Welcome! Friday, Jan 15 2010
Why Florence? Monday, Jan 7 2013
- is a compact, metropolitan city of 500,000 people
- is the birthplace of the Renaissance
- is one of the most walkable cities in Italy (most important sites are within 1/2-hour walking distance of the Duomo)
- draws visitors from all over the world
- has a history rich with intrigue, adventure, and centuries of incredible patronage of the arts (can we say “Medici”?)
- has an equally rich “present,” — with cafes, clubs, shops and cinemas
- is centrally located for day trips to other Tuscan hill towns and city centers
- is home to Michelangelo’s David, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Leonardo’s Adoration of the Magi as well as works by Caravaggio, Giotto, Rembrandt and Raphael
- has a cuisine characterized by simple preparations of abundant produce, mellow cheeses, grilled meats and a fascination for beans
What types of assignments will we be doing? Monday, Jan 7 2013
Projects 6:56 pm
A variety of media and techniques will be demonstrated and discussed and can include drawing, photography, watercolor, collage and bookarts. Assignments will be designed and coordinated with site locations and the works of selected artists who lived in or traveled to Italy and whose own practice was influenced by their experiences. In many instances, you will be asked to use demonstrated techniques on location to record your impressions and express your ideas. For example, an assignment might ask you to work in watercolor in the Boboli Gardens (in the method of John Singer Sargent as seen in the image below) or to sketch architectural monuments in the style of Piranesi. You will develop a working knowledge of these processes through hands on experience, small group discussion and large format critiques.
No previous art experience needed? Really? Monday, Jan 7 2013
Projects 6:14 pm
Many of the participants may be like you, very excited about spending a month in Italy, looking forward to seeing some amazing art and learning more about the history of the works and the region. They are also excited about the opportunity to spend some time making their own art in response to their experiences, learning a few new processes, and having fun with their peers. Many of the group members may not be art students. Some have past experience but most are just eager to learn and looking forward to trying new things. The demonstrations will be designed for folks with little to no experience so please do not feel intimidated about your technical skill level. Everyone will quickly develop a working method that suits their individual needs and abilities and will hopefully make a few things that they will look back on some day as a document of the beautiful summer they spent in Italy.
This is a 5 credit class. Of course, like any class there will be assignments you’ll need to complete, no different than here at the UW. And your participation with the group is also a factor in the evaluation process. We believe everyone going with us will be there because they want to, will work hard, learn a few new things and do extremely well. Everyone’s work will be unique to them, quite exciting to see develop.
Remember you can only learn what you already don’t know.
Who are the Directors? Monday, Jan 7 2013
People 6:10 pm
Curt Labitzke, Associate Professor in the Studio Art Division of the School of Art, is a seasoned traveler in Italy. He has directed five quarter-long School of Art programs in Rome and has traveled extensively through Italy with these groups. Recently, he took a group of students to study in Leon, Spain for a quarter. As an artist and as an instructor, he has worked with a wide variety of media as well as a diverse student population, from those just beginning to develop their skills as artists to advanced graduate students. Curt’s work is highly influenced by his travels throughout Italy and is characterized by large scale figures whose relationships evoke both the magnitude of the mythological as well as the nuances of personal intimacy.
Cynthia Caci, who has co-directed seminars in Sicily, Tunisia and Tuscany, has a graduate degree in Art History with a focus in the art of the early Italian Renaissance. She brings not only language proficiency in conversational Italian but also teaching experience that will provide an historical context to the seminar in Tuscany. Her entire career at the Univeristy of Washington has been involved in undergraduate education and in helping students align their personal, educational and professional goals with opportunities at the UW and beyond. Cynthia is the Assistant Director of C21 (Center for 21st Century Liberal Learning) in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Where will we be staying? Monday, Jan 7 2013
In Florence, we will be staying in a travelers hostel. Students will be housed in quads with bathrooms ensuite. The location is perfect — we will be living in the Oltrarno, the neighborhood south of the Arno river. As opposed to the centro istorico (Historic Center) where most tourists stay, we will become residents of a true working neighborhood.
Oltrarno retains an authentic Florentine atmosphere made up of art and artisans and lively piazzi where people meet and live together. This neighborhood contains shops and unique workshops, cafes and restaurants, world-famous and lesser-known museums and monuments and is just a short 10-minute walk to the city’s center.
Day 31: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 Wednesday, Sep 19 2012
Uncategorized 8:03 pm
Ciao for now Italia!
Today students check out of their apartments by 10am to head back home. Students have mixed feelings: sadness to be closing the chapter of such an amazing adventure and to parting from friends they’ve made from the program whom have become family; and excitement and comfort to be returning home to loved ones. One feeling that has been planted in everyone’s hearts is gratitude. Gratitude to have been part of such an educational and life altering experience. A Creative Journey has been an extraordinary and rewarding experience and a memory to treasure forever.
