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### Exploring Art History in London: OHIO Students Encounter Great Works of Art

Sarah Comer

During the winter break, 11 students from OHIO had the opportunity to engage in an educational experience abroad through the 2024 “” global opportunity program. This fast-paced, 10-day adventure was focused on exploring the history of art while navigating one of Europe’s oldest capital cities.

Among the participants was Luna Atkins-Hanshaw, a freshman majoring in film, who had been eagerly anticipating this study abroad opportunity even before arriving in Athens.

Reflecting on her motivation to join the program, Atkins-Hanshaw shared, “I remember researching about it when I was still deciding to enroll at OHIO, given my background in art history from high school. I felt drawn to this program as a way to further explore my interests.”

Atkins-Hanshaw particularly cherished the visits to museums in London and the chance to experience iconic city attractions like the London Eye. Recalling her experience, she expressed, “It was truly fascinating to witness renowned paintings that I had studied back in high school. Although I haven’t taken any art history classes at OHIO yet, this program served as a great introduction to the art history courses offered here, sparking my interest to delve deeper into this field.”

Apart from igniting her passion for art history, the trip also played a pivotal role in Atkins-Hanshaw’s decision to pursue a minor in Art History. As a film student, she looks forward to the prospect of participating in the OHIO-in-L.A. program, which would enable her to immerse herself in her studies for an entire semester while establishing connections with industry professionals.

Describing the personal growth she experienced during the trip, Atkins-Hanshaw remarked, “The journey taught me valuable lessons in connecting with others, especially since I didn’t know anyone in the program initially. Stepping out of my comfort zone early on turned out to be a rewarding experience.”

Another participant, Addy O’Rourke, a senior majoring in graphic design, echoed Atkins-Hanshaw’s sentiments about the strong bond formed among the students during the program. On their free day, the group organized a spontaneous day trip to Paris, boarding the Eurostar train at 4 a.m. for a whirlwind exploration of the French capital.

Recalling the adventure, O’Rourke shared, “The impromptu trip to Paris was both exhilarating and memorable. It was a fantastic opportunity to bond with fellow students whom I may not have interacted with otherwise.”

Having harbored aspirations of studying abroad, O’Rourke found that this program came at the perfect time, aligning well with her schedule and allowing her to explore new horizons without missing any school commitments.

While abroad, O’Rourke valued the insights gained from experiencing cultural nuances in different countries, from navigating public amenities to understanding diverse dietary practices. She also appreciated the immersive approach to learning about art history during the trip, which contrasted with traditional lecture-based methods.

Similarly, Lil Kessler, a sophomore pursuing studio art, marveled at the chance to witness iconic artworks up close. Reflecting on the experience, Kessler expressed, “Seeing the masterpieces that I had previously only encountered in art history books was truly awe-inspiring. The depth of history and the interconnectedness of artists and their influences became palpable as we explored various museums.”

The trip, led by Dr. Jody Lamb, not only provided Kessler with a firsthand encounter with art history but also inspired her to consider future opportunities for international experiences, possibly even during graduate school.

Overall, the “Exploring Art in London” program left a lasting impact on all participants, fueling their desire for further global explorations, deepening their understanding of art history, and fostering meaningful connections with peers. From museum excursions to theatrical performances in the West End to a whirlwind day in Paris, each moment contributed to a rich cultural and artistic education.

For more information on international education opportunities within the College of Fine Arts, visit the landing page.