Each year, students opt to study abroad in Florence, Italy at the partner school of BGSU, Studio Art Center International. During the summer of last year, four School of Art students had the opportunity to study at SACI and the Medici Circle of BGSU was able to offer each of them a Travel Grant. Read about one student’s experience at SACI below.
My SACI Experience
By Elizabeth Jaszczak
It’s hard to believe that my five week adventure in Italy has already come to an end. I have seen and experienced so much that it seems like the trip flew by in the blink of an eye. But even though the trip itself is over, the memories I’ve created overseas will surely last me a lifetime.
While I was in Florence, I studied Painting and Painting Conservation. In my Advanced Painting course, I had the opportunity to paint in various locations around Florence, such as the Boboli Gardens. I learned that I love working in bright and rich colors, and this has inspired me to explore this concept further in my current work. In my Painting Conservation class, I was able to study with a master of conservation who has worked on many notable projects, including Caravaggio restorations. This course was completely different than any class I have taken before, and it was something I could not have studied here at BGSU. I really enjoyed learning about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into preparing a painting for a museum, and how damages to a painting can be restored. After learning about how conservation works and what harms paintings most, I am now able to better protect my own paintings and prevent future damage.
In addition to taking interesting courses, SACI also gave me the opportunity to travel around Italy. Since they offered field trips on Sundays, I was able to visit Siena, Lucca, San Gimignano, Pisa, and Fiesole. They even provided us with a tour guide who was able to explain the history and art in the cities. I also spent most of my free Saturdays exploring Florence and I traveled to Rome and Cinque Terre.
I loved being surrounded by so much art history and having the opportunity to visit these sites. Everything I had learned from a textbook in my art history classes suddenly came to life, and I felt like I had finally made my artist’s pilgrimage to these historic places.
Studying abroad was a dream I’ve had for years. With SACI on my mind since my freshman year, I was determined to make it happen. My parents were apprehensive because of the costs. But earning the Medici Circle grant as well as two additional scholarships made this trip possible. This was a one-in-a-lifetime experience. The classes I took, museums I visited, and people I met have all helped me grow both as an art student and as an individual.
The article above was reprinted with permission from the Medici Circle Newsletter, December 2013.