Day 30: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 Tuesday, Sep 18 2012
Uncategorized 7:37 pm
Last Day: Reimbursements, Vacate Studio, Packing, & Group Dinner at Le Fate
Our last day is here. Some students have already headed to the airport while most of us are busy packing, getting reimbursed for miscellaneous expenses, cleaning and vacating our art studio space at the UW Rome Center, and squeezing in some last minute shopping.
As our last hurrah, we are treated to an amazing dinner at Le Fate. The restaurant is festively decorated and the ambiance is warm and welcoming. The extravagant and delectable feast consists of 11 courses. Each course heavenly, is shared family style among students and satisfies even the most hungry or picky eater. Starting with bread, the courses consist of caprese salad, a grain and green salad, lightly fried onion with arugula, fried balls with olive, potato, or rice in the center, ratatouille, bruschetta with mushrooms, arugula and cheese, and tomato, ravioli with pesto and cheese, rigatoni with tomato sauce and bacon, seared chicken with potatoes and greens, then last but not least, tiramisu. Local white and red wine is also passed around the table as wonderful pairings to the meal.
A toast to the program and directors is made as we express our appreciation and Curt surprises us at the end of the meal with trophies of small figurines representative of Rome and certificates of completion. We are delighted to hear Cynthia, whom we had to part with in Florence, created the certificates as it feel like she is with us at heart on our last night in Rome. Curt jokes about how the trophies are probably the ugliest figurines he’s come across and everyone laughs but the affection is undeniable: everyone loves their trophies.
Day 29: Monday, September 17, 2012 Tuesday, Sep 18 2012
Uncategorized 7:55 am
The Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill
A mix of history and fantasy is planted within when visiting the ruins of the Roman Forum, the Arch of Constantine, the Palatine Hill, which leads to the Circus Maximus, and the Colosseum.
It is explained to us Il Colosseo interprets, “Really big thing” and rightfully so considering it is possibly the greatest architecture of Rome. The amphitheatre, originally for a tented roof system and inspiration for the pantheon, is where large spectacles and slaughter of animals from Africa as well as humans took place. Christianity becomes an acceptable form of religion and the colosseum became a sacred Christian site. The removed floor removed visitors a deeper look into the undergrounds of the arena. The grandeur of the colosseum is surreal and gives many students flashbacks of the movie Gladiator.
Day 26: Friday, September 14, 2012 Tuesday, Sep 18 2012
Uncategorized 1:09 am
Criminology Museum & Libro
A visit to the Museo Criminologico Biblioteca Storica is both terrifying and fascinating. Students are not allowed to carry personal belongings such as even a purse or umbrella in and are required to check them at lockers at the entrance. The former prison facility, which feels like a multiple level maze, now is a museum that showcases an interesting mix of historical artifacts: wide varieties of torture devices, tools for forgeries,uniforms and artillery for law enforcement, smuggling equipment, weapons used by criminals in public as well as within imprisonment, gambling supplies, and also pornography. There are figurines of torture methods which many student gasp at and are fascinated at the level of criminal punishment at the time. Another surprise is that this museum has an impressive library and even a guest book for visitors!
After the museum visit, students have homework to turn in and look forward to the weekend, the last weekend of studying abroad. In contrary to prior weekends, students are more inclined to stay put rather than go off on weekend trips, perhaps it is because of physically wearing out, perfectly understandable being away from home and having been on the go with nonstop stimulation. A more relaxed and casual weekend is welcome for many, and even staying put in Rome, with invitations to join Curt on a couple optional field trips to Ostia Antiqua on Saturday and visiting the Sunday antique market, the weekend is nothing short of busy. It is impressive this does not stop some students from going to visit cafes, a soccer game, or enjoying the local shopping and nightlife. Energy is a must in Italy!
Day 25: Thursday, September 13, 2012 Monday, Sep 17 2012
Uncategorized 3:53 pm
Modern Art Museum & Studio Time
It’s a rainy day so our plans have changed from doing outdoor watercolor at Ostia Antiqua to spending time inside the Modern Museum. The walk is on the longer side but on the way we get to witness how the cobblestone streets are installed in passing a street in need of repairs. It is a shame photography isn’t allowed in the museum but we are thrilled to be let in free of admission into the beautiful and spacious building that contains artworks from various times, places, and art movements from Baroque to the late 1900’s, neoclassicism, impressionism, early cubism, abstract expressionism, pop art, minimalism, conceptualism, futurism. We are exposed first hand to artwork we’ve only been able to see from textbooks from local Rome artists such as Michelangelo Caravaggio; and Austrian artist, Gustav Klimt; and French artist, Marcel DuChamp at the Galleria Nazionale d’arte Moderna.