Our Approach

At the Accademia dell’Arte, we constantly strive for a deep sense of community.

Living together, eating together, and creating together make up the everyday rituals that maintain the artistic community that has inhabited Villa Godiola since 2004.

We believe that a sense of belonging and mutual recognition are the fundamental ingredients for both artistic and personal growth. As such, we foster this dimension with the utmost care as we welcome you into our programs.

The Accademia creates new opportunities for development by creating inter-disciplinary spaces.

Although each discipline, such as music, dance or design, comes with its own requirements and each person is unique in their journey, we encourage peer-to-peer learning and welcome the challenges that come from collaborating with someone engaged in a different art form. This kind of experimentation is a valuable stimulus, one that helps reinvigorate individual creativity and the ability to innovate regardless of medium.

When we welcome new students to the Accademia, we are welcoming new artists.

One of the reasons to come study here is that in all of Europe, Italy has some of the deepest artistic roots. Coming to Italy as an artist is about more than access or exposure to some of Europe’s greatest art – otherwise, it would be little more than a museum. Instead, it is a chance to join a culture of incredible artistic wealth and grow as part of that culture. By learning to draw upon Italy’s heritage of inventiveness, you will learn to re-invent yourself as an artist in the contemporary sense.

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A Note from Founding Director, Scott McGehee, PhD

“Every epoch not only dreams the next, but while dreaming impels it towards wakefulness”
–Walter Benjamin

Each generation tends to inherit a worldview from the experiences of the preceding generation. Their fears become our fears; their dreams become our dreams; their habits and ideas seep into our daily lives and give shape to our sensibilities.

Like many things in life, this can be both beneficial and harmful. As a benefit, it enables us to build on the wisdom, knowledge, and achievements of the past. It can be harmful when we feel trapped in the social structures of a past that should have been long since superseded.

But to supersede is to imagine another path. Schopenhauer once observed that “every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.” How can we escape the limits of Schopenhauer’s field of vision in a way that frees the imagination? How can we know? These are questions that we continually ask ourselves.

Sometimes answers come slowly, hiding in the shadows, entirely unnoticed, while other times they meet us like a ship hitting an iceberg in the night. Suddenly, in one instant, the world as we knew it is gone forever, leaving only mysterious residue behind. In either case, it is the imagination that must find new ways of sensing the world.
Embedded in the artist’s imagination is a necessary act of resistance as the artist seeks to deploy an old language in new ways or a new language in old ways: resist and create, create and resist.

As rapidly as the world around us is changing, as crisis follows crisis, artists will need to deploy the social imagination in new ways. Henri Focillon reminds us of the power that lies dormant in the artist when he writes that “a work of art is specific, local, individual: and it is our brightest token of universality… [I]t creates man and creates the world.” Above all else, a work of art extends our vision, focuses our attention in surprising ways, and compels us to see the world anew.

We hope to see you in Arezzo,