Director's Report, 2012

Diana Gisolfi, Director

Pratt in Venice 2012 was a highly productive year with lots of student collaboration and many memorable occasions. Nineteen participants included upperclassmen and graduate students from Art History, Fine Arts, Interior Design, and Architecture.  A student from the University of Delaware and two students from Pratt at Munsen-Williams-Proctor (one on her way to Pratt, the other moving on to Maryland) joined the group. Alumnus Joe Kopta (PiV '07, BFA/MS '10) joined as chief assistant and Venice alumnus Andrew Kurczak (PiV '11) continued as communicator extraordinaire. Students Kelly Davis, Regina Dubin, Collin Hewitt and Hannah West served as course assistants.


Pratt in Venice 2012 on Palladio's Bridge, Bassano del Grappa (photo: Joseph Kopta).


Dorothy Shepard, with Joe and colleagues Jennifer and Chris, led the trip to Torcello and the visit to San Marco. All faculty and staff contributed in group visits to the Accademia and the Doges Palace led by Diana. Visiting lecturer Tracy Cooper (Temple University) shared her expertise on Palladio at San Giorgio Maggiore and the Redentore.  Materials and Techniques visits to the San Marco mosaic lab, the Orsoni factory, and wood conservation studio with Stefania Sartori were followed by a very special opportunity to mount the scaffold at the church of San Sebastiano in Venice to study, with the help of the conservators Lucia Tito and Egido Arlango, the great range of painting techniques employed by Veronese and his assistants. A special event in the art history class was the lecture by alumna Galia Halpern (MS/MSLIS '07) in the exhibition of early maps at the Marciana Library. The lecture to the whole group by expert Paolo Spezzani on paintings in Venice and Padua studied under X-ray, infrared and ultraviolet shed light on the group trip to Padua and prepared students to understand examples to be seen on the trip to Castelfranco, Maser and Bassano. In Padua, Antonio Stevan, conservation architect, again generously hosted our early morning extended visit to the Scrovegni Chapel with Giotto’s frescoes. At Bassano all enjoyed a delicious meal al fresco prepared by Luisa and Gigi with all fresh local ingredients before seeking perches from which to sketch, paint or etch the countryside.


Tracy Cooper (Temple University) lecturing on Palladio's architecture in the church of San Giorgio Maggiore (photo: Joseph Kopta)


Jennifer Melby’s printmaking students working long hours at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica and Chris Wright’s painters working at the Università Internazionale dell’Arte and on site produced a wonderful range of work, admired by all participants in the final critique before our “Last Supper” held at Gianni’s on the Zattere after the weekend celebration of the Festa del Redentore accompanied by ceremonies, church bells, boat races and fabulous fireworks.


Colin Hewitt (Painting course assistant) presents his work at the Final Critique (photo: Joseph Kopta).