The chance to study abroad offers an incredible opportunity. The annual trip to Italy organized by Dr. Debra Murphy and the faculty of the Department of Art and Design is a whirlwind experience. The 2019 trip took place from May 14th to June 23rd, with visits to Florence, Massa Marittima, Naples, and Rome. Students elected to take classes in Art History, Photography, and/or Drawing.
This course, “Italy As Studio,” was developed with the study abroad experience in mind. The goal was to use the power of drawing and journaling, to offer students a unique format to capture and explore their trip. These sketchbooks showcase the daily journal exercises, cartooning, drawing on site, creative writing, and archiving that each of the 19 participants engaged in more than six weeks of travel.
Drawing and journaling have proven to be effective means to increase memory and retention. To that end the course focused on daily habits, rather than final outcomes, in order to best record the trip along the way. In the end each student created an artifact that recalls their experiences: seeing a new museum or ancient town almost daily, tasting new foods, navigating new cities, the trials of being away from the familiar, the fantastic moments and the difficult ones. Though all the students lived, worked, and traveled together, each book is unique to its author. Ultimately a major goal of the course was to help students engage with their experience while it was happening, and ultimately to help them catalogue those experiences that made the trip worthwhile.
The Department of Art and Design sponsors an annual six-week study abroad program in Italy where students can study and experience first-hand some of the most important works from western civilization. art history and studio courses are offered. Students visit both smaller towns and large urban centers such as Florence and Naples while the majority of the program is anchored in Rome.