Emily Brill Fall 2011 Temple Rome

A New Appreciation for Art

A man painting in the Prado

I’ve always loved art, but being in Rome and Europe has really solidified this feeling.  Many people on this program are fine art majors, and a myriad of art classes are offered at Temple Rome, including painting, drawing, photography and sculpture.  One class that many students take, called Sketchbook, is for seasoned artists and beginners alike.  Once a week, the class goes somewhere in Rome and sketches the surroundings.  I wasn’t able to take this class, but it seems like a really interesting way to become familiar with Rome.

I do take two art history classes here, which is definitely contributing to my heightened enjoyment for art.  Having a seasoned professor explain art to you is so much more valuable than blind appreciation.  Once a week, in each of my classes, we go on site visits to see the art we are talking about.  Of course, this alone is such a rare opportunity, and I believe it would make the most stubborn art critic rethink their feelings.

Part of our Temple Rome campus is an art gallery, and art openings and shows occur often here.  Sometimes it is student work, and sometimes it features a local artist.  This is a great way for students to show off their art and for other students, like me, to appreciate what my peers are capable of achieving.

Through my travels this semester, I have visited many museums.  For me, going to a museum is a tranquil and enjoyable experience, but knowing what you are seeing makes the visit infinitely more fulfilling.  Some of my favorite museums from this semester have been the Prado in Madrid, the Tate Modern in London, and, of course, the Borghese Gallery in Rome.  I’m looking forward to returning to Philadelphia and having a new-found appreciation for its museums.  I can’t wait to spend a blustery winter afternoon in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

I’ve realized that being here has really shown me the value of art.  The medium is such an interesting way to look at the past.  And yet, so much art is still salient and contemporary today.  This past week, I registered for classes for next semester for my school, and in a bold move, I decided to sign up for Drawing I.  This decision is definitely a product of my semester here in Rome, and I think this class will add yet another layer to my appreciation for art.

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