At ICA, we believe that the value of studying art in Italy is not easily defined by any single approach or aesthetic. Surrounded by great masterworks of Western art, our minds are opened to new directions of conceptual growth, to more expansive avenues of communication, and to more creative and sophisticated ways of using materials. This could be said to be the fundamental value in studying the “classics,” yet Italian art also challenges conventional notions of what “classic” art has come to mean. Far from the reserved stoicism that we often associate with the word, Italian art is often funny, whimsical, irreverent, inventive, and almost always, passionate. Thus, perhaps the experience of studying in Italy is as varied as Italian art itself.
At ICA, we take art seriously, but like our Italian models, we also value inventiveness, individual innovation, and commitment to self-expression. With this in mind, we do not promote a particular ideology, follow a particular approach, or stress a certain technique. Instead, we stress growth in understanding the rich language of visual art, in learning to see, and in learning through example to use our materials as carriers of meaning rather than as a means to an end. We believe in guided discovery, in learning through dialogue, and in seeing great art as a living expression of real humans, like ourselves, from whom we can learn and grow. We engage in discussions on works of art as a community, striving to create an environment in which we exchange ideas and grow as artists together.