Rediscover Your Inner Artist at Seaside Institute Academic Village

March 18, 2013 by SoWal Staff

Seaside Institute will host a new series of programs this spring, “Rediscovering Your Inner Artist”, with four five-day workshops in the new Academic Village on Smolian Circle in Seaside, Florida. For two weeks in May and two weeks in June, the programs will be devoted to courses on photography, design, plein air painting and drawing. Each course will run from 9:00am to 12:00pm, Monday through Friday, although other optional work time may be scheduled. While afternoons and evenings may be used for further exploration in the field of study, the afternoons are left mostly free for this series so that attendees can fully embrace all that Seaside has to offer - the town, the beach, and visits to other 30A communities. Courses are designed so that amateur as well as accomplished artists can participate.

The instructors are all professionals in their individual fields with many years of experience to draw from and pass along to their students.

Course Schedule

May 13-17 | “Light and Shade: The Photography of Place” Instructor: Sandy Sorlien
Course study will focus on light as the medium of photography, whether it reflects onto film or a digital sensor. The soft light of the Florida Gulf Coast is especially alluring to photographers. Join Sandy for an invigorating week exploring the hidden nooks of Seaside and photographing local architecture, seascapes, and people. Each day, location shooting is followed by image viewing and group critique in the studio. Each afternoon you are on your own to roam the area and shoot a short-term assignment, plus an extended series of images throughout the week on a theme of your choosing.

May 20-24 | “Get Your House Right - Designing Your Just Right Home” Instructor: Marianne Cusato
Why do some homes feel better and live larger than others homes? Why do some homes hold value better than others? This course will not only explore the answer to these questions, but explain how you can apply the lessons to your own personal home or company's designs.

June 10-14 | “Interpreting the Character of Place: Plein Air Painting in Seaside” Instructor: David Csont
Seaside, along the Gulf coast of Florida is one of the most charming and beautiful places in the country. This classic small beach town is filled with charming architecture, beautiful landscape and a wonderful casual atmosphere. It is the perfect place to explore and enjoy plein air painting. Plein air comes from the French phrase meaning “in the open air” and is used to describe the art of painting outdoors. Join David Csont as he teaches, discusses and demonstrates his approach to watercolor plein air painting.

June 17-21 | “Wish You Were Here: Sketching a Sense of Place” Instructor: Bill and Mary Dennis
Sketching can provide a means of distilling the essence of a street, a square, a market, a park and the great outdoors. It can bring alive the beauty, surprise and the mystery we encounter along our wanderings, including those in our own backyard.​ During this week, you will work together to discover techniques for making your own “postcard” views, ones that will compel your family and friends to “wish they were there”! Students will generally be sketching small and fast, emphasizing expression of information, while picking up tips for drawing basics – perspective, shade and shadow, as well as drawing trees and people.

Tuition for each series is $400 for the week and includes a continental breakfast each morning in the academic village kitchen.

For more information about Rediscovering Your Inner Artist programs and instructors please visit or contact Seaside Institute director, Diane Dorney, at



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