Experience the real thing, study art in Italy

Ted Hamilton

Amid legendary landmarks such as the Pantheon and the Galleria, art education students will teach art this summer in the same country where the masters created their most famous works.

The three-credit course has been taught for the past three years by Robin Vande Zande, assistant professor and coordinator of art education. It is intended for art education students but can be used as an individual study course for all majors, she said.

The students will be studying several different things, such as urban planning, how art plays a role in different societies and how a lot of American design originates in Italy. The course allows plenty of hands-on experience. Art education students get the chance to take turns teaching a class in Ambrit School, an international school in Rome.

“(The program’s purpose is) to show art education majors how to teach art design or fine art from a different perspective,” Vande Zande said.


May 15 – June 5

Cost: Approximately $2,500

Deadline for registration: Feb. 21

For more information contact Robin Vande Zande at [email protected].

Kaitlyn Costello, junior art education major, said she took the course last year so she could see the sights as well as complete requirements for her major. There was a big difference between staying in the United States and learning about art and seeing it in person, she said.

“It was more beneficial to me,” she said. “I learned a lot about schools and how the culture is completely different.”

The course also provides an opportunity for individual study. Mickey Westbrook, senior art education major, said he always wanted to go to Europe. He took the course as an individual study credit so he could study renaissance art and art history.

The experience made him more culturally aware, he said.

One of the cities the students visit is Milan, a city that evolved during the Renaissance, Vande Zande said. The students also get to see other cities such as Rome and Florence, and see many works of art like Michelangelo’s statue of David.

Although students get to see a lot of artwork, sometimes they get to make it as well.

“One of the fun things we did last year was create a fresco,” she said.

A fresco is a painting in wet plaster, and each student got to make one.

Vande Zande said Italians are more concerned with preserving historical buildings. They are more aware of their historical significance because they live in buildings that have stood for hundreds of years. Americans are more prone to using something for a short period of time and then throwing it away, she said. European design is very different from American design.

“When you see Italian design it’s eye catching, unlike going to Northeast Ohio places like Wal-Mart,” she said.

Contact honors and international affairs reporter Ted Hamilton at [email protected].