Is there a more head-spinning way to experience the scope of art in society than by chasing beauty for half a month throughout London and Paris’ streets and museums? When you’ve cut back and forth all over these great cities with us, you’ll sure to agree that no learning has ever been more eye-popping than this.
Museums as Classrooms
Lovers of art will tell anyone to get a new bucket list if their life plans don’t include serious learning in the museums we use for our class: The British Museum, The Tate Britain, The National Gallery, The Tate Modern, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Louvre, and the Picasso Museum. You’ll feel the same after you’ve mastered the museums of our cities and the historic architecture that dots your way through London and Paris each day. Like art lovers across the ages, you’ll duck into your favorite pub or cafe after a busy day of seeing incredible beauty and proclaim to your new friends: “I was there in the mix! We had class right there!”
If you love to learn about art and the creative process as you stand face-to-face with masterpieces from the past, you’ll relish searching all over London’s Shoreditch neighborhood for the latest work by Banksy. You’ll follow the famous Parisian taggers who argue with obvious power that their outsider art is more important today than anything featured in posh galleries. Stake out the banks of the Thames in the evening when the young graffiti artists head to the South Bank Skate Bark to lay their spray paint claims to greatness.
War Memorials: The D-Day Beaches
Finally, you’ll experience how we teach art and its creative processes as a dynamic and gut-punching energy that has always stood at the heart of what civilizations depend on for social identity. We use architectural monuments and public art all over London and Paris to tease out this argument. Then you’ll take a look at the role art has always played in making physical and creative statements that have reached for the embrace of eternity. You’ll feel this eternal touch inside of and around Notre Dame Cathedral. And you’ll experience it when we have our field exercise on the sands of Omaha Beach and the Normandy battle sites from World War II. This is where we explore how gravestones, sculpture, and other elements of public art have been used to give a call of remembrance to the hell on earth that was our world when fascism and Nazism were stopped by young soldiers who died in the millions.
The Requirement: From Art Theory to Art Practice
Welcoming art majors and non-majors alike, our class will expose you to new ways of seeing as you also explore how so many generations before you have defined and fulfilled the expanding scope of art. Get ready to explore your own artistic scope as you work individually and with your fellow students on what our course calls “The Requirement.” This unique element of our class will be done mostly on our day crossing the English Channel from Portsmouth, England to Normandy, France–and then in conjunction with our experience together on the D Day beaches. You’ll use photography, pen and ink, watercolor, charcoal grave rubbings from the American Battlefield Cemetery or beach sand and debris from Omaha Beach to make “The Requirement” a piece of personal artistic response to what many students call the most moving learning day of their lives.