale: “Ozio, Musei ed Uguaglianza” di Città del Messico; nell’Espacio Fundación Telefónica (Madrid); nel Museo Grao Vasso di Visseu (Portogallo); nel Museu Picasso di Barcellona, nei I, II e III Seminari Internazionali d’Arte Inclusiva (Almería, Siviglia e Madrid), nella II e IV Biennale di Arte Contemporanea della Fondazione ONCE (Madrid ); nel II Incontro internazionale di Arte e Teatro come Terapia a Brandeburgo (Germania); nella IV Summer of Photography Bienale di Bruxelles (Belgio), nella No Format Gallery di Londra (GB), nella Collezione Peggy Guggenheim e alla 49º e 50ª Biennale Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea, entrambe a Venezia; nella Fondazione Cittadellarte Michelangello Pistoletto (Biella), nel Museo Univ. Leopoldo Flores de Toluca o all’Istituto Culturale di Tijuana (Messico), tra altre entità ed eventi internazionali.

Il suo lavoro gli ha permesso sperimentare strategie educative e comunicative basate sull’apprendimento collaborativo e su lo sviluppo del pensiero crítico, tra la psicologia cognitiva, la pedagogia costruttivista, le dottrine sociale, le strategie di pensiero visive o l’educazione inclusiva.

Attualmente è docente di Storia dell’Arte presso l’Escuela Universitaria Musical Arts Madrid; docente di Arte e Accessibilità Cognitiva nel progetto “Inserlab” rivolto a studenti con diversità cognitiva, dalla Cattedra di Inserimento Sociale dell’Università Rovira i Virgili in collaborazione con il Museu d’Art Modern di Tarragona. E dalla sua creazione nel 2017, è docente di Musei e Accessibilità Culturale nel Titolo di Proprio “Tecnico Ausiliario in Ambienti Culturali” per giovani con disabilità intellettive, del Vice-Rectorado degli Studenti dell’Università di Màlaga.

A novembre 2019 ha partecipato nella I “Patrimonio artistico e persone sorde: oiettivi e percorsi per l’accessibilità e la partecipazione”, colla conferenza “Persone sorde e Lingua dei Segni: nuovi paradigmi nell’accessibilità dei programmi museali” nel Progetto “LISten”, presso l’ARTDATE Festival di Bergamo.

Fra apprile e ottobre 2019 ha lavorato nel progetto europeo ARCHES (Accessible Resources for Cultural Heritage EcoSystems) insieme al team Educathyssen dil Museo Nazionale Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid).

Da 2016 a 2019 é stata consulente d’Accessibilità dil Museo Nazionale Centro d’Arte Reina Sofia, responsabile dello sviluppo della programmazione inclusiva per le persone con diversità sensoriale, cognitive e fisiche. E ha programmato la Settimana dell’Accessibilità 2016, 2017 e 2018, attorno alla celebrazione della Giornata internazionale della Disabilità il 3 dicembre.

Dal 2015 è responsabile dei programmi educativi inclusivi di The Art Factory Inc, un’associazione socioculturale specializzata nell’accessibilità universale e nell’inclusione di tutte le persone attraverso l’arte e la cultura.

Nel 2010 è stata curatrice spagnola alla XII Biennale Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea del Cairo, con il progetto “Places of Origin” dei fotografi Bleda e Rosa. Museo d’Arte Moderna del Centro Nazionale di Cultura e Teatro dell’Opera, sull’isola di Gezira (Zamalek).

Dal 2003 al 2011 è stata coordinatrice dei programmi pedagogici, contenuti educativi e responsabile del programa d’Accessibilità dil Museo Picasso di Malaga.

Ha lavorato con artisti e registi come Peter Greenaway, Bigas Luna, M. Pistoletto, C. Pietroiusti, Multiplicity, Evru/Zush, il collettivo d’arte commestibili Ali & Cia., la performer Esther Ferrer, i fotografi Bleda & Rosa o Fernanda Fragateiro, ma anche con giovani artisti emergenti.

La sua esperienza di didattica museale l’ha portata a collaborare con esperti internazionale: Philip Yenawine (creatore del dipartimento educativo del MoMA, NY), Amelia Arenas (programma MITE nel Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art), Abigail Housen (psicologa cognitiva delle Visual Thinking Strategies VTS, Boston-NY) o Dory Jacobson dell‘Art Institute di Chicago.

E ‘stata professoressa ospite da museologia, didattica museale e accessibilità culturale presso la London Metropolitan University (London MET), l’Università Nazionale Autonoma del Messico (UNAM) l’Università Complutense (UCM) e l’Autonoma di Madrid (UAM), l’Università Internazionale di Catalonia (Barcellona) o l’Università del Mar (Murcia).

Fà anche consulenza di arte, didattica, musei, inclusione, i programmi partecipativi e accessibilità culturale, in entità nazionali e internazionali.

EU Project CERTIFY: Digital Storytelling workshop

Siena Art Institute CERTIFY trainees Clio Manfredi and Silvia Zordan led the first Digital Storytelling workshops in Italy as part of the EU project CERTIFY. The workshop was organized in collaboration with the Luigi Sturzo Institute in Rome, also a partner of the CERTIFY project.

The online workshop was promoted among the students of the University for Foreigners of Siena, especially in the section of Linguistic and Cultural Mediation, in order to teach young adults how to create their own digital story that could be used along with their CV when they apply for a job in the cultural and creative sector.

Participants focused on the skills of self-management and resilience, two of the 4 transversal skills identified by the project as important prerequisites for working in the creative and cultural sector together with collaboration and creativity. Using the Digital Storytelling method, participants were asked to create a personal story showing their experience and understanding of these skills.

The 5-session structure of the workshop follows the 5 steps of the Digital Storytelling process: briefing / brainstorming, writing, recording, editing, sharing. All sessions took place remotely on Google Meet. By taking part in the method and creating a digital story, participants had the opportunity to reflect on their skills from a fresh perspective, learn something new through the process, and be part of a group of supportive and inquisitive storytellers.

The digital stories created during this workshop will be featured on the project’s website [certifyproject.com] and will contribute to research about if and how the digital storytelling method can be used to amplify the skills needed to work in the cultural sector.