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Alumni News

Italian Style

Inspiration Italian Style

November 17, 2014

Inspirational and eye-opening. That’s how many arts alumni describe their time studying in Italy. Sheridan celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Bachelors Programs @Italy with an exhibit in November featuring the work of 22 alumni who made the trip as students.

Several of these alumni artists were on hand for the November 7 opening reception of the exhibit in the Sheridan Gallery at the Trafalgar Campus which ran until November 14.

Since 2004, under the umbrella of the Sheridan Bachelors Programs @Italy, over 250 arts students have lived, travelled and studied in Italy, and expressed unique responses to this environment.

Here are some reflections from three Illustrators about how their studies in Italy impacted their lives and work.

Beth Kennedy, BAA, Illustration-Interpretive, 2011

The trip served to sharpen my senses and to increase my awareness of all that is delightful around us, be it the play of colour and light on the ochre and sienna walls in the Tuscan countryside, the scent of fresh torn basil on sliced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, or the cool smoothness of a marble figure in Florence.

The courses themselves helped to hone my skills and to increase my awareness and powers of observation. Even today, I find that it comes very naturally to me to be constantly aware and observant of everything around me, and I find I am able to reflect this in my art. The program involved hard work, but it was some of the happiest hard work I’ve ever done!

Kelsey Heinrichs, BAA, Illustration-Interpretive, 2011

Italy was dense with inspiration. I feel like my colour palette is directly attributed to my time there. The warm hues on the building walls and the red clay roofs in countryside, especially against a vivid blue sky. The colours took on a new intensity, and I see the colours I fell in love with return time and time again in my work.
My memories of Italy have a glow to them. Maybe it was all the sunshine, but I think it was being in such an inspiring country with my only mandate being: create, learn, experience. I felt like I was in the right place, doing the right thing. 

Michael Byers, BAA, Illustration-Interpretive, 2007; Art Fundamentals, 2003
Selected into Luerzer’s Archive “200 Best Illustrators Worldwide” 2011/2012

My experience studying art in Italy was both eye-opening and educational. I learned that even masters of art had their moments of self-doubt and failure which helped to inspire me to continue in my career, knowing that not everything I do will be a masterpiece.
I also had my first moment of emotional reaction to a piece of art work. I was in the Vatican Museum staring at a Caravaggio painting. I ended up walking away with tears in my eyes. I was simply overwhelmed to the ability of Caravaggio to be able to paint the utmost subtle values in light. Mind blowing.

Click here for a list of the other alumni exhibitors.