Light Into Matter 2018

INSTRUCTORS: James Hajicek, Carol Panaro-Smith & Mary Kay Zeeb
LOCATION: Villa San Rocco, Benabbio, Italy
COST: $3,275

“This is an opportunity for each of us to bring to light what matters. Expect to be provided with a safe space for you to experiment with some art practices that you can bring home with you…into your families, friendships, communities, work. Expect slower rhythms, honest engagement, possible discomfort, and beauty. Expect a more direct experience with life, one that creates more life, wherever you are.”

    This workshop invites you to spend 11 days immersed in communal art-making and living – all happening in the rural village, Benabbio, a beautiful and secluded medieval village in Tuscany, Italy.

We’ll roll out of bed and into the sunroom for a morning practice of simple stretching and breathing and find our way down to the kitchen for handmade bread, fruit, espresso. After breakfast, get ready to gather in a 14th century monastic studio for writing, mixed media book arts, or pinhole photography, depending on the schedule for that day. When we hear the afternoon bell, we’ll head to the kitchen and help ourselves to lunch. Later in the afternoon, we’ll find our way back to the studio for more art-facilitation.

At dinner we’ll laugh, toast, and share the days unfolding while enjoying Mama P’s amazing cuisine. After cleaning up the dishes, there may be an open mic for shared stories, poetry, and music. Or maybe tonight is just open studio time to continue working with your writing, altered book, or cyanotypes. When sleep calls, retreat to your room. And, if you’re a night owl, find the other owls – and the wine.

For alumni, we invite you to return to deepen your chosen art practice. You will have the opportunity to concentrate on one or two areas with focus and dedicated time with Carol, Mary Kay or James. We will continue to offer local one-on-one work for artists that want to continue this kind of concentration in Arizona.


Cost of the Workshop

  • Shared room accommodations (11 nights) with private bath ($500 extra for a private room, depending on availability).
  • All meals included (excluding lunch and dinner on the “Free Day”).
  • All materials for the workshop.
  • Pick up and drop off at Florence Airport, group travel to Lucca, all local travel (Airfare to and from Florence and trip insurance is not included).


To receive an application and full packet of workshop information contact us at:

You will be asked to complete an application and include a check made out to Alchemy Studio in the amount of $500 as soon as you have decided that you are serious about attending this workshop. The faculty will review all applications on a first come first served basis. Accepted applicants will be notified soon after receipt of their applications. This will reserve your spot in the workshop. If more than 14 applications are received at the same time we will take all matters into consideration in the selection of the participants, and deposit checks will be returned to those not selected. If selected and you later decide not to attend the workshop, your deposit (minus a 5% administrative fee) will be returned if your place has been filled by another participant. In case of cancellation of the workshop, all deposits and payments will be refunded.

If you need financial support please contact us for more information.