The Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, founded in 1953 by Oskar Kokoschka as the "School of Vision", in Hohensalzburg Fortress, is the oldest of its kind in Europe.
Every year, some 300 participants from more than 40 countries attend some 20 courses offered in three locations: Hohensalzburg Fortress, Alte Saline Hallein and the Kiefer quarry in Fürstenbrunn. Well-known artists from all over the world offer courses and workshops focusing on painting, drawing, graphic arts, (stone) sculpture, installation, mixed media, video, photography, performance and curatorial practice. The organisational structure of the Summer Academy makes it possible to react at short notice to current developments in the art world and to exert some influence on the latest trends.
The Salzburg Summer Academy is open to anyone interested. Prospective participants submit to an application process in which the teaching artists select their students. The number of rejections is very small, however, despite a proportion of some two-thirds professionals (artists and art students).
In 2013, the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts celebrated its 60th anniversary.
Hildegund Amanshauser, director since 2009, has enlisted many new distinguished international artists to teach at the Summer Academy – including Monica Baer, Alice Creischer/Andreas Siekmann, Milena Dragicivic, Peter Friedl, Jitish Kallat, Lucie McKenzie, Rebecca Morris, Senam Okudzeto, Elfie Semotan/Roberto Ohrt, Hubert Scheibl and Mladen Stilinovic. 2011 saw the first, highly successful courses in curatorial practice (Maria Lind, Juan A. Gaitán, WHW [What, How & for Whom]). The public programme of events has a special focus which changes every year: 2010/artistic techniques, 2011/global art, 2012/the studio. International curators, critics, art historians and artists give lectures followed by open discussions.
Examples on YouTube