São Tomé and Príncipe, an island nation off of the west coast of Africa, is the unique setting for this international study program. This tiny Portuguese-speaking country in the Gulf of Guinea is home to large number of native birds and plant life and is one of Africa’s most important nesting sites for a diverse range of sea turtles. In addition to its lush natural life, the culture of São Tomé and Príncipe offers a cultural mosaic in its people. A serene tropical paradise, São Tomé and Príncipe receives only about 20 tourists per week. Students on this program will be able to engage with the local population including artists and artisans while also having a chance to enjoy the sleepy fishing villages, the exotic biodiversity jungles, and the old colonial plantations of São Tomé Town.
There is no lack of subject matter for illustration and other projects in this setting. Working under the guidance of the MICA instructors, students will work outdoors on-site in varying locales as they develop a body of work. Students may draw, paint, create a visual journalism project, an illustrated book project, and other projects. Slide lectures and field trips will complement the days working outdoors. Students will also attend musical performances and see a play that has been staged in São Tomé and Príncipe since the 16th century.
This month-long residency in São Tomé and Príncipe offers 3 studio credits in illustration or general fine arts, with an optional 3 credits in art history or humanistic studies–classes may be taken for undergraduate and graduate credit or audit. The program is open to undergraduate or graduate students (rising sophomores to second-year graduate students), and to lifelong learners at least 18 years of age who have completed at least one year of college study. All students must have a current, valid passport for travel.