This summer, VisArts is once again offering “Art of Italy” and, new to the line-up, “Art of Paris.” These week-long classes are unique opportunities to explore the art, architecture, and design that define these cultures, from the Uffizi Gallery and the Trevi Fountain to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. The last day of each class takes us on a guided tour of the Italian and Parisian masterpieces in the permanent collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Save the time and expense of a summer trip to Europe and “travel” to Italy and Paris right here in Richmond!
2. Astute Observations
As we view art, we slow our looking, engage our minds, and simply observe what is in front of us. Class participants continually say “I never knew what to look for before” or “now I know what to see” – sentiments alluding to the ever-important skill of observation (certainly necessary for the 21st century digital age).
3. Intriguing Conversations
Art gives us lots of fodder for conversation. And these classes are not your grandmother’s long lectures in a dark classroom! A variety of media and small class size leads to especially interesting responses and interactive conversations. We share ideas, pose questions, partake in gallery talks, and answer that ubiquitous query of art appreciation: what am I looking at?!
4. Escape Artistry
Like all classes at VisArts, art appreciation classes provide a much-needed escape from our daily lives. We escape into the art itself to ruminate about the smile of the woman in the portrait or the brushstroke in the upper left corner. Ringing phones are silenced and laundry loads are delayed as we quiet our chaos and simply focus on the art on view.
For those who have hit a wall creatively, emotionally, or otherwise, art appreciation is the cure! Through these classes, we see what has been created, what methods and materials employed, what boundaries pushed, and what beauty brought into our world thanks to artists. Just as it has for centuries, art inspires and motivates those who take the time to see it.
Take a look at VisArts’ summer classes on creativity & personal development. Study the Art of Italy and the Art of Paris with Margaret!
Based in Richmond, Virginia, Margaret Hancock Studio provides curatorial and educational services throughout the Southeast. She holds a Master of Education from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Duke University. Margaret teaches Art Appreciation classes at VisArts.