30, March 2010 § Leave a comment
On Friday, John led a group of students on a four hour journey from Lefkes to Aliki (towns on the island of Paros). Believe me when I say that this was truly stunning, and possibly my favorite hike with John ever.
Imagine walking on a sunny day over the flower-rich mountains of Paros, with occasional powerful yet refreshing gusts of cool wind, and no villages in sight. It was so awesome that I often found myself imagining what a bird’s-eye view of us would look like, trekking through donkey paths and stopping to drink water from a spring (I often came up with an image somewhat like “The Sound of Music”). Some images that have stuck with me are of wind whipping through fields of tall grass, fellow students far ahead of me winding up a steep and flower speckled mountain side, and drinking from a spring that John showed us. Needless to say after the four hours of hiking, most of us went to bed early.
Below is a poem that Charlie, another student here, has written about the hike.
Soles wore thin,
On the undulating trail,
Of where my feet led me,
Among the pristine pebbles I met metal.
My face neared earth,
My hands grasped nettle,
And I wondered who was right,
Nature or civilization?
Until next time, and wishing everyone a great day,
Sarah Ransohoff is a painting student here at the Aegean Center. This is her second semester.
24, March 2010 § Leave a comment
Waking up in Greece was something I had planned to do for years, but doing it every day for three months seemed out of the question. When I found the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts, and read letters that past students had written about how the experience had changed their lives, I knew it was my immediate goal to get here. Studying with such finely tuned artists and having their personal guidance is what makes the school so unique.
Leo Tolstoy said that an artist “must have such mastery of his craft that when working he will think as little about the rules of that craft as a man when walking thinks of the laws of motion.” The instructor in my Camera workshop and Documentary Photography class, Elizabeth Carson (who has a cinema background as well), is endlessly patient and insightful in helping the students know our tools so that finding our voice through the work comes naturally.
I am learning new details about not only the camera and composition, but also working with the digital information that I capture so that the print will reflect my vision. According to John Pack, the instructor, “Photography is poetry,” and his portfolio shows the poetry in full verse. Having a mentor like John is a gift many artists never get the chance at.
While on the island of Paros, I wanted to learn as much as possible about Greek history and art. Jeffrey Carson, who has published books and lectures frequently on the subject, makes Art History a lively and invigorating class. An accomplished writer, Jeffrey also oversees the Creative Writing workshop where student writers come together to read and critique each other’s work in poetry and prose. His insights are meticulous.
Surrounded by the culture, history, architecture and the overall texture of Greece enhances the learning experience in ways that I could only imagine before. The intimacy of each classroom adds to the richness and fosters a sense of family, where each member is invested in helping the others.
Barbi Veitch is a photography student here at the Aegean Center.