The Venice Studio Arts Program offers students an unparalleled opportunity to refine their skills during the summer term and find inspiration in a city whose name is synonymous with visual art. The program is based at Boston University’s beautiful center near Campo Santa Margherita, which includes studio space, classrooms, and administrative offices. Students also profit from art history lectures that are held on site in Venice’s grand piazzas, churches, and museums. During the six-week program, students in Venice will take two courses of their choice in painting, drawing, graphic design, or Italian art history. No background in Italian language is required and all courses are taught in English.

  • Program open to painting, graphic design, art history, sculpture, and art education majors, as well as non-majors
  • Undergraduate and graduate students may apply
  • Previous painting or graphic design experience required
  • Admission requirements for all programs

Required Courses

Students choose two of the following four-credit courses. All students must enroll for a total of eight credits.

  • CAS AH 354 Venetian Renaissance Art and Architecture (4 credits)
    • This course explores the development of Venetian visual culture from the 13th century through the end of the 16th century. Lectures take place in different locations each day and emphasize the importance of seeing and understanding works of art in the physical and historical context for which they were originally created. Therefore, class time will consist of visits to important public spaces, churches, and monuments (as well as some important galleries and museums) in Venice.
    • Syllabus
  • CFA AR 501 Drawing Venice (4)
    • Includes weekly projects focused around capturing the light and space that we see around us in the complex and compelling city of Venice. Different materials and approaches allow students to practice a range of different ways to translate what they see in front of them in an expressive way on the page. Working with color, light, and design will be addressed through both experiential work and historical and contemporary examples.
    • Syllabus
  • CFA AR 519 Painting in Venice (4)
    • Includes weekly projects that ask students to consider the role of site/place and sight/perception while painting in Venice. Formal and technical issues of working with color, light, and design are addressed through both experiential work and historical and contemporary examples.
    • Syllabus
  • CFA AR 522 Graphic Design (4)
    • This multi-part course explores and experiments with a fusion of graphic design and typography, considering historical origination and contemporary application. Working on and off the computer, a mix of research and experimentation in the creation of a series of design projects emphasize basic principles of design, composition, and form making. Throughout the course, students will think in terms of visual metaphors and symbols, and learn how to use denotative and connotative imagery to communicate messages through imagery and typography. The course also employs graphic design fundamental principles, including scale, weight, direction, and hierarchy to solve more complex problems and work fluidly in multiple formats. Projects and class meetings are structured to help students develop a personal design process as well as critical thinking and critique skills. The course will provide a rigorous understanding of the role of graphic design as it relates to the art world, foundational principles, and skills which will then serve as a strong base for all future visual arts course work.
    • Syllabus
Program Residence

  • Fully furnished, shared apartments. Multiple occupancy bedrooms (typically double-occupancy rooms; a single room can be arranged for medical reasons, extra fees may apply), shared bathrooms.
  • Shared kitchen, stocked with all essential cooking and dining supplies.
  • No board included.
  • No dining hall available.
  • Laundry facilities are either in home (typically dryers are not available), or students will need to use a local laundromat.
  • BU Venice Center has common study, studio, and classroom spaces.
  • Summer Term: Early June to late July
  • Summer Term: March 1