Venice Biennale Program


Venice (photo by Lorenzo Pezzatini)

A special 4-week SACI program in Venice, Italy

Each Summer term SACI offers a special 4-week program in Venice, a city renowned for both its traditional art treasures and its celebration of innovative contemporary art. Students visit Venice's great museums and contemporary art exhibitions while learning the fundamentals of Digital Photography. 

Participants earn 3 studio art credits in Digital Photography and 3 art history credits in Contemporary Art. (Contemporary Art: Biennale and Beyond during the summers when the Venice Art Biennale is in progress; Contemporary Art in Historic Venice, in the alternate years). This unique 6-credit program (also open to non-credit students) will enable students to tour the numerous Biennale exhibitions.

This program provides an exceptional opportunity for students to take part in one of the world’s most famous and prestigious contemporary art events — the Venice Art Biennale. Founded in 1895, the Biennale focuses on cutting-edge contemporary artistic practice and is at the forefront in the research and promotion of new artistic trends. In addition to visits to galleries and museums featuring contemporary and historic art, the Summer 2017 program also includes field trips, at no extra cost.

On field trips, students investigate both the old and the new. In Rovereto, they visit MART, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, designed by architect Mario Botta. In Vicenza, the Teatro Olimpico—the first indoor theater in masonry in the world—constructed by Andrea Palladio between 1580 and 1585. In Padua, they see the world’s oldest university Botanical Garden founded in 1545, and the Anatomical Theater, built in 1594 by Hieronymus Fabricus, still perfectly preserved.

SACI at Venice Biennale

Curator and theorist Marco Baravalle will guide students to exhibitions at the Biennale’s Central Pavilion, the Arsenale (dockyard), the Giardini (gardens), and the National Pavilions, as well as to collateral Biennale events, independent art galleries, and Venice museums and foundations. In addition to learning about the history of the Venice Biennale, students will learn about the social and economic impact of the exhibition on the city of Venice.

On-Site Program Director Jacopo Santini leads students on photo shoots throughout Venice and during field trips, including La Casa dei Tre Oci on the island of Giudecca, and instructs students in Photoshop, Camera Raw, and other editing programs. Students are encouraged to combine an artist’s eye with their technical knowledge to create photographic records about a city that has been “written on water.” The goal is to develop each student’s personal vision, a consciousness of photography as a language, and to create portfolios of the highest quality.


The program is open to all over the age of 18, including those who wish to enroll in a noncredit capacity. No prior Art History or Photography course work is required. Students should bring with them a digital camera with manual function (preferably a digital-single-lens-reflex camera), USB flash drive minimum 8GB, and a laptop computer with Photoshop and/or Lightroom. It is highly recommended to bring an external hard disk drive for back-up.

Participants are housed in a residence just 5 minutes by vaporetto from Piazza San Marco in attractive, fully-equipped, air-conditioned accommodations. Both single and double rooms are available. Each room has its own bathroom and kitchenette. Sheets and towels are provided. There are also a number of communal areas (sitting rooms, a music room, a fitness room, and a terrace). The facilities are serviced with internet, self-service laundry, and vending machines.  Since housing in this residence is limited, if the number of participants exceeds the space available, additional housing will be provided in a fully-furnished apartment nearby. Lodging at the residence will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the full tuition payment date. Because of the intense nature of the program, students are required to stay in SACI housing in order to facilitate group sessions and movement.

Participants taking courses for credit will earn 3 studio art credits in Digital Photography and 3 art history credits in Contemporary Art:

Contemporary Art: Biennale & Beyond with Marco Baravalle
Digital Photography with Jacopo Santini

Participants auditing courses may participate in all Venice events, field trips, and activities. Fees remain the same for non-credit participants.

Included in the fees below are course-related museum entrances, a vaporetto pass, orientation, welcome and farewell dinners, and support from the  on-site program director.

Four Weeks:
June 29 - July 29, 2017

Tuition $4,600
Activity Fee $550
Student Services Fee $400

Housing Fee

Note: 2 students per room; single room supplement is $500.
(Refundable General Program Deposit) ($400)

Application deadline: May 15, 2017
Apply Now!
For additional information contact:

Most of the world’s great artists have experienced Venice. Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity as a resource for your future!

Venice Summer | SACI Studio Art Centers International