Brooklyn, New York, USA
An up-and-coming American artist Alyssa Monks arrived at Il Palmerino in June 2017 to host a workshop with her students in a Tuscan and Italian context that would allow them to visit the major artistic attractions in Florence, whilst having the opportunity to perfect – under her guidance – the learning process they had begun at the New York Art Academy.
The group combined 15 days of art production with exposure to local culture, which included visits to museums, cooking classes and wine tastings in some renowned farms. In the mornings, after a hearty breakfast in the garden, the 9 students would engage in intense studio work. Using an innovative teaching style, Alyssa would discuss and demonstrate drawing theory and techniques, and in just a few days’ time, the students produced numerous scenes for display on our exhibition panels. The course was focused on process development and the production of a ‘final piece’, which Alyssa was able to evaluate, determining the effectiveness of the student-produced artworks at each different level of completion.
Generous in her approach, Alyssa spared no effort as she carried out her role as group leader, securing the wellbeing of her students and effectively managing the diverse group. A strong psychological component is easily visible in the artist's own work. It is wisely directed towards introspective reflection, as she turns to painting to interpret her musings in unique and personal ways.