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  • Locations: Rome, Italy; Seravezza, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 3.0 Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.5
Language of Instruction: English Housing: Flat/Apartment
Number of Credits Offered: 6 Eligible Population: 03 Junior, 04 Senior, General Public, Graduate, Non-Degree Seeking
Prerequisite: Yes Type of Program: Faculty-led
Area of Study: Art and Visual Technology Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Extended Image: Inspired by the Land

Italy, Summer 2018

Tuscan countryside
This combined lecture and studio course is a three-week intensive mixed media interdisciplinary studio experience. Works produced will range from painting to digital media, from photo to sculptural construction, and the art of bookmaking. All projects and work will be interpreted according to each participant's vision.

Projects will be both individual and collaborative in nature, and will respond to the culture and history of Italy. The captivating light and color of the landscape of the Montorno studio, the Italian countryside and the richness of Tuscany’s history will be the inspiration for students' work. Students will draw inspiration and references from viewing masterpieces of Italian art found in museums and churches along with historical architectural and contemporary art on a weekend visit to Italy's capital city, Rome. Trips to local towns and other major cities are an option. Students will develop a body of work drawn from their experiences and responses to Italy.

A final exhibition of the work produced will be held in Spring 2019.

Program Highlights

  • Three-week intensive studio and critique experience in the beautiful mountainside town of Montorno, Italy
  • Weekend excursion to Rome to see traditional and contemporary works of art
  • Present your final work in an on-campus exhibit in Spring 2019


Program is open all Mason students, graduate students, community members, and working professionals. Applicants may be asked to submit a portfolio of work as part of the application process. Contact Professor Mary del Popolo ( to discuss your eligibility for this program.


Two 3-credit courses for undergraduate students (6 total credits). Graduate students will enroll in one 3-credit course.

Course Options

Undergraduate students will take the following courses:

  • AVT 496 - Special Topics in Art and Visual Technology (3 credits)
  • AVT 393 - Field Study in Art and Visual Technology (3 credits)
Graduate students will take the following course:
  • AVT 599 - Special Topics in Art and Visual Technology (3 credits)

Program Dates

July 8, 2018 - July 27, 2018*


Day 1 Arrive in Pisa: move to the apartments to unpack and settle in.

Late afternoon: visit to the studios; students will set up their work stations

Evening: Welcome reception and dinner at Montorno Studios.
Day 2 Morning: Exploration of the Village of Seravezza. Bring sketchbooks and cameras to conduct field research and a visual exploration of the  surroundings. Collect found objects, possible materials for collage, other items of ephemera along the way.

Afternoon: In studio; discussion of course content and expectations. Project #1: “A Visual Journey: Mapping Experiences”

Evening: Dinner and return to Seravezza
Day 3 Lecture/ Presentation: Contemporary Book Arts; Visual Story Telling

Individual consultations. Students present sketches of ideas about the content and form of their project, as well clarify the process they propose to follow.
Day 4 Lecture/ Presentation: The Journey in the Destination; Dan Eldon, Eric Fischel, Michael Bell and Da Vinci’s Sketch Book

Students finalize proposals, work on Project #1
Day 5 Studio day. Intensive investigation of work in progress.
Day 6 Finalize first project for presentation and critique.

Introduction to Project #2: "Creating a Sense of Place" -- What is Place? How do we approach Place and Time in our creative work? How do we as artists address Place and Time through the historical continuum?

Lecture: Historical Background of Italian Art to 20th Century Modern Art                       
Day 7 Early departure for Rome (7:30 am). Trip duration: 2hr 30m

In Rome: "Examining the Past" -- Tour of architectural wonders, major historical sites, etc. Students create an "idea bank" through visual documentation of experience.
Day 8 In Rome: "Examining the Present" -- Visits to contemporary art museums MAXXI, National Museum of 21st Century Art and MACRO, Museum of Contemporary Art. Visual documentation for "idea bank" continues.

Return to Seravezza.
Day 9 Market day: Go to the market in the piazza. Get supplies for the week. Reflect upon your experiences in Rome.
Studio day: Present ideas
Day 10 Studio day. Individual consultations of work in progress.
Day 11 Studio day. Individual consultations of work in progress. Finalize project.
Day 12 Presentation and Critique of second project.

Begin work on  Project #3: A Visual Response to New Stimuli, New Experiences, New Environment (Rome, etc). Visual memory map. Immediate responses to creative options. Investigation of possibilities for collaborative investigation.
Day 13 Studio day. Individual consultations of work in progress.
Day 14 Visit to nearby towns: Cinqueterra (5 islands); Reggio Emilia (Art Teachers)

Students work individually on their assigned project.
Day 15 Free day. Work or take time off.
Day 16 Studio day. Individual consultations of work in progress.
Day 17 Studio day. Finalize third project for presentation and critique.

Final Project #4: A Personal Approach
Day 18 Studio day. Individual consultations of work in progress.
Day 19 Beach Day

Final Critique and Presentation of final project / journal.
Clean up and pack supplies.

Final Dinner at ‘Pizzeria Il Nuraghe’ (translation: prehistoric hut)
Day 21 Departure for USA. (6-7 am)
* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Program Cost

Summer 2018: $5,296

Included: Tuition for 6 undergraduate credits or 3 graduate credits, accommodations, entrance fees/tours/guides as described in itinerary, some group meals, in-country transportation, international emergency medical insurance.

Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, some meals, required textbooks and/or course materials.

*Participants must arrange their own airfare, once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.

Program Payments

Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.

Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.

First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by March 11, 2018 in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by April 8, 2018. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or their VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the Intent to Use Financial Aid or Intent to Use VA Benefits Form completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The Intent to Use Financial Aid form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the Intent to Use VA Benefits Form.

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:


GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:

Application Deadline:

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Application requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.

Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.

Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.

Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:

Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.

Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.

* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Academic Directors

  Mary del Popolo headshot Maria Karametou photo
Name Mary Del Popolo, MFA Maria Karametou, MFA
Phone (703) 993-8562 (703) 993-8222

GEO Program Officer

  Rachel Spence headshot
Name Rachel Spence
Phone 703-993-6808
  Make an appointment


Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.