Olivia Santiago :  painter

Olivia Santiago was born and raised in Kahuku, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. She attended the University of Hawaii, at Windward, Kaneohe. For 2 years, she studied under artist professor Snowden Hodges who specializes in painting and drawing of the old masters, such as Peter Paul Rubens.


Shortly after, Olivia furthered her studies in Florence, Italy attending Charles Cecil Studio, there she continued training in naturalistic tradition drawing and painting which dates back to Titian, Van Dyck and Velàzques, after which she remained in Florence and studied privately on her own for 3 years.


She currently paints in her studio. Olivia resides in Florence with her husband and is still profoundly inspired by the Masters of Art.

Website: www.oliviars.it

Jason Arkles : sculptor

Jason Arkles was born in Washington, DC. He travelled to Florence, in 1996, where he met Charles Cecil who hired Jason to assist in the construction and outfitting of a new studio for sculpture, a medium not previously offered to the pupils at the atelier.  In April 1997, Jason became the department's head. After having learned the main points of the Studio's techniques in drawing, Jason's task was to transpose this technique into a curriculum for three-dimensional work. In effect, the sculpture department at Charles H. Cecil Studios was an experiment in regaining a nearly lost sculptural tradition; the programme is the only fine arts school in the world offering this particular method of training.

In June of 2000, the National Sculpture Society awarded Jason the George Gach Prize, for his entry in the National Sculpture Competition, and the Gloria Medal for his meritorious body of work. Since then he has taken part in numerous national and regional exhibitions in the United States.

Since 2003 Jason has divided his time between his studios in Florence and the US, devoting his career to monumental statuary. His teaching atelier, Studio Della Statua, opened in 2010 in Florence where he passes on the tradition of figurative sculpture to a small number of students. Jason recently gained a Master's degree in Sacred Arts from a pontifical academy in Rome. He is currently working on the second edition of his handbook on the technique of sight-size sculpture.

His 2007 white Carrara marble statue of St. Mark is located in the niche of the facade of St Mark’s English Church in Via Maggio, Florence.


Helen Bayley :  artist

My paintings are reflections of my present and past life experience.

Many of my models are people I know. They may become a religious or mythological character in my work. I also incorporate their personality into the painting along with the relationship I may have with them. Often natural objects I find, or are in season, are added and relate to my own or universal symbols. A pomegranate, plucked from a friend’s garden, represents the passion of Christ, maternity, restoration, re birth and perhaps the blood from the decapitated head of Saint John the Baptist. A blood orange also represents the passion and blood of Saint John, peacock feathers, eternity and the butterfly the soul or anima.

My experience living in Florence, surrounded by great beauty, art and amazing new and interesting people will continue to inspire me. Art of the medieval world and the Renaissance has fueled my interest in religious symbolism and the many saints who seem to circle you almost every day.

My paintings will always tell a story bridging the past, present and the mythic to Florence where I had taught and studied in previous years. My life here continues to evolve...”


“ il passato è presente  III ”

Alessandro Vannini  : pittore

Nato a Firenze, autodidatta, il pittore Alessandro Vannini ha iniziato a esporre nel 1973 con la serie "Lontananze", con cui evidenzia le proprie idee sulla pittura di paesaggio. La sua prima personale è del 1978.  Dal 1990 si dedica a ricerche sulla memoria,  che fruttano la serie " Variazioni sulla Battaglia di  San Romano di Paolo Uccello",, esposte in varie sedi,  tra cui la stessa località della battaglia.     

Nel  2OO3- 2006, in collaborazione con Massimo Pivetti si dedica alla ricostruzione filologica dei perduti affreschi del Pontormo in San Lorenzo,  con una serie di mostre fatte in varie sedi, tra le quali la stessa Basilica di San Lorenzo, Chiesa dei Fratelli , Foyer degli artisti; ecc: La sua ricerca sulla memoria prosegue con le serie: " La passeggiata di Leonardo" , "Storie di Gesuiti" , " Sotterranei, i luoghi della memoria"  , e altro.               

