Summer Plans: Exploring Art History in Southern France

April 9, 2013

After a long winter here in the Northeast, spring has finally surfaced, which means it’s not too early to start making plans for summer. On Wednesday, April 10 at 6:15pm at 133/141 West 21 Street, 4th floor, room 405C, the BFA Visual and Critical Studies Department will provide an information session on Art History in Southern France, an SVA Arts Abroad program taking place this summer where participants can draw, paint and photograph the south of France while learning about the art and medieval architecture of Provence, and earn three art history credits in the process.

SVA Close Up caught up with current BFA Photography student Bridget Badore, who participated in the program last summer, to get her take on the experience.

What was the highlight of the program and your favorite place?
My favorite place that we visited in Provence was Saint Remy. We got to see the institution that Van Gogh stayed in from May of 1889 to May of 1890. While he was there, he produced a series of paintings, and it was so fascinating to get to see the places that he painted. The whole asylum was enchanting, and being able to look out the window of the same room that Van Gogh called his own was surreal and amazing. We also got to visit the site of his Yellow House and the yellow restaurant that he painted, both in Arles. My absolute favorite moment of the entire trip was getting to stand in a field full of poppies. It was so beautiful. The view from Cezanne’s studio was pretty great, too.

What was the most valuable thing you learned?
The whole experience was completely overwhelming (in the best way possible), and we were learning something new it seemed like every minute. Even though it was an art history course—and I learned a lot about art history—I’d have to say that the most valuable thing I learned was more personal. I made a group of really wonderful friends during my short time abroad, and I’ll never forget the moments that I got to share with them.

What surprised you most about this experience?
This is going to sound silly, but the thing that surprised me most about this experience was how well everyone got along. I was so nervous going into the program that I wouldn’t make any friends or that things would be awkward, but the very first day we all seemed to click and we all got along extremely well throughout the trip—it was like we created a cute little family abroad.

For more information about this and other SVA Arts Abroad programs, click here. For more on Southern France, click here.

Images from top down: Poppy field by Yasaman Alipour Fetrati; Palace du Pape by Bridget Badore.

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