Pratt in Venice 2011

Ryan Jones, Undergraduate Printmaking Student

When I studied in Venice in the summer of 2011, it was my first time traveling outside of the United States. I was surprised at how easy it was to navigate the city and interact with the locals. Venice may be small, but it has so many different ways to get around that I never saw the same thing twice. Around any corner would be a new church or campo that begged to be explored. The apartment I lived in for the six weeks was incredible.

It comfortably housed three people and we had a view of our own personal canal. On a daily basis gondoliers would float by our window singing and playing accordions for the visitors.

I studied art history and printmaking during the six weeks. Of course I was impressed, if not overstimulated, to draw and paint the City of Water, but more importantly, my understanding of art history as been completely revolutionized. There was no sitting in a classroom and being lectured about artwork via Powerpoint. We went to the sites and discussed the artworks and architecture first hand. You could take pictures if you would be so inclined, but looking back on them would not come close to the initial experience. The colors used in the paintings or the overwhelming sense of space in the churches could not be imitated in any form. To experience that awe again would only be possible on site. And I would go back as soon as possible to experience it all over again.