Alchemy Studio invites you to join Carol Panaro-Smith, James Hajicek, and guest artist, Mary Kay Zeeb, for a week of community and experimental artmaking in Benabbio, Italy. We'll share guided protocols and techniques from our respective mediums, including mixed media, book making, cyanotype, movement, meditation, and writing. All protocols are designed to accommodate all levels of experience, including non-writers, non-visual artists, non-yoga practitioners.
As we move through all the respective practices, we invite all participants in this supported space to move as one whole group. It's our sincere hope that each of us can discover the unfamiliar - something new to embody and bring back home.
This will all happen in the small hilltop village of Benabbio, Tuscany, Italy, at the Villa San Rocco. The Villa San Rocco is the ideal artist’s haven with charm, ambience, and history embedded in every wall. The Villa is a 10-bedroom house with many places to gather or to spend solitary time. There are two living rooms with fireplaces, a balcony with a view of the marble mountaintops of Carrara, a 14th century monastic art studio and a yoga/meditation room (open 24/7). There’s a scenic backyard garden area with a soaking pool and an outdoor dining area.
You will be nourished daily by home cooked meals prepared in the Italian tradition served “a tavola” (together at the table) , or casually as you move through your creative practice. You will also have two meals at local restaurants to sample the regional cuisine.
We will take a break one day to visit the walled city of Lucca. On the way we will stop to visit The Devil’s Bridge, and while in Lucca, you are free to ride a bike or take a stroll on the wall, wander through the city, have lunch, eat a gelato (or two), sip an Aperol spritz, and visit the numerous shops.
“We believe that all aspects of life can be a creative pursuit, the food you put on the table, your living space, and the community you surround yourself with. This artful experience is created to energize you and inspire you throughout the week and beyond. We invite anyone wishing to explore with us the joy of artful living.”
PRIVATE ROOM (SINGLE) WITH ENSUITE BATH: $3595
PRIVATE ROOM (COUPLES/SHARED BED) WITH ENSUITE BATH: $3295
EACH SHARED ROOM/SEPARATE BEDS WITH SHARED BATH: $3295
breakfasts, lunch, and dinner
materials for the workshop
pick up and drop off at the Florence Airport,
group travel to Lucca
(Airfare to and from Florence and trip insurance NOT INCLUDED)
JAMES HAJICEK is a Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University where he taught fine art photography for 34 years. He received his MFA from the University of New Mexico. His area of specialization is late 19th century photographic printing processes. He has received several National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships for
photography and his work with obscure photographic printing processes. His own work along with his
collaborative work with partner, Carol Panaro-Smith, is in numerous public and private collections.
He is currently co-director of Alchemy Studio LLC.
CAROL PANARO-SMITH received her MFA at Arizona State University. Her area of specialization is mixed media, book arts and historic photo processes. Some highlights in her career include establishing Alchemy-Studio, a working and teaching studio in Phoenix, and her position as program director and curator at Art Intersection from 2010- 2014. Her own work along with collaborative work with partner James Hajicek has been widely recognized and collected. She is currently co-director of Alchemy Studio LLC.
Poet MARY KAY ZEEB is the founder of Alive and Humming, an independent LLC that offers private and community facilitation of creative spaces. Zeeb's background is in writing, grief recovery, and taoist yoga. She practices a peer-approach to artmaking, with an emphasis on lived experience, ritual, and the languages of the body.