Utah State University students from its Caine College of the Arts (CCA) participated in a study abroad experience in Germany during summer 2014 and are excited to showcase their work in the “Utah An Der Ruhr” exhibit showing Sept. 15-26 in Gallery 102 in the Chase Fine Arts Center.
Fourteen students accompanied Chris Terry, CCA professor of art, painting and drawing, on the study abroad program. They traveled to Essen, Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf and Duisburg.
“If you live in northern Utah, your opportunity to see real works of art is somewhat limited,” said Terry. “This trip gives students access to many world-class museums and artwork they see in their art history textbooks. It takes the idea of practicing technical methods and puts it in the context of making artwork that has concept, and they’re living this experience 24 hours a day.”
As part of the program, USU students worked on a collaborative project with German students at the Steinbart Gymnasium in Duisburg. Together, they went through the city drawing sketches and painting images of the sights. Using those images they created large drawings and collages of Duisburg.
“It was interesting to be paired with the German students,” said Brecken Bird, one of the students on the trip. “Some of them spoke just a little English, so it was interesting to interact with them. Walking around with them and getting to know what high school kids are like in another country was really cool.”
Another student, Gregory Sanderson, said the experience with the German students was his favorite part of the trip.
“I was able to talk with one girl about her life in Germany as we walked around the Küppersmühle Museum,” said Sanderson. “It was interesting to note how similar her life was to high school students here in the states. As we toured the museum, it was fun to listen and discuss our opinions of the art.”
Terry said that another project the students worked on was the Emscher River Restoration. The river was polluted and used for sewage but is in the process of being restored. They visited parts of the river that were newly restored and landscaped and parts that had not yet been worked on.
“The river was my favorite part of the trip,” said Liesl Cannon, another USU student travelling with the group. “That aspect of the area of Germany we were in was really cool. They are trying to re-naturalize and repurpose and they’re doing a really good job of that.”
Terry said the students will publish an online book of photos, drawings and paintings of the river and will participate in Research Week on campus with their findings.
Gallery 102 where the students’ works can be seen is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
More information on the study abroad Germany Art program is online.
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