Spotlight: Visual Arts

We had yet another wonderful day of classes and exploration. After morning classes, students followed Lorenzo, the Art and Architecture instructor, to the Casa Romana (Roman House) here in Spoleto. There, they learned about some of the specifics of a Roman house and Roman living.


After visiting the Casa Romana, students continued their classes, enjoyed lunch at the Clitunna, spent their freetime in the afternoon around the town or at the covent, and finished the day with evening classes and dinner.


Spotlight: Visual Arts

Claire Lerner – Instructor

"The idea of conceptual versus naturalistic drawing was introduced to the visual arts students through a series of fun and enriching studio-drawing exercises. We began the week with blind contour drawings of fellow students, followed by a slowly revealed upside down drawing. These warm up exercises develop the student’s powers of careful observation and facilitate an understanding of the difference between conceptual art and really seeing. Visual art students took a quick field trip to the local Spoleto art store where they were exposed to the endless possibilities of media available.               

We spent some time looking at and discussing art from the Italian Renaissance, including the Proto-Renaissance, Renaissance, and High Renaissance. The work of important artists such as Brunelleschi and Masaccio, along with many others, was discussed in the context of that same progression toward naturalism introduced earlier in the studio work.

During the next three weeks, students will be working with one point and two point perspective as they go out and sketch scenes of Spoleto.  Sitting outside and quietly drawing develops a keen sense of observation along with sensitivity of their immediate surroundings. Students were surprised to find that they attracted casual observers as they worked. This contact with the public also encouraged the students to try out their newly acquired Italian language skills on several occasions.

Students will develop one of these outdoor sketches into a final drawing and then into a finished painting back in the art studio. Students have also been introduced to the history of Italian portraiture and have studied the proportions of the face and will be creating a self-portrait from life in a media of their choice."