Academics / Faculty Kirsten

“Whoever teaches without emancipating stultifies.” ― Jacques Rancière

Director of SACI’s MFA in Studio Art program, Kirsten Stromberg has exhibited and performed internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards in studio art, sculpture, and painting.

Kirsten Stromberg is the Director of the MFA in Studio Art Program at SACI. She has taught for over 15 years at university-level programs in Florence, Italy, while continuing her own interdisciplinary art practice in mixed media, painting and drawing, and experimental music. She has studied for over 20 years with the artists Rose Shakinovsky and Claire Gavronsky (also known as ‘rosenclaire’), attending numerous workshops and residencies with them in both Italy and South Africa. Kirsten’s work has been shown/performed in both solo and group exhibitions internationally including: Le Murate Progetti Arte Contemporanea and Fabbrica Europa in Florence, L.A.C.E and Huntington Beach Center for The Arts in the Los Angeles area, The SF Arts Commission, 21 Grand and Works/San Jose' in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as exhibitions and projects in New York, London, Copenhagen, and Berlin.

Immediately prior to joining SACI, as Coordinator and then Supervisor of the Syracuse University Florence Studio Art program, Kirsten dedicated much of her time on extensive community engagements, participating in projects and initiatives with institutions and organizations such as Palazzo Strozzi, Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Le Murate Progetti Arte Contemporanea, Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Rotary Club Firenze, and Black History Month Florence. She has organized numerous exhibitions of artwork by both students and international artists and was responsible for The Donatello 21 Art Talks lecture series at Syracuse Florence. While at Syracuse she taught beginning, intermediate, and advanced painting, as well as courses in drawing and contemporary practices.

Kirsten is currently on the board of Paradox Fine Art Forum, whose goal is to foster dialogue and advocacy for art education and artistic research through forums in cities throughout Europe.

Kirsten Stromberg received her BA from Dartmouth College where she was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Sudler Award for the highest achievement in the arts at Dartmouth. She was a Senior Fellow in electro-acoustic music and studio art, concentrating in sound sculpture, sound installation and painting. In 2005 she completed her MFA in Arts and Consciousness Studies at John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley, California.

Teaching Philosophy
In my work, as both an artist and educator, my core concern is to foster creative thinking, critical agency, and social transformation through the cultivation of artistic research in the contemporary context. In the classroom, I focus on artistic research that navigates the line where theory and practice meet, where students can use their work as a vital tool to pose questions and explore human (and non-human) concerns, unraveling the known and revealing the previously unimagined. Correspondingly, my students reflect on contemporary art production and its implications across historical, social, political, and cultural relations, developing an awareness of the context of which their work forms part as well as how they actively choose to respond within it. It is from this inquiry that my students learn to make informed choices for their work, explore what it means to be an artist today, and engage in meaningful and sustainable practices both inside and outside the studio. 

“Whoever teaches without emancipating stultifies.” ― Jacques Rancière

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