Prof. William Pettit is an American artist living and working in Italy since 1999. He studied at Temple Rome as an undergraduate and as a graduate student, receiving his MFA from Tyler School of Art in 1994. He regularly teaches painting, drawing, and photography at John Cabot University and has worked with The Umbra Institute in Perugia, USAC Viterbo, ISU Rome, SVA Rome, Richmond in Rome, and BU Venice. Through collaborative teaching, Pettit helped develop Stonehill College’s Study Abroad program, which holds several on-site course in Italy each year. He teaches Fresco Painting, Advanced Painting and Drawing, and Materials and Techniques at Temple Rome.

Pettit began studying historical studio techniques in order to gain a better understanding of the traditions specific to Italian art history, enabling him to share them with study abroad students. His research and knowledge of fresco painting led to a collaboration with an artist in the Istanbul Biennial of 2015, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and his interest in historical pigments earned him a grant to study at the Cini Foundation in Venice in 2018.

He has received several artist residencies, and has presented at academic conferences, including the 9th Experimental Archeology Conference at UCD, Dublin.

Pettit’s artistic work begins from the landscape to address geological patterns, biological systems, and cosmic formations and their entropic decline. In various materials, the work denotes both the gravity and the absurdity of genesis and deletion, and draws on ideas of physical and spiritual sustenance through philosophical metaphors of the “work” of art, and  poetic salvation. His paintings, drawings, and installations have been shown annually in Paris, Philadelphia, Boston, Rome, Perugia, Assisi, Città della Pieve, Tuscania, Gubbio, and Città di Castello. His writings have been published in American literary journals since 1992, and his book of poetry, “Ghost Songs,” was published in 2009.



M.F.A. at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, USA

B.A. in Poetry and Studio Art, University of Pittsburgh, USA


Courses Taught

ART 2505: Painting Materials & Techniques

ART 3515: Advanced Drawing: Rome

ART 3519: Advanced Painting: Rome



Ghost Songs, by Casagrande Press, 2009.



Fresco Painting, Traditional pigments and supports


Additional Information