Memories of overseas study come to life in gallery show

Students from wide range of creative fields traveled to Italy, Greece


Itchy feet are a fairly immediate result of a visit to Colorado Gallery of the Arts’ newest exhibit: “A Tour of Italy,” created by the most recent group to participate in Arapahoe Community College’s longstanding Study Abroad program.

Drawing, interior design, art appreciation, ceramics, painting, photography and journalism students have created a variety of images, inspired by their exposure to classic and contemporary sites/sights in Italy and Greece. (Athens was the final stop.) The group portrait is shot in front of Rome’s huge, ancient Colosseum, which was built to seat 50,000.

Photographs range from impressions of the often-visited Trevi Fountain in Rome to the Colosseum, Venetian gondolas and St. Mark’s Basilica, narrow alleys that date waaay back.

One photo depicts a quartet of men, gathered in the evening over glasses of wine, at a small table in one of those narrow, curved alleys, faces illuminated by candlelight. One can almost hear talk and laughter.

A coin-like profile of a stern Roman soldier inspires Ellen Long’s goofy mixed-media piece, “Eataly,” that includes pasta and pizza dough, along with the paint.

The ancient tale of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, is suggested by an intriguing dimensional work in a shadow box, created by Noelli Heaton.

Other individual impressions include a lovely city overview shot from a high hill, a small, sculpted figure of a donkey, close-ups of doors, courtyards and architectural details and of classic sculptures — and some figurative shots of people on the streets -— all well-presented. Journalism student Kelvin Cross wrote a story about a kids’ soccer game, as well as contributing photographs. Other bits of writing appear on the screens and in print-outs on pedestals.

My favorite part of this show is the opportunity to (very gently) leaf through the sketchbooks displayed on pedestals — with drawings, painted sketches, notations, occasional tickets and small printed ads. Allow enough time in a visit to savor these … So many ways to share a story!

And there are screens set up on pedestals, with photos and video clips displayed, as well as written comments. Travelers are presently still processing images that will last a lifetime.

The interior design students created boards about a location or subject that interested them, just as they would do on an assignment to design a future home or restaurant, with small bits of paper information attached. They are displayed on one wall together, which is effective, since it’s another way of presenting a vision and how it affects the artist.

Gallery Director/Study Abroad Coordinator Trish Sangelo has fliers at the gallery, announcing the next excursion — in June 2021 to Berlin and Amsterdam, with information about related pre-trip classes (three credits for the trip). There is a full semester specifically related class (three credits) and a number of suggestions on related classwork in painting, drawing, art appreciation, photography, ceramics … for a traveler who plans ahead — as well as presenting a stretched-out prepayment plan.

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