Monthly Archives: April 2006
The end-of-semester art show has been an Umbra tradition since the school opened in 2000. But this year the show took on a new look when displaying student creative work. In conjunction with the Comune di Perugia, the Umbra Institute held the event in an historic building in the center of Perugia, allowing Umbra students and the public to view paintings, drawings, and photographs crafted by our students.
The new facility also allowed for special exhibits to be displayed by advanced painting students Kate Korroch, Kaitlin Wishlinksi, and Rachel Paton.
Termed “ArtEtrA,” this semester’s event was the culmination for seven fine art courses offered at the Umbra Institute.
In photos: students, staff, faculty, and visitors gather for ArtEtrA 2006; Swati Shroff and professor of photography, Philippa Stannard, discuss the culminating art projects of the spring semester.
It’s the last week of school and students have a new dilemma – do they stay inside and study for their finals or do they take advantage of Perugia for the last few days?
For most students, they choose both.
We saw several students this morning in the piazza outside of the Umbra Institute. It appears they ordered a morning cappuccino, connected their laptops to the wireless internet, and began studying for their finals. This is a resourceful group of students…
>This is my favorite time of the semester.
The students are studying for finals and putting the final touches on research papers, but as a staff member, I get to witness the results of individual and collective experiences coming to the forefront of life at Umbra.
This period started last week when students in both creative writing classes had the opportunity to take the stage and share their reflections of living in Italy. Their professor, Cindy Clough, started the open-mic night last fall to coincide with the published literary anthology which is distributed at the end of the semester.
The first student to approach the stage was Bree Barton, whose writing has been published previously on this blog. It was really no surprise that Bree went first – as a seasoned writer and an outgoing person – to break the ice for others to follow.
Then there was Rachel Slajda who described in detail her experience of examing the famous statue of David in Florence. This is an image we’re all familiar with, but few take the time to deconstruct the statue into the details which Rachel did. We heard Ashley Olentine utilize imagery of her favorite gelato to describe Italy’s marble churches. And we all laughed at Brad Kavo’s story as the “night traveler” learning the good and bad of travelling throughout Italy. It seems we have all been “night travelers” at some point.
Perhaps the best moment of the night was watching Patrice Forrester approach the stage. I’ve watched Patrice since she arrived in Italy – she’s shy, but incredibly positive about every experience she’s had. I have learned not to misinterpret her quietness as being passive; she’s has been actively observing the culture around her. Patrice’s piece began by describing her nervous emotions in the United States – not yet on board an airplane! But quickly her piece – reflecting her own experience in Perugia – turned to acceptance and to opening herself to be impacted in ways she was previously unfamiliar.
It seems like Patrice just stepped off the plane, but quickly four months have passed. For students like Patrice this is a timeless experience. Students have been immersed in a foreign language and culture, they have travelled around Italy and Europe, they have developed new friendships, and hopefully learned more about themselves.
Four months is not a long period of time, but within these few months, students develop and change with the challenges presented to them. The open-mic night was a bittersweet event, but at this time of the semester it reminded me how impactful a semester abroad can be for these students.
(by Mark Shreve, student services associate)
In photos: Ashley Olentine and Patrice Forrester shared their reflections of studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, last Thursday.
These photos from the Isle of Capri and Pompeii need no descriptions!
That’s just some of what Umbra students experienced for three glorious days while on the Umbra optional weekend trip to Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri. While soaking up the warm Italian rays students toured the ancient, unearthed city of Pompeii, experienced some of Naples’ rich history (and tasty pizza) as well as hiked through the windy and daring paths of the isle of Capri.
>A group of students discovered their new favorite mode of transportation to explore the region of Umbria – rented scooters. Anywhere from six to ten friends spent the weekend behind the wheel as they toured their way to Gubbio. Gubbio is located in northeast Umbria, where the roads curve and swerve up and down through picturesque hills. With its postcard-quality Italian countryside views, Gubbio is arguably one of Italy’s finest cities.
