Students see Europe through artistic lens
Twenty art and design students took advantage of the opportunity to study abroad in Europe over the summer. The students spent a majority of their time in Oxford, England, but also traveled to Rome and Florence, Italy, and Paris, France.
The artwork and photography created by the students is now on display at the Shore Art Gallery. The exhibit, "Postcards from Abroad," runs through Oct. 12.
The world is a classroom
ACU's Study Abroad program is a chance for students to get out of their comfort zone, gain a global perspective and have the time of their lives.
Kelcie Broom, senior art major from Richardson, enjoyed experiencing the world as her classroom.
"School work involved going into the cities, parks and ruins of historical sights, and recreating them through painting or photography," she says. "We were not confined to the limits of a classroom. I had the opportunity to constantly look at the world around us not only from an artist's lens, but also as a Christian in awe of our Creator and His creation."
The students were able to use every experience as a means for artistic expression. As part of their Painting I class, students learned watercolor and acrylic techniques, and painted on site at such monumental locations as the Ostia Antica, a large archeological site in Rome; Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford; and Whitby Abbey, a ruined Benedictine abbey overlooking the North Sea on the East Cliff above Whitby in North Yorkshire, England.
"Most of the time it felt like we were constantly going, but when we went to Whitby we were there only to paint, photograph and experience the culture,” says Stephanie Fink, junior 2D fine arts major from Fayetteville, Ga. "We stayed at the top of the cliff overlooking the town next to the ruins of an abbey. The scenery was breathtaking."
Hands on Learning
Unlike traditional art history classes in which students view art out of their textbook, these students studied the history of art by touring museums such as the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
Art professor Robert Green encouraged students to capture the little moments in life through a class on street photography. He taught them to let their photos to tell a story.
"Traveling with the Art and Design Department is much like wearing a pair of new glasses," says Katie Bendel, senior theater major from Abilene. "Traveling with an artistic mind changed how I examined and intentionally soaked in the visual beauty of the places I traveled."
The Study Abroad Experience
Many students who study abroad say they come back changed by their newfound global perspective.
Bendel says of her experience, "As a theater artist, I find myself more aware of artistic or geographical references and historical concepts built into the writing of a play and the design of it. I feel more excited than ever about the idea of graduating, and being able to use my artistic and global outlook to better my life and work place."