Italian Comic-Art School Opening Outlet on Near West Side

Mar 12, 2013 1305

CHICAGO — A major Italian comic-art school is opening a campus on the Near West Side.
The Scuola Internazionale di Comics, a 34-year-old art school specializing in comics and animation, chose Chicago as its first location outside Italy.
It has nine Italian campuses, with headquarters in Rome. It boasts 30 alumni working for major U.S. comics publishers, including Marvel and DC. Foremost among them is Sara Pichelli, who has recently worked on Marvel's "Spider-Man" franchise.
School founder Dino Caterini chose Chicago over finalists Miami and San Francisco. The welcome the city gave to Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti played a role.
"Given the overwhelming enthusiasm and affection that Chicagoans showed for Maestro Muti, I am not surprised that Caterini had the vision to choose Chicago," said Silvio Marchetti, director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago. "Our city and cultural community will certainly benefit from this unique export of Italian culture. Most important, artists here and throughout the Midwest will have the rare opportunity to take advantage of a truly European art school."
The school plans to begin offering classes at 1651-53 W. Hubbard St. in October. An open house is scheduled for March 22. After that, prospective students can examine the school and enroll through its website.
The three-year, "art-only" curriculum is based on "master-apprentice" teaching methods dating back to the 15th century and includes courses in illustration, comic art, animation, creative writing and storyboarding at a tuition cost of $9,000 a year. Students will also get the chance to be involved with an exchange program to one of the Italian sites.
The school plans to use a mix of instructors from here and Italy and expects enrollment to be 300 by the start of the third year.
Chicago has some fairly well-established art schools, including the School of the Art Institute and Columbia College, which can lay claim to Genndy Tartakovsky, a Lane Tech alumnus who has created the Cartoon Network series "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Samurai Jack."

By Ted Cox

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