July 26, 2016

Maura Cronin
July, 2015

My artist residency in Viterbo, Italy was much more than I could have anticipated. The quaint, medieval town or, ‘walled city’ of Viterbo itself has numerous benefits, aside from a picturesque composition around each corner. It is very safe and lively at all hours and easily walkable. Public transportation is well established, providing opportunities to travel just outside the city to the countryside and nearby lakeshore towns or to Rome or Florence and other lovely destinations. The people are extremely friendly and helpful even with my very limited knowledge of their language.

My month overlapped with Montserrat’s Studio Intensive program where (mostly) undergraduate students take specific courses each July. I had the opportunity to be part of the group of students studying there at that time as well as make my own program and daily rhythm. The faculty is very supportive and their knowledge of the city and happenings and logistics were such a bonus! The accommodations, pefectly located in one of the smaller, central ‘piazzas’, are spacious, comfortable and provide an amazing rooftop vista in the closed­-in cupola. I especially enjoyed being part of the hub of the school with plenty of privacy.

I used my time in Viterbo to paint and draw from observation, to photograph, document, essential research for the work in my studio. The time to make, to pursue different ideas especially in terms of the ‘light’ of Viterbo, continues as a focus in my painting and drawing.

Just a few of the additional highlights were an evening outdoors of (free) Opera, a Medieval festival and parade, exquisite museums and Etruscan tombs, critiques and support and travel with fellow artists, and painting the fountains, fields of sunflowers, and opulent gardens. I would highly recommend this inspiring program to any artist of all levels.