Drawing Class
Students in Petit Palais

Faculty & Staff Biographies

PICA works with a number of outstanding Paris faculty who are passionate about their area of expertise and continue to be active in their own artistic and scholarly pursuits, publishing in scholarly journals or exhibiting their art works regularly. Likewise, most PICA faculty have had significant experience studying and living in a foreign context and adapting to foreign languages so they will understand the inevitable adjustments all study abroad students experience and will be able to offer advice to help students adapt and adjust more easily.

Michael McCarthy (Director, Photography, Printmaking & Photo History)

Michael McCarthy has been teaching university art courses for more than twenty years while becoming expert in the full range of photography techniques and processes from the oldest photo processes (pinhole, cyanotype, gum bichromate, wet collodion and others) up to the most recent digital innovations. One of Michael’s specialties is his mixed media work which combines photography with painting, drawing and printmaking which he uses for a wide range of subjects from landscapes to figurative as well as experimental works. Michael has lived abroad for extended periods while teaching photography and art classes in the U.S., Italy, Greece and in France for the last nine years. Michael is bilingual in English and French with an advanced level in Italian. His art and photo work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the U.S. and in Europe and has won numerous prizes. Currently represented by the Galerie Duboys in Paris, his recent exhibition, Human Form, was selected Best Gallery Exhibition in 2012 by Marc Lenot on his Lunettes Rouges blog hosted by Lemonde.fr

Anne Catherine Abécassis PhD (19th & 20th Century Art History)

Anne Catherine Abécassis teachers a range of different subjects, concentrating on the visual arts of the 19th and 20th century. With PICA, the courses she offers are: History of Art & Architecture in Paris, Impressionism, Modernist Art, and Contemporary Art History. She has extensive teaching experience including institutions such as La Sorbonne, the University of Southern California and Skidmore College. Her work is regularly published in such art journals as Kunst (Aarhus, Danemark); L’œil (Paris); L’Acte de la pensée positive (Paris); and Comité des Historiens de l’Art Nordique (Paris).

Kathy Burke (Figure Drawing)

Kathy Burke has lived in Paris as a painter since she left Los Angeles in the 1970s. She chooses to live in Paris for its rich mixture of cultures in its highly creative and international community. Her current series of paintings, “Paris Portraits’, Ms. Burke paints the art world in Paris. Her portraits have included Edouard Boubat, Robert Kramer and Alain Dominique Perrin.

Anne Marsella (Creative Writing)

Anne Marsella has written and published in both English and French and is the author of the award-winning collection of short stories, The Lost and Found and Other Stories (New York University Press) and the novels Remedy (Portobello Books), The Baby of Belleville (Portobello Books) and Patsy Boone (Editions de la Différence). Her short story “Saint Fever” received a Pushcart Prize nomination and was adapted for the off-Broadway theatre production All the Pieces directed by Carol Monpere in 2003. She is a recipient of New York University’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Award and has benefited from a number of international fellowships. Her novel Remedy has recently been optioned by Screen Siren Pictures. Having taught literature and writing at the American University of Paris, she has also associate directed NYU’s Writers in Paris program.

Jan Olsson (Painting, Drawing)

Jan Olsson, Resident of Paris for more than twenty years, she works in a range of art media from drawing to painting and printmaking. Her work has been regularly exhibited throughout France in the United States and is held in numerous public collections.

Jonathan Shimony (Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Printmaking)

Jonathan Shimony graduated from Harvard College’s Visual and Environmental Studies Department with highest honours in 1987. Thanks to a Luce Foundation Scholarship he was able to study in Japan at the Tokyo School of Art where he was awarded a diploma of higher studies in 1989. He returned to the United States to continue his education at the Massachusetts College of Art and obtained an MFA in 1991. Jonathan was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to France in 1994 to be the Artist in Residence at the Ecole Duperré (National School of Applied Arts) and has lived in Paris ever since. Jonathan has developed a remarkable range of technical skills in a variety of different art media which he happily shares with students. His own work includes figurative oil paintings to large scale figurative and abstract bronze and steal sculptures as well as figurative printmaking. His work is represented in Paris by Galerie Metanoïa. He is currently preparing an exhibition for the Palazzo Bembo as part of the 2015 Venice Biennial.

Valérie Sourisseau PhD. (French & Comparative Literature)

Valérie Sourisseau, Agrégée in French Literature, PhD in Comparative Literature, specialises in modern French, English and Italian literatures with a focus on poetry, myth and gender. Her researches have focused on the use of anthropology and of female myths in the 20th century (in authors such as Robert Graves, André Breton, Saint John Perse, Cesare Pavese, Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison). She has taught French at the University of Pennsylvania, and Literature at the University of Palermo, the University of Limoges, University of Cergy and University of Paris 13. She has also done considerable work in translation of literature and other media (English to French).

Stéphane Treilhou (Drawing, Painting, Fresco)

Stéphane Treilhou has years of experience working on his own art projects while also developing a great talent for restauration of ancient painting techniques (including fresco) and will soon have completed his PhD related to restoration techniques. He also teaches art classes at Strat College.

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