In spring 2015, the School of Design hosted a trip for 32 photography students to explore “Ten Italian Cities in Ten Days,” an experience which has been captured in an exhibit called Dieci Citta.
On this trip, students toured Assisi, Capri, Florence, Passignano, Pompeii, Rome, Sorrento, Treviso, Venice and Verona.
Elena Volkova, associate professor of visual communication design, curated the “Dieci Citta” photo exhibition with help from Derrick Cullen, assistant studio manager, who printed the photos, and Matthew Laumann, manager of Cultural Programs, who helped sequence and frame the images. The exhibition features one photo from each student and faculty member and is on display in the St. Paul Companies Pavilion on Stevenson’s Greenspring campus until May 27.
The three faculty members who accompanied the trip were Dina Fiasconaro, assistant professor of film and video; Elizabeth Crisman, adjunct professor of art and visual communication design; and Walter Calahan, adjunct professor of photography.
Dieci Citta was featured in a spot on WJZ-TV in February. In a brief interview, Amanda Hostalka, dean of School of Design, explained, “The purpose of this trip is for students to immerse themselves in a powerful way with the culture and arts outside of Stevenson and to apply the photography skills that they are learning in the classroom in a real way.”
Hostalka also emphasized how the curator, Elena Volkova, “goes through all the photos and tries to identify the most powerful ones, looking for variety [and] something that can speak to the show.”
An exhibition is also a way to expose students to the beauty of travel and to their fellow students’ passion and talent for photography. Calahan explained, “To have an exhibit makes sense because the university wants to celebrate the hard work of the students who took the adventure, as well as encourage students to sign up for future trips.”
Studying and photographing 10 cities in 10 days also gave students an opportunity to engage in Italian culture while photographing the people and the architecture.
Calahan, who began studying abroad when he was a junior in college, explained, “The impact of that trip continues to profoundly shape my life decades later in ways that I could not imagine while I was a student. All I can say is this trip will impact each and every student in unique ways. Each student will spend the rest of their life processing what they experienced.”
Senior Christopher McKneely, who studies business communication and visual communication design, agreed that this trip to Italy impacted him profoundly, not only as a photographer and a student, but also as a person.
McKneely said, “These are experiences that define you, these are experiences that you live for and these are experiences that you will never forget, with people you will never forget and friendships that have been molded to last forever.”