Posting Date: December 1, 2009
QEP grant provides study abroad students with art supplies
Student work inspired by surroundings
Artwork by KSU artist Sarah Singleton
Entire group in Italy
Photographs courtesy of Sarah Singleton
As the sun sets in Montepulciano, Italy, students glance from their canvases as they attempt to capture the beauty of the Tuscan countryside. With brushes in hand, they gracefully trace subtle outlines of the mountains that surround Tuscany’s highest hill town.
Thirty students from Kennesaw State University and other Georgia universities participated in a semester-long study abroad program in Montepulciano this fall. The students benefited from a grant from KSU’s Quality Enhancement Program that allowed Joe Remillard, director of the program and KSU associate professor of art, to purchase the majority of needed painting and drawing supplies after arriving in Italy.
Currently implemented through 2012, the QEP initiative has a focus on “global learning for engaged citizenship” and awarded grants to several College of the Arts faculty for the 2009-2010 school year to help support the plan to “prepare students to be leaders and create a campus culture that assures an appreciation of diversity.” After receiving a QEP grant, Remillard decided to use the money to help students make it to Italy with the necessary art supplies.
“It’s impractical for students to bring their paints, canvases, tripods and portable easels on a plane,” Remillard says. The impracticality of transporting art supplies to Italy, as Remillard notes, is due to both weight and content restrictions on international flights. He also purchased the supplies to minimize additional expenses for the students. The art supplies, which included oil paints, solvents, drawing and pastel paper, painting surfaces, mediums, and easels, were purchased from an art store in Florence and shipped directly to Montepulciano.
Sarah Singleton, a junior visual arts student at KSU, appreciated the convenience of not having to purchase art supplies before traveling to Italy. Sarah says, “I could not have packed all the necessary supplies and brought them over. It was a tremendous help.”
Inspired by the beauty of Italy, Sarah put her art supplies to good use. She says, “The landscapes of Tuscany and the statues in the churches increased my desire to produce good art. It was more than observing the art. We were there interacting with the culture and creating our own art.”
With their art supplies, the students traveled to Rome, Florence, Sienna, Venice, Pompeii and many other locations. From the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to the base of Mount Vesuvius, the students observed some of the finest art ever produced. The students also experienced authentic Italian food, practiced the Italian language with the locals of Montepulciano, and visited famous museums and churches.