Faculty, Students Return From Italy Art & Culture Course

And there are pictures…

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Arts faculty Clemente Botelho has been organizing trips to Italy for Sheridan arts students since 2004, and it has been a degree elective course since 2007. This year, 30 Bachelors degree students participated (16 Illustration, 9 Animation, 5 Interior Design). The course centers around Italian art and culture, linking art works explored – historical, modern and contemporary – to the culture that students are exposed to. Students did a lot of reading, visiting sites, and attending lectures on cultural rituals.

Classroom activities were hosted by Eurocentres Florence, who delivered a Survival Italian Language Workshop (non-credit) that each student completed. Support faculty Tony Tarantini and Lisa DiNatale delivered supplementary lectures in class and onsite at various museums and locales. Tony also led a non-credit on-site drawing and painting sessions.

The primary classroom was Italy itself: the museums, palazzos, studios, markets and neighbourhoods as a locale of our cultural investigations. Landing in Rome, and based in Florence for 28 days, the group also visited or stayed in Assisi, Sienna, the Tuscan countryside, Bologna and Ravenna, before ending the trip with 4 nights in Venice.

This year, the Sheridan group tried something different and volunteered for a group called Angeli De Bello, which is an association working to clean up the Italian streets. In past years, there has been a rise in low-standard graffiti, or juvenile tagging, by the international student population. Art students have been visiting Italy for a hundred years, and they have made a bit of a mess! Angeli De Bello is for people in Italy to push back against vandalism and respect the neighbourhoods of Italy as a living museum.

Each student kept a visual and literal journal on their travels that explored the heritage, customs and rituals represented by Italian artwork, as filtered through the student’s contemporary experience in Italy. Following the trip, students will complete a creative project based on their experience – which will be exhibited in the fall term. Since students come from several different programs, the final project can take many different forms. Past students have made short animated sequences, or clothing, installations; one student even created a menu and meal based on Italian themes. Students are encouraged to try something outside their chosen discipline.

Watch this space for details on the exhibit of students’ work.

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