Attualmente è attratto dalla pittura di storia, ed espone con regolarità i suoi " reportage  fotografici" :  battaglia di Montaperti, 1260,  Sacco di Prato ( 1512), ecc., ovviamente esposti nelle  città  di competenza.  Tra i suoi progetti attuali figurano:  il " Caso Savonarola" e " Variazioni sul Mosè di Michelangelo" .  

Caroline Jervis was originally trained as a painter at the Canberra School of Art in 1980’s where she studied under Bob Boynes, an influential Australian painter and teacher. During the 1990’s she took part in various group exhibitions based in Canberra and Sydney.

On retirement from several years practice as a psychologist Caroline completed a Masters Degree in painting at Monash University in Melbourne. She is currently living in Florence and developing a full time painting practice.

She is particularly interested in the content and workings of memory, its fragmentary nature and the way in which it may be reassembled in a more or less orderly or chaotic manner. Thus her paintings tend to include a variety of disparate elements, resulting in images which are visually straightforward on one level but whose meaning may remain enigmatic.

Caroline Jervis  : Artist

Antonio Ciccone - artista

Antonio Ciccone è nato a S. Giovanni Rotondo, in Puglia.  Nel 1954,  si è trasferito a Firenze dove ha frequentato gli studi d’arte di Pietro Annigoni, Nerina Simi e la Scuola Libera del Nudo all’Accademia delle Belle Arti. Dal 1963 al 1980 ha vissuto tra l’Italia e gli Stati Uniti. Ha tenuto più di 175 mostre personali e le sue opere si trovano in musei e collezioni private.  Ha eseguito numerosi ritratti, composizioni e paesaggi, con varie tecniche: carboncino, china, olio, acrilico e affresco. Considerato tra i principali ritrattisti mondiali, Ciccone è rinomato per i suoi maestosi ritratti in carboncino e in acrilico.

Dal 1986 al 1987 ha presentato una mostra itinerante in Inghilterra e Irlanda: Padre Pio e il Gargano. Nel 1987 ha eseguito l 'affresco La Natività a Ponte Buggianese (Pistoia). Nel 1992 gli fu commissionata  l'opera Composizione 1992-1993 per la Cassa Rurale ed Artigiana di San Giovanni Rotondo.

Molte opere sue si trovano in musei e collezioni private. Ciccone ha ricevuto molti premi prestigiosi.

The Lydia series di John T. Spike (2003), è il suo ottavo libro. Altri volumi pubblicati includono:  Antonio Ciccone – Vita di Pittore scritto da Alberto Maria Fortuna (1991); Nello Studio, testo di Paola Bortolotti (1996); Padre Pio di Antonio Ciccone (1999) testo di Alberto Maria Fortuna, e Metamorphosis di Maurizio Vanni pubblicato nel 2000.

Attualmente l’artista vive e lavora a Firenze.        www.antoniociccone.com

Florentine contemporary sacred art

a cura di John Hoenig & Naomi Muirhead

with grateful thanks to the generous sponsorship of SACI

Luca Rafanelli was born in 1959 in via de Serragli and still lives and works a few metres from where he was born. His bottega is Via de Serragli 16r. Since 1994 the symbolism within all his paintings includes a man with his head hidden by an umbrella, usually cycling through his favourite parts of Florence. In this painting we see the octagonal Fountain of Piazza Santa Spirito from above which reminds us of the Battistero of Florence.

Website: http://lucaworkshop.blogspot.it

Luca Rafanelli : painter

Fontana Santo Spirito,

olio su tela, 2013

Contemporary sacred art exhibition

giovedì 29 maggio - giovedì 26 giugno

Jules Maidoff Gallery - SACI
Via Sant'Egidio, 14

Open Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 9am - 7pm

Tuesday & Thursday, 1 - 7pm