Abroad in Italy, art students find inspiration

Geneseo art students who studied abroad in Italy this past summer celebrated with a showcase of their work in Brodie's Bridge Gallery, which ran from Oct. 12 to Nov. 2.

The exhibition, entitled "Italy, Italy: Art from the Summer '09 Geneseo Italia Program," features the artwork of Geneseo students. Students that participated in the exhibit have taken one or two classes in either art history or drawing and had the opportunity take a special online course, Art History 399 "Italian Art and Identity," taught by Geneseo professors Lynette Bosch and Tom MacPherson, and Case Western Reserve University classics professor Charles Burroughs.

During their time in Italy, students learned about Roman art from the age of the Roman Empire through the Baroque period in the Italian cites of Siena, Florence, Assisi and Rome, while drawing and painting in different locations in the cities.

Senior Alyssa D'Anna displayed several works in watercolors, including the incredibly bright "I Looked Down the Hill and I Saw," a painting of a far off perspective of a town with exceptional detail for the watercolor medium. All of D'Anna's paintings are rich in greens and browns; she carries a talent for accentuating her pieces with other colors that make the painting more abstract, such as in "Figure Study II." In that piece, D'Anna painted the figure's body accurately and realistically but added abstract detailing on another level of paint, making the painting seem multidimensional.

"Tivoli Waterfalls," a graphite sketch by sophomore Gillian Hopkins is contrasted with sophomore Katie Finnerty's "Waterfall," also from Tivoli. Both artists show the ability to sketch flowing water and apply the right amount of dark to light, but each is distinct in their style. Finnerty's sketch was sharper, while Hopkins added an ethereal feel, keeping the shading light and less pronounced at first glance.

Juniors Laura Palmer and Olivia Cammisa-Frost chose digital photography as their medium, taking pictures of various sculptures and landscape with an already-developed photograph in the style of Jeff Brown's Flat Stanley.

One of their works, "Pam and the Madgalene," features a photograph tucked into the praying hands of the Madgalene. Their chosen photograph is shown in various photos that they took while in Italy, for example in the hands of Italian police officers, with other students in a crowd of street dancers and in a group shot of the students who studied abroad.

Some of the work displayed is from students who studied abroad but are not enrolled at Geneseo.

Since all of the students studied and created their pieces in the same places, the subjects of many paintings and drawings are repeated, but differing levels of talent and craftsmanship are shown. While most artists shared a common theme and this repetition ties together the experience, artistic immaturity is evident in a few of the drawings, especially the ones that are obviously lacking in proper shading.

The Fall Senior Thesis Exhibition is the next showcase to be displayed in the Bridge Gallery. It will run from Nov. 14 to Dec. 5. For more information on exhibits in any of Geneseo's galleries, visit sota.geneseo.edu.