European "Outsider" Art: Past & Present

January 4–17, 2018
United States

Banner Study Trip European Outsiders

Since the beginning of the 20th century there has been a fascination with art produced by people with mental illness and disabilities as well as other artists working outside the cultural mainstream. Terms such as art brut, outsider, naïve, self-taught, and visionary are all imperfect attempts at categorizing this vigorous and elusive genre. From the Prinzhorn Collection to Dubuffet's Collection de l'Art Brut to contemporary studio programs such as Galerie Atelier Herenplaats in Rotterdam, there has been a continuous European tradition around the production, admiration, and collection of this work. This course will examine the historical and current practices within this genre with a particular focus on its relevance to art therapy, art education, art history, psychology, and studio fine art. Visits to important sites in Heidelberg Germany, Bern and Lausanne Switzerland, Amsterdam and Rotterdam the Netherlands, and other locations will form the core of this trip in addition to reading, lecture, and discussion.

This course offers students the opportunity to discover connections between historic and contemporary outsider art sites and their art education, art therapy, or studio practices. Visually and conceptually rich, this experience challenges participants' perceptions of both art and artists.

Credits: 3 STUDIO (4000 level) and/or 3 ARTTHER (5000 level) or 3 cr. ARTED (5000 level)

Maximum 6 credits

Randy Vick, Art Therapy
Jerry Stefl, Art Education

Program fee: Approx. $2,600 (Includes accommodation, admissions, ground transport, and some group meals. Does not include airfare).

PLUS Tuition cost per credit:
Undergraduate—$1,552 per credit hour
Graduate—$1,625 per credit hour.


Budget at least $1,200 for airfare if flying from the United States. (Note this is only an estimated figure. Actual fare will depend on many variables including airline, number of stopovers, exchange rate fluctuations, ports of departure and return, and date of ticket purchase).

Online registration begins: October 11, 2017

Deposit due at registration: $525

Information sessions:
Tuesday, September 12, 12:10 p.m.
MacLean Centre, 112 S. Michigan Ave., suite MC 111

Thursday, September 21, 4:15 p.m.
MacLean Centre, 112 S. Michigan Ave., suite MC 112

From last study trip's course evaluations:

  • This is my favorite class since I started to attend to SAIC. The professors are very professional, talented, and have an incredible sense of humor.
  • Fantastic itinerary. We saw so much in 2 weeks.
  • Jerry and Randy prepared the trip in a manner that was very organized which led to minimal time-waste. It was very thoughtfully organized in terms of where and why we visited various locations. I also felt as though our open time was respected as the trip and content were grueling.
  • It was challenging because I considered a lot of hard and critical questions that I hadn't thought of before. Questions that didn't always just have one answer. It was also challenging because I wanted to push myself to think about the questions we were given from the perspective of an illustration student rather than an art therapy student.
  • As an emerging therapist it helped me to broaden my understanding of what art therapy looks like in different spaces/with different populations/ under different curators.
  • Jerry was very invested in my personal project. He was always sure to check in with me and offer opinions and questions about how the works and artists we were seeing were relating to my practice.
  • Randy was clearly so very excited about the content of the course, knows so much, and encourages students to explore more deeply.
  • Obviously knows his stuff, and has personal connections to many people (curators, etc) on site which enriches the experience because we hear from them personally!!
  • This trip is as valuable and fulfilling as you make it to be. If you want to have the best experience possible, have an open mind and be prepared to think critically and consider everything.
  • Read everything. Engage in conversations with artists abroad as much as possible. Ask questions. Bring extra funds to support artists and organizations that meet with you. Pack light.
  • I would suggest that they plan a budget as much as possible, in advance. I would also say that this is not a course for those who are not centrally interested in the content. The schedule is grueling and the information is vast.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and pack light!