Mary Beckinsale has travelled the world as an educator and lecturer for over 30 years, giving art-related lectures at top institutions in Korea, Serbia, Portugal, Spain and the United States. She served as dean of the Studio Art Centers International (SACI) for 10 years before becoming its director in 1995. For many years, she has taught courses in modern and contemporary art history and museology. She is also the president of the non-profit Palazzo dei Cartelloni and for the last five years has been a governing board member of the Association of Independent Art and DesignSchools (AIAS, www.aias-artdesign.org).
You have done so much over your career. What is your main professional goal right now?
One of my goals at SACI is to promote new talents who have a tough time getting support. Once every six months, for example, we host an emerging artist at our gallery. As president, I make an effort to emphasize the fundamental importance of art. Too many people think of art as an indulgence—an excess rather than one of our primary needs. Fortunately, though, over the last 10 years, many private institutions and even the Comune have taken steps to support the development of contemporary art in Florence.