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Evangel art students impacted by travel to Italy

Published on Jul 20, 2015 by Evangel University News

WRITTEN BY: Michael Buesking, associate professor of art

Six Evangel University students experienced what several of them called a “trip of a lifetime” in May. The group studied art in Rome, Venice, Florence and Siena, Italy.

Nathan Bussard, an art and English double major, was impacted by Bernini’s sculpture. He was amazed at how this Baroque artist sculpted marble to mimic human flesh and olive leaves that were so thin they were translucent!

“It was breathtaking to stand feet away from masterpieces that have defined art throughout the centuries,” Bussard said.

I have taken students on summer trips to Italy since 2005. This was my fifth time, and it was about the best trip so far — the weather cooperated and we had a great, cohesive group.

For Danielle Huver, a fine arts major, the experience impacted her view of all the works she remembered from Art History. The Holy Trinity fresco by Masaccio caught her off guard when she saw it across the nave, as she entered Santa Maria Novella in Florence.

“I had always pictured it in a museum behind some security line or glass window,” she explained.

She said that seeing it inside the church where it was originally painted reminded her that works like this, while groundbreaking with innovative perspective, were first of all “painted for the church.”

I agree. That is one of the great things about travel to cities like Florence or Rome. You get to see many works that still function like they were meant to perform. And that’s why I enjoy taking Evangel art students on this trip — they make connections to their own career and calling.

Our next trip will be in the summer of 2017.

Renaissance art was not the only thing on the itinerary. The group walked through the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, Medieval churches, palaces and dungeons.

Modern art was also included.

Colin Turnbull, a graduating art student in graphic design, considered the modern work in the Guggenheim Museum in Venice a trip highlight. He was excited to see works by many 20th century artists.

“The art history nerd in me was very happy,” Turnbull confessed.


Evangel University offers programs in Art, Art Education, Fine Arts (studio track) and Fine Arts (graphic design track). Check them out: