Springfield, Ohio – The Springfield community currently has the opportunity to experience Rome through the artistic expressions of nine Wittenberg University students and Associate Professor of Art Ed Charney. The Watercolor Painting in Rome Exhibition, which features artwork by participants of a cultural immersion last summer, is on display from Dec. 8–Jan. 2 in the Beech Gallery at the Springfield Museum of Art.
All of the students, a group that includes Wittenberg Associate Professor of Education Lora Lawson, have artwork that features subjects from Rome, Florence and Tivoli in the exhibit. Charney also presents 12 watercolor paintings in the exhibit.
Charney said Wittenberg’s art department has sponsored study abroad studio experiences for years, including a trip to Ireland he led in 2005. The Watercolor Painting in Rome course took place in May and June 2007.
"We are expecting to return to Rome in the summer of 2009," Charney said. "The program will continue to offer watercolor painting on location and will expand to include art history courses taught by Alejandra Jimenez-Berger.
"We encourage our art students to study internationally if possible. Many of them study for a semester or even a full academic year, often in Italy, and this course provided students who might not have been able to leave campus for a full semester an opportunity to study abroad."
Charney said the course "was a mixture of painting and looking at historical sites and a cultural immersion." The objectives ranged from learning how to communicate in a foreign culture to conducting individual research and making presentations on historically significant sites throughout Rome and surrounding areas.
The group toured Baroque-era churches, museums and other historically significant sites, all while staying in apartments with Italian students who helped immerse the students into Italian culture. Throughout the course, the students and Charney painted on location.
The Watercolor Painting in Rome Exhibit is free and open to the public during regular operating hours. It is running concurrently with a display of watercolor paintings by the Western Ohio Watercolor Society members juried exhibit, which carries an admission fee.
Written By: Rachel Morgan '08