In my research, I was lucky enough to explore some of the most beautiful European cities -- through the lens of a camera, and by keeping a steady eye on street art and graffiti of several ancient and beautiful places. I flew to Paris for my research, and signed up for a formal street art tour, where my tour guide pointed out works by local graffiti troupes, as well as pieces by notable artists such as Space Invader and Banksy, and I was opened to a world of street art that many passersby may not understand or appreciate. My thinking behind this project was to put together a portfolio of artworks that I could incorporate into my senior year exhibition, which will be taking place this Spring in the Brush Art Gallery. I learned how to use all of the features of the camera that I got for the trip, and also used my knowledge of Adobe software to edit the photographs I took, so that their colors and meaning could be well communicated to an onlooker.
As an Art and Art History major at St. Lawrence, I have been exposed to a variety of unique mediums; including video art, sculpture, ceramics, and drawing. I have taken art history courses as well, and was able to see many of the famous art pieces and buildings that I have only seen in textbooks. While these experiences of travel and appreciation were incredible, it was such an honor to be able to step outside the box of St. Lawrence and explore a medium I didn’t know much about -- photography. I was always snapping images of the sides of buildings that had a familiar graffiti artist’s tag on them, and the Donau Canal in Vienna was riddled with artist’s works, many of which I was able to photograph. Not only did I become familiar with Viennese artists, but I often reached out to them via social media and made connections with some. One particular street artist, who goes by the name “Boicut,” always notified me whenever he was doing a new installation in the city, and where I could find it. I found myself doing scavenger hunts nearly every day, trying to locate my favorite artist’s new works so I could experience them for myself.
I also found out that my art teacher at the American Institute in Vienna, a typographer and graphic arts professor named Martin Theifenthaler, was formerly Boicut’s professor as well. What a small world!
Being granted the opportunity to explore different cities from the angle of two-dimensional, public art was an eye-opening experience for me.
I am so thankful to have been able to learn more about art in physical spaces, and made some important personal connections in the process. I was even able to make my own street art “tag,” and sprayed it on legal walls in Dresden, Germany, Vienna, Austria, and Krakow, Poland. This travel grant made my abroad adventures so exciting, and I am forever grateful for this chance -- something that has changed my life and career path forever. Thank you to the Cabot Family for supporting me in this endeavor.