Painter Reflects on Time in Venice

Nick Van Zaten, junior painting major

I look back on my time in the Pratt in Venice program as being an influential point in my life, not only a pleasant experience or an escape from my quotidian occupations but a chance to learn a great deal more about the world and my art than I could have otherwise.  I loved the experience of actually living in Venice, and the freedom that that gave me to explore the city and surrounding country.  Not that six weeks was enough time to actually see all of the city – I never ran out of places to visit, and would have liked to have stayed much longer.  My paintings in and after Venice were considerably better than those that I made before, and I think that this is due partly, of course, to the professors in the program, but also simply to the city, and the light and colors that I have seen no where else.  The paintings that I created of Venice are probably, a year on, still my best work.  If not a life-changing experience, these six weeks were, at the very least, an event that dramatically improved and influenced my work.


Nick van Zanten presenting his work at the final critique