Reflections Magazine Issue #54 - Fall 2000 - Page 14

A Legacy of Artists 14 curls, and columns. Story and photographs by Amanda Young ‘01 Art students expand their horizons in Studio Angelico excursion Exploring art and life in Italy e waited patiently for a year. Students in the art department first heard about the summer 2000 trip to Italy in April of 1999. It was a long wait. For the next year, we saved our pocket change, crammed our brains with countless Italian art works, and threw Italian phrases at each other in the hallways. Finally, on May 14, 25 students and friends, guided by Studio Angelico professors Peter Barr and Christine Reising, set out for a three-week experience in Italy. We were looking for a memorable education that would influence us for years to come. We were not disappointed! Our trip started with a 7-hour delay at the Detroit airport, but eventually we arrived safely in Rome. The three-hour bus trip to Florence that followed was our first introduction to the Italian landscape. Mountains rolled by; splotches of orange rooftops dotted the hillsides; the bright reds and oranges of poppies poked through the overpowering green and brown fields like an Andrew Wyeth dream. Our first hotel was located about two miles outside of downtown Florence. Each morning we answered our 6 a.m. wake up calls, then ate the customary breakfast: a hard roll, juice, and strong coffee. By 8:15, we had bused to downtown Florence and were walking to our first destination. And boy did we walk! After the first week, I knew my calf muscles were destined for greatness. Peter scheduled our trips well and we always beat the crowds. At 1:30 p.m., the bus took us back to the hotel for siestas, or what we referred to as “big giant naps.” Most afternoons we also worked on our journals. We kept detailed accounts of what we learned and saw through sketches, collections, and writings. In the evenings, we could take the bus into town for dinner or relax at the hotel. Florence is a beautiful city. It’s a small bustling metropolis of mopeds, bicycles and strange looking cars. (My Ford Festiva would look like a van next to their small, fuel-efficient automobiles.) The first week we found ourselves constantly looking up; the architecture filled the sky with its loops, Cultural differences between Italians and Americans were obvious immediately. The Italians were fascinating in their sophisticated fashion and perfume; Americans stuck out like sore thumbs. In addition, although we had studied Italian with Peter before the trip, we soon realized our langua