On their scooters, the group – comprised mostly of full-year students – were able to follow country roads to visit smaller Italian cities that are bypassed by bus and train routes that bring both locals and tourists throughout Italy. With a group that got as big as ten, they created quite the scene for motorists and locals they passed in a long strand of highly-revved scooters. If the weather cooperates, the students plan to hit the open road again this weekend to explore more of Umbria.
(Text and photos by Reid Williamson, Student Services Intern)
Students organized and held a cooking contest for the eight student apartments within the Monteluce Residence. Awards were provided to students for the best dish, the best overall culinary contributions, and the most creative dish. Jesse Gamar and Bryan Yuhas won the award for best overall creations, including their eggplant, ricotta, and chicken wraps. These wraps, along with Kelly Ferro’s and Rebecca Pilgrim’s version of Bananas Foster, tied for best dish. Ryan Huseby’s Roman-Era Olive Relish was voted as most creative dish. The men from Apartment Six – Dino Campellone, Amico DiFranco, and Paul LaGuardia – received the honorable mention award for their pasta dish.
This was the first cooking contest organized in the Monteluce Residence. The idea came from former student and current Umbra intern, Reid Williamson, who lived in Monteluce in the fall semester. The Monteluce Residence is a unique student housing option in a residential area of Perugia.
>It’s not uncommon to see Umbra students walking the streets of Perugia with their families. But several staff members were surprised to run into Meghan Shellenberg and her father, Paul, on the ferry from the Isle of Capri (in photo) this weekend. Staff and students were visiting Capri, Naples, Sorrento, and Pompei for an optional weekend excursion.
For many students, these visits allow them the opportunity to play tour guide and to impress their parents with their familiarity of the language and local culture. In return, the students usually get spoiled to nice meals and some shopping!
Congratulations to Nicole Magpayo, winner of the March Photo of the Month Contest. Magpayo’s photo, “Sunset in Oia,” was taken while she was on Spring Break in Greece.
Magpayo was not the only one who left Perugia for warmer climates on Spring Break. Many students headed to cities all over Spain, while others headed to the beaches of southern Italy and Greece.
With less than one month remaining in the program, students’ focus now turns to finishing their academic work while finding time to enjoy the warm weather which has arrived in Perugia.
In photos: Nicole Magpayo’s winning photo for the March contest; “Rowboat at Sunset,” a photo taken by Casey Coe in Sicily; and “Carriage Ride,” a photo of Kyndra Myers, Carissa Roselli, Courtney Lee, and Melinda Stiles, taken by Stiles in Sevilla, Spain.
>From inside the windows of an historic palazzo in the center of Perugia, one can see the Church of San Domenico towering above other buildings in the distance. Umbra students learned yesterday that the stained glass windows which adorn the church were made from inside the building they were touring – the Studio Moretti Caselli.
The studio has been producing stained glass works since 1864 when Francesco Moretti founded the operation with the help of his nephew, Ludovico Caselli. To this day, members of the Moretti and Caselli families continue to produce glassworks with the same techniques the previous generations used to decorate San Domenico and many other churches. The Studio Moretti Caselli fame is not limited to Perugia or the region of Umbria, however, but extends worldwide (including a large stained glass reproduction of The Last Supper in a California cemetary). Learn more about the history and work of Studio Moretti Caselli at their website: www.studiomoretticaselli.it.
The students present to tour the historic palazzo and glass workshops were there as members of the Perugia Through the Ages course. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying the art and history of Perugia from its Etruscan origins to the modern era. The course utilizes on-site learning opportunities, such as this tour of the glass studio, to enhance the academic material. Perugia Through the Ages was offered for the first time in Fall 2005 and has quickly become one of the Umbra Institute’s most popular couses.
In photos: Professor Paola Chiurulla and students examine documents within the Studio Moretti Caselli; scraps of glasswork from past projects decorate the museum and studio.