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Why study at Il Bisonte?
The International School of Graphic Art Il Bisonte is a school of higher education unique in Italy. Founded in 1983 has inherited the tradition and spirit of the historic print workshop of the same name created in 1959 by Maria Luigia Guaita, and offers specialized courses in printmaking held in specially equipped workshop-classroom, focus on the traditional techniques of graphic art and traditional hand printing follows strict traditional arts and crafts. The atmosphere is that of an old workshop where the exchange of knowledge between students and teachers contributes to the personal growth of each.

What kind of education the school offers?
The teaching methodology applied is that of the practical workshop, where the essential theoretical concepts are translated immediately into concrete actions and technical processes, performed by the student under the direct control of the teacher, as it already happened in the workshops of Renaissance art. The objective is to develop the language of engraving in his autonomous values, offering students the opportunity to achieve, along with the mastery of technique, a more complete freedom of expression.

What kind of student attend Il Bisonte?
Students of Il Bisonte are generally people looking for a serious school of graphic art, interested in exploring the subject, with a basic knowledge of artistic techniques and different cultures, ages and geographic origins.”

Where is Il Bisonte located?
Il Bisonte is located in Florence, in the district of San Niccolò one of the Oltrarno’s most picturesque and lively neighbouhoods. The school is housed in the atmospheric and ancient former stables of Palazzo Serristori and is only 50 metres from the main facility where there’s the office and the art gallery. In the district there are many grocery stores, coffee bars and restaurants. The school is 10 minutes walk from the city center and is close to the bus stop n. 23 through the center and leads to the train station of Santa Maria Novella.

Is Il Bisonte an accredited school?
In 2010, the Region of Tuscany has canceled the job profile for “”Specialized Technician in Etching and Printmaking, so the school lost its accreditation while maintaining the same educational program that has always distinguished.”

Can I obtain credits by attending courses at Il Bisonte?
Il Bisonte issues a certificate which lists all of the subjects attended the course. This can be presented to another institution that can decide whether to release or not the certification of credits based on Il Bisonte. Several foreigner universities already accepted them.

How many students there are for each course?
About fifteen students per class. The constant contact with students and especially their limited number allows an education tailored to suit individual needs and levels of proficiency.

What includes the fee for the course?
The tuition fee, in addition to the lessons, as well as costs for the End of Year exhibition and the costs for the catalog of the exhibition. Lodging and material is not included.

What is available in each classroom?
Please check the Facilities page of this web page.

In which language are the classes?
The lessons are mainly in Italian, but one of the teacher also speak English and the another one Spanish.

What happens if a course is canceled?
Without the minimum number of students, courses are not activated. If the student has already paid the registration fee is refunded or you can choose another course to attend.

Can I change my mind on the course I have chosen once arrived in Florence?
Yes, you can change or extend the course.

What happens if I retire after the start of the course?
The attendance fee is refunded only if the course is not activated. In case of withdrawal the money paid for the attendance will not be reimbursed. Not issued any attendance certificate.

Can I take a class test before I register?
Yes, you can do a trial lesson. The cost for a afternoon class (4 hours) is 40 €.

What happens if I miss a class?
Attendance in class is mandatory. Students should always disclose their absence. In case of illness, after 5 days of absence a medical proof is necessary. If a student loses more than 30% of the course hours will not receive the final attendante certificate or access the final exam. Also delays the lessons are considered the equivalent to unjustified absences.

What tools can be purchased at the course in school?
The printing paper and plate of zinc or copper can be purchased at school. Available at school is an etching starter kit priced at € 35.”

I can work with non-toxic materials?
Even if we teach non toxic techniques they are just part of the program and the main part of it is focused on traditional techniques.

Can I work on Saturday and Sunday?
On Saturday afternoon and Sunday the school is closed. The extended opening hours on Saturday afternoon and Sunday may be made at the request of students or if there are groups that have available those days to use the laboratories of the school.”

