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Summer in Italy: The Art of Landscape Covered in Lecture

To spend a couple weeks in Italy might be anyone’s dream. But if you’re an art student and spending it at a camp that focuses on painting landscapes, it’s a dream come true. The whole experience will be related during a Sept. 19 lecture at Mineral Area College.

Mineral Area College Fine Art Instructor Jim Wilson took 13 students and his fellow adjunct art instructor, Abril Borrego, to Civita Vecchio near Rome, Italy, in June to participate in the Jerusalem Studio School Summer Art Program. Wilson will discuss the experience and the unique qualities of landscape painting during a free lecture at 7 p.m., Sept. 19, in the MAC Fine Arts Theatre on the Park Hills campus.

Painting landscapes for three hours a day in the morning, and for many, three hours in the afternoon was a sort of intensity that some students had to get used to, Wilson said.

“The first week was so intense I had to make sure the students knew to enjoy themselves while they were doing all the work,” he said. “Between the lectures, the critiques, and the learning, it was a pretty intense immersion. I just told them to relax, paint like they normally would, and enjoy the experience.”

The MAC students were just one group of several different school groups descending on the town for the summer art program. “I gave a joint critique with another instructor, we noticed a similarity between his and my students, so we joined up. It was more than an art school, it was an art camp, everyone was together doing everything, everyone became great friends with the other groups, and when the master class came in from Israel and other parts of the world, they were great friends with the MAC students.”

Wilson said several side trips and excursions were taken, including to nearby Rome, Sienna, and Florence, the Italian city so pivotal during the Renaissance.

“Most of the students hadn’t been out of Missouri, and not too much out of the county,” Wilson said. “Lots of first-time flyers. I think most would never have gotten the intellectual and cultural opportunity. To get to see Florence, the cradle of Renaissance, a collaboration of culture and commerce, was amazing.

“It’s incomprehensible, really. You come from a roaring airport, eating pizza, fall asleep on the bus, and you wake up transported to a small, romantic, ancient environment. Incredible.”


Mineral Area College • 5270 Flat River Road • P.O. Box 1000 • Park Hills, MO 63601 • (573)431-4593