Low-Residency MFA in Studio Art



Download a copy of the SACI MFA in Studio Art Summer Low-Residency Program Brochure

During three successive summers, you will have a unique opportunity to develop your personal art practice and skills, inspired by the art treasures of Italy and Europe. Living and working in Florence, Italy, you will pursue a curriculum that integrates practical and critical training, and encourages individual innovation, creative collaboration, mentorships, and instruction from SACI’s outstanding faculty. 


You will work in dedicated studio space that fosters modulated, communal studio experiences. The studios are in one of SACI’s fully renovated 16th-century palazzi in the heart of Florence—the city that during the Renaissance revolutionized visual culture and continues to serve as an inspiration for generations of artists.


Ongoing dialogue and critiques with SACI faculty and visiting artists will provide you with varied perspectives on your creative work. You will reach a deeper understanding of the European culture of creativity through presentations and workshops, visits to artists’ studios, and travel to art fairs throughout Italy.


While earning 60 credits, you will create a customized program that balances independent study, studio assignments, and course work. You will have opportunities to work as a Teaching Assistant and enroll in Graduate Seminars which explore current art networks that prepare emerging artists for entrance into the contemporary art world.





Two-Dimensional Area: Drawing • Painting • Printmaking

Three-Dimensional Area: Sculpture • Ceramics

Visual Media Area: Photography • Video • Digital Multimedia



 The program aims to:

  • Provide you with an immersive educational experience, over three summers, which, combined with off-campus work during the rest of the year, builds strong awareness of personal practice within the contemporary debate.
  • Foster critical dialogue through frequent exchanges with faculty members, visiting instructors, and other established artists, critics, theorists, curators, and art world professionals.
  • Offer myriad opportunities for direct experience and immersion into Italian art and culture.
  • Enable you to develop the technical, conceptual, and entrepreneurial skills necessary to situate your studio practice within a broad cultural panorama and to equip you with essential career tools.



After completing your MFA in Studio Art, you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Advanced professional competence, with depth of knowledge and achievement, as evinced through a well-developed and significant body of work.
  • Competence in—and the ability to conduct research into—diverse related areas outside of the Major Discipline.
  • Achievement of a theoretical, historical, and cultural understanding of contemporary art.
  • The ability to write clearly about art works and theoretical issues related to art works.
  • The ability to present your own works and prepare for your career as an artist in a highly competitive world.
  • And, for those undertaking Teaching Assistantships, an understanding of pedagogical approaches to teaching Studio Art.



The Director of the MFA in Studio Art Program is Filipe Rocha da Silva, who received his doctorate in Visual Arts from the University of Evora in 2005, and an MFA in Printmaking from Pratt Institute in 1984. For over a decade he has taught at the University of Évora in Portugal, where he has headed Visual Arts Research at the Centro de História da Arte e Investigação Artística. His paintings, drawings, and prints have received worldwide recognition. Filipe has had one-person exhibitions in Lisbon, Porto, Palma de Maiorca, Rabat, Paris, New York City, and Florence and participated in group exhibitions in Portugal, Spain, Greece, Germany, Monaco, China, and the USA. His artworks are in major museums and government collections in Portugal and Spain, and articles on his work have been published in a number of Portuguese and Spanish periodicals. His essays on art have appeared in newspapers, journals, and books in both Europe and the USA. He has studied and taught in Florence, is fluent in Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and English, and is an expert on the connections between historical Italian art and contemporary artmaking throughout the world.

See the ADMISSIONS section of this website to find out more about How to Apply, Application Deadlines, Scholarship Information, Dates & Fees, Federal Aid, and more.
Low-Residency Masters of Fine Arts | SACI Graduate MFA Program