Art department sketches plans for trip to Italy

Italian paintings, cathedrals, sculptures, architecture, and advanced credit in Art History… sound like a dream? It may be a fantasy for some, but not for a group of art students at SHSU, who will have the opportunity to earn credit for art classes by spending the summer in Florence, Italy.

Thirty students from SHSU will leave May 22 and spend one month living in apartments in Florence. While there, the students may receive course credit in Advanced Drawing or History of Italian Art.

Art professor Sharon King, who is directing the trip, has a busy agenda planned for the students.

Each morning, the students will spend time in lectures, then go out to the “field,” as they visit on-site architecture and other art exhibits.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to see first-hand all the famous works students have been studying,” King said.

In the afternoons King said students will study under painter Michael Collins, a current visiting assistant professor at SHSU, who will teach an advanced drawing course.

After a busy day, students will still have the option to go into the studio in the evenings for lessons in watercolor.

King said she is already looking forward to the trip and what her students will learn while studying abroad.

“This way students will not only study works, but also make their own,” King said.

Besides the daily class routine, King has arranged several trips to cities around Italy, including Rome, Venice, Pisa and Sienna. In these famous cities students will get to view extraordinary works by famous artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci.

This is not the first time Sam Houston’s art department has planned such a trip, though it is not yet an annual opportunity for students.

King said she hopes to make it an annual or semi-annual trip and possibly take students to other countries as well as Italy.

“I’m hoping to expand out beyond Europe to China, and maybe Russia,” King said.

Students will have the opportunity to earn three or six credit hours this summer. King said any student is invited to join the 22 art history and interior design students who have already signed up for the trip.

The cost of the trip is about $3,500 and is all-inclusive except for SHSU tuition and fees.

Only 30 spots are available for the Italy trip, so any interested students are encouraged to pick up an information packet from the art department.

King said she hopes the trip will be personally enriching for each student, and something they will truly remember all their lives.

“Going and studying master works creates an intense passion and really a life long love affair with art,” said King.

For more information contact the SHSU art department at 294-1315.

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