Can I rent a lab to arrange a course?
Yes, it is possible. This formula has been tested for many years with foreign schools or independent groups. If the group is devoid of a lab assistant the school is able to provide it. The cost for an open study group is € 120 (4 hours/day) for independent groups up to 10 students. For larger groups we can provide a customized fee

How is the final exam?
At the end of the Specialization course in Etching and Printmaking has included a review of the work done by the students by a committee of professors and experts, the good result at it is a necessary condition for obtaining the diploma.

What kind of certificate is issued at the end of the course?
For main courses we issue a certificate of attendance and a certificate showing all the subjects covered during the training. These documents may be useful to attach to the personal curriculum.”

What are the registration requirements?
School enrollments are open to all persons older than 18 with an interest in artistic knowledge, willing to learn and develop the traditional graphic arts techniques. Special courses and group, specially designed, however, can be agreed as an exception to the above.”

A underage may enroll in courses at the school?
Yes, but the parent must fill out a release form which declares to be aware of school rules exempting from any liability.

Do I need to apply for the student Visa?
The non-European students are required to have a VISA if they remain in Italy for more than 3 months.
It is the student’s responsibility to ask the Italian consulate by submitting all the documents, Il Bisonte will provide some of the documents you will need for your visa application.
Please consider that is not possible to extend a tourist VISA.

How long should I wait before receiving a VISA?
The time for the visa varies from consulate to consulate. It is recommended to apply for a visa at least two months before departure.

Do I need to be an expert in printmaking to join Il Bisonte courses?
No, it is necessary to have an artistic background or artistic experience. It is true that many of our students have graduated or attended an Academy of Fine Arts, never the less we have students from many different backgrounds who that wish to receive an introduction or increase their skill in etching.

How do I secure a space in my desired term?
For the main corse it is mandatory to pay a € 100 enrollment fee, which will then be deducted from the total tuition fee. The enrollment fee will only be reimbursed if the course is not run. As soon as we receive all your application form, we can process your application for acceptance as long as space is available. Once you have been accepted, you will receive an invoice indicating a deposit payment due immediately. When we receive this payment, your space is secured.

Can I pay the tuition fee in installments?
Yes, the lines of the main courses can be paid in up to three installments by arrangement with the school office.

What is the best form of payment?
Courses can be paid via bank transfer and postal order. At the school office are accepted cash, debits and major credit cards.
IBAN  IT 82 G 06160 02813 1000 0000 3627   SWIFT/BIC PASCITM1F16

There’s an Internet connection to Il Bisonte School?
Yes, there is a wi-fi connection and you can request the password directly to the teachers of the school

The student may consult the school library?
The library of the Foundation The Bison includes about 4,500 books, monographs and art exhibitions catalogues. A large section is devoted to the history of art and graphic art. There are numerous books on drawing, painting, engraving, sculpture, architecture and other arts. You can consult the books during the opening hours of the secretariat. You can not borrow them.

Can I receive surface mail to Il Bisonte?
You can receive mail, if mail is marked, the student must leave the money in advance to collect the parcel.

Can I exhibit at your gallery?
For students there is a group show at the end of their year of study at a prestigious exhibition space in Florence. Sometimes the students of Il Bisonte take the initiative to organize exhibitions in city’s spaces.
For an artist you must contact the management of the gallery and talk directly with Rodolfo Ceccotti.

Can I visit the school with a group of students?
Yes, it is possible to visit the school and gallery. Generally the tours are guided and include an introduction to the Il Bisonte history and to the main techniques of traditional printmaking. Tours are free and must be agreed with the school secretary.

Can I sign up for an artist residency?
Yes, please visit the specific page on this web site

Does Il Bisonte grant scholarship?
Yes, please visit the specific page on this web site

Does Il Bisonte accept scholarship offered through students home University?
Yes

Can you help to find accommodation in Florence?
The school does not have to rent apartments to students but the secretariat can provide the contact details of landlords according to the requirements of the students themselves (eg a single room in the house with other students, a studio, etc.). The school is not able to check out the homes proposed.