Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist

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Studio Sicilia: Where Art meets Paper

What is Studio Sicilia?

Studio Sicilia is where Art meets Paper: in southern Sicily.

In April 2012 we welcomed Movana Chen, the first recipient of the Jerome Cox Sculpture Fellowship, for artists who work with paper as a sculptural medium. She brought her Traveling To My Bookshelf project to Cianciana, and mystified residents as she knitted paper books into art.

In October 2014, Brtish artist Carla Moss will arrive in Cianciana to continue her project on migration. She will travel overland from the UK to Cianciana as part of the project.

In May 2015, Taiwanese artist Chou Meng-Yeh will bring her unique paper sculptures to Cianciana.

In 2012-2014 we've had artists, curators, and novelists from Europe and the US. Now the studio is available to rent on a weekly basis on Air BnB. Stays of one month or longer are eligible for discounts, just enquire via Air BnB.

To express interest in a Jerome F. Cox Sculpture Fellowship, send a message with link to your online portfolio to art at ebriel dot com.

Why paper?

Sicily was a route for paper from Asia through the Arab world and into Europe during the late Medieval era. Many scholars believe it helped bring on the Renaissance.

As I pored through centuries of literature for my illustrated travel book on SE Asian papers, I discovered that much of the civilization we take for granted today – from literacy to democracy to the end of feudalism – is thanks to paper, its affordability, and the spread of ideas it enabled. Most of all, now we have digital media for much of our everyday communication, paper can really come into its own. (Not to mention that it’s a perfect material for traveling artists.)

I’m on a mission to encourage experiments with paper, and Studio Sicilia is part of my plan: here, creatives who work with paper will get the chance to hash out their ideas, and eventually have a paper library resource.

Who can come to Studio Sicilia?

It's a Creative Residency program for artists in any discipline – designers, musicians, poets, writers, visual artists – who are looking for a space to work on their projects, and for whom Sicily can be an inspiration.

Where is it?

Studio Sicilia is located in the historic center of the atmospheric town of Cianciana (pop. ~3500) in southern Sicily, an hour's drive from the city of Agrigento and its famous Valley of the Temples by the sea.  Explore some of Cianciana's stunning scenery here.

If you're interested to stay at Studio Sicilia, you can check availability and see more photos at Air BnB.

See the studio's transformation from a dusty warehouse into an artist's studio here: renovation progress