The Lufrano Art Gallery’s new exhibit highlights the rich history of Italy

Steven Thompson

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The Department of Art and Design’s Study Abroad Program in Italy is instructed by ten faculty members. In this program, students are encouraged to absorb and immerse themselves in a culture agriculturally, architecturally and linguistically rich and different from their own.

The newest artwork on display at UNF gives visitors an in-depth examination of the country that has provided us with such things as the Renaissance and pizza.

“Un Celebrazion! An exhibition of works inspired by Italy” will be on display in the Lufrano Intercultural Gallery and will highlight some of the rich cultures of Italy.

“The Dispute” by Kyle Keith. Watercolor. Photo by Sam Chaney.

To date, 246 students have traveled through the program, which began in 2009. Courses offered to students are art history, painting and drawing, printmaking, photography and sculpture.

“It’s really a great experience because all majors can go. We’ve had students from chemistry, biology, psychology and astrophysics,” Debra Murphy, a professor of art history at the University of North Florida said.

This year’s exhibit is special because it marks the program’s tenth anniversary. The art is varied and it represents the work of both faculty and students.

Some of the art on display are paintings depicting Italy’s beautiful countryside and exquisite vines, as well as unique manhole covers and artichoke designs.

“Marco’s Garden” by Jim Draper. Acrylic on canvas. Photo by Sam Chaney.

“Artwork teaches us the past, present and the future. The influence of design and the majesty of the past really colors the present,” Murphy said.

The exposure to the Italian culture teaches students how to develop broader knowledge and coping skills. They also learn how to successfully navigate unfamiliar urban centers, where language barriers could expose them to unknown situations.

Students had a chance to see the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s David, the Colosseum and Pompeii, just to name a few.

“When these young people can stand up on a current street and look down on a lower street, you see layers of what humans have done in that same spot continuously for 2,500 years,” Jim Draper, curator of galleries for UNF said.

The “Un Celebrazion!” exhibit will be on display until Oct. 19 at the Lufrano Intercultural Gallery on the second floor of the Student Union East building.


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