Before our adventure in Italy began, I think everyone had some goals and expectations. We all had a list of places to travel, people to meet, wines to taste, and things to buy. I think perhaps the first lesson that we learned in Italy was that it wasn’t what we expected. As we stood on the balcony, admiring the beautiful vista, we were all struck by its natural, simplistic, beauty. In that moment, we were struck with the realization that this would be our home for the next semester, and we began to formulate different thoughts and expectations: will this feel like home, what will I about myself learn here, will I be a different person when I leave?
I think it’s fair to say that our goals and expectations have been somewhat expanded since our arrival. Yes, we still want to travel, and buy 5 liter containers of wine :), but it’s also important that this trip be one of self discovery. At the end of this trip, it’s important that we understand ourselves more deeply. Moreover, it’s important that this new understanding informs everything else that we do. We all came on this trip because we are artists in some capacity and wish to better our art. However, we have been given a truly unique opportunity. Not only are we taking classes and practicing to become better actors and musicians, but we have been thrust into a completely new environment in which to do these things. Yes, taking classes can make us better artists, but only up to a certain point. The beautiful thing about art is that it involves personal expression. The more we understand ourselves, the more we can infuse our art with life, and make it more beautiful.
I have absolutely no doubt that living in Italy will be an experience that will make us more aware of ourselves and our art, but I think that living in the Accademia provides an even more unique opportunity. We have the privilege of living in a community of artists for this semester, which is something that I find truly special. In learning together, we have the opportunity to see personal and artistic growth in each other. Although I can’t be certain now, I believe that living here at the Accademia will be very inspiring and encouraging, and that the friendships that form here will mean something for many years to come.
After this semester is all said and done, I hope that we can all look back and see that we achieved great things in art. I hope that we can remember all of fabulous places we’ve visited, friends we’ve made, delicious food, and vino. More importantly, though, I hope that we can remember Italy and the Accademia dell’Arte as places that sparked self discovery, and truly changed our lives.
By: Cecilia Glenn, Christina Haarala, Corey Hart, Aaron Herman and Mary Lewis