SFA art students with a view of the Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica included

SFA students with a view of the Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica included, front from left, Fabio Rinaldi, Study Abroad representative; Nathaniel Morris, Center senior; Anna Taylor, League City senior; center,  Brianna Bender, Celina senior; Sandy Garcia, Dallas senior; Salem Dixon, Liberty Hill senior; Sydney Ceal, New Caney senior; Jill Carrington, professor of art; Madeline Lanphier, Atlanta senior; back, Kendall Ivy, Houston senior; Natalie Montoya, Katy junior; Caden Brantley, Burleson sophomore; Rachel White, Lufkin senior; Joycelyn King, Crowley sophomore. Contributed photo courtesy of Fabio Rinaldi.

SFA art students enjoy a gondola ride in Venice

Lufkin senior Rachel White, Houston senior Kendall Ivy and Celina senior Brianna Bender, all SFA School of Art students studying abroad, enjoy a gondola ride in Venice. Contributed photo by Natalie Montoya.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin State University students in the School of Art traveled to Florence, Siena, Arezzo and Rome, Italy, to study art first hand and develop the School of Art’s ongoing exchange program with Libera Accademia di Belle Arti (LABA), an art school in Florence.
Led by Dr. Jill Carrington, professor of art, and Fabio Rinaldi from the Study Abroad Association, students visited numerous churches and monuments, including the Uffizi Gallery and the Cathedral and Baptistery of Florence and the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. During their travels, the students completed the course “Renaissance Art in Italy Up Close,” taught by Carrington.
“The first time we stepped into a major church, it hit me that I was in Italy,” said Brianna Bender, senior from Celina “Seeing these sculptures, paintings and architectural marvels in images doesn’t begin to hold a candle to the scale and beauty (of them in person). There’s something so undeniably human about all these magnificent works that it makes me appreciate all the more what we as art students strive to accomplish.”
Crowley sophomore Joy King said her most memorable moments happened when the group went to Venice on a free day. “I was amazed by the streets of water, the gondola ride and being able to experience Titian’s ‘Assumption of the Virgin’ (a large altarpiece).”
The trip expanded SFA’s exchange with LABA. Since 2015, LABA has hosted two SFA students for two weeks every other May, and the SFA School of Art has hosted two LABA students for two weeks every other September, except during the COVID pandemic.
SFA students and faculty enjoyed learning more about LABA firsthand by touring LABA facilities, making friends with the five LABA students who will visit SFA in September and visiting Renaissance frescoes not open to the general public, according to Carrington.
For more information about the School of Art, call (936) 468-4804.