UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD-Summer: Italy: Advanced Sculpture Studio - Digital Assisted Carving in Tuscan Marble (ARTT)

Barga, Italy
Florence, Italy
Pietrasanta, Italy
Terms offered: 
Program Type: 
Credit Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
Language of Instruction: 

Italy ARTT
In June 2018 The Digital Stone Project and Garfagnana Innovazione are collaborating for the sixth time to bring students, artists, designers and
architects, to the historic Garfagnana region of Italy (see photo above) to work with new technology and world-renowned Tuscan marble.

The workshop is an intensive one month long residency in which each artist produces a marble sculpture carved with a 7-axis robot and finished by hand. This is a unique collaboration between artists, engineers and the advanced technologies at Garfagnana Innovazione. Together they integrated ancient techniques with contemporary digital practice. These new strategieGarfagnana Innovazione to create all of the computational data that drives the robotic cutting arm. In addition to using computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided machinery (CAM) the artists have the opportunity to employe direct modeling, scanning, VR and animation software to develop their sculptures. The work will be experimental, exploratory, and visually dynamic.

During the workshop period there will be several guided excursions to Florence, Pietrasanta, Lucca, Barga and the Focolaccia Quarry.

By participating in this program, student will:

  • Develop an understanding of how the aesthetic and conceptual aspect of a sculpture is impacted as it is transformed from the weightless virtual world of the computer to the tangible work in marble.
  • Develop technical skill in the use of finishing tools and methods working with marble.
  • Gain insight into the profession through working along side professional artist, designers and architects, collaborating with industry to realize their sculptures and by helping to organize and install the exhibition of the finished work in an public art gallery.
  • Continue to develop skill in visual literacy and personal expression though the chronicling their experiences in an illustrated journal.

You must be in good academic and judicial standing and you must not have any registration blocks to participate in this program. The minimum GPA for this program is listed above.

UMD and Non-UMD sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students are eligible to apply.

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the eligibility requirements, reach out to the program director (listed in the Contacts tab) to discuss your interest in the program.

After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in the following three (3) credit UMD courses:

  • ARTT438M: Advanced Sculpture Studio: Digital Stone Workshop; Digitally Assisted Carving in Tuscan Marble

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit.

Students and faculty will stay in a small family run hotel, within a short walking distance from the workshop studio.  Most of the meals will be provided and served family style at the hotel and reflect the local cuisine, with vegetarian options on request.

Costs for Summer 2018 will be updated shortly. 

Application Fee $50
Billable Costs
Billable costs are charged to your student account. They are due based on the Bursar's payment schedule. Be sure to check your statements when they are available.
Education Abroad Fee TBD
This fee is charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted" to "Committed." This fee includes Education Abroad services including registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance TBD
Tuition TBD
This fee is charged to your UMD account upon course registration. This fee includes: Tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
Housing Fee TBD
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
Out-of-pocket Costs
Meals (estimate) TBD
Visa TBD
Passport TBD
Roundtrip Airfare (estimate) TBD
Course Materials TBD
Optional Activities/incidental expenses TBD
Optional trip cancelation/interruption Insurance (estimate) TBD

NOTE: If you are a non-UMD graduate student, you will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD graduate school to participate in this program.

Please refer to the following resources for more information on funding study abroad

PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancelation due to low enrollment.

John Ruppert - the program director- received his MFA from the School for American Craftsman, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, in 1977. Ruppert's work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums, sculpture parks and galleries both in the United States and abroad. These include Omi International Sculpture Park (NY), Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (NC), Kreeger Museum (DC), Katonah Art Museum (NY), 2010 Miami Sculpture Biennale (FL), National Museum of Contemporary Art (KUMU) in Tallinn, Estonia, Material Terrain, commissioned by Laumeier international Sculpture Park, St Louis (MO), which traveled to eight museums across the country and "Urban Garden" at the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in Boston (MA). curated by Nick Capasso of the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. He has a planned exhibition in 2019 at the Center for Art, Design and Culture, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD,

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact the Program Director. For general questions or assistance with applying, contact EA Short-term Programs.

As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  • Students will work along side professional artists, designers and architects  to transform a virtual sculpture made in a computer into a tangible object made from marble.
  • There will be several visiting artist lectures/discussions in the evenings.
  • Students will learn modern and ancient stone working techniques.
  • Several sessions of basic Italian will be offered to the group.
  • Students will travel to and have guided tours of several famous cities. (Florence, Pietrasanta, Lucca, Barga and the Focolaccia Quarry).

Italy ART

Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Summerterm 2017 03/15/2017 01/01/2017