“I was surprised just to see how much studying the works of the [master] artists…permeated into my work. I did not expect them to play such a prominent role in developing my own artistic style.”
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Ann Johns and Michael Mogavero, Art and Art History
How did you initially get involved in research?
I was always interested in studying abroad while furthering my art education and skill set. When the opportunity to study abroad in Italy arose, I knew immediately that I had to seize it. Spending six weeks doing research in a foreign country not only enhances cultural understanding behind artworks, but also helps improve the approach to your own work.
Briefly describe your research project.
In my research, I focused on studying the application of ornamentation in Italian art and architecture in several notable cities such as Rome, Florence, and Siena. In these cities, I closely studied the techniques of the Great Masters in several art mediums, which included fresco, tempera, stained glass oil, marble, and bronze sculpture. Alongside this, I was able to see up close the use of mediums that are less common in America. Two examples of these are lapis lazuli and gold leaf. After studying these techniques and styles, I spent time in the studio applying these techniques in my own artwork while adapting them into a more modern style.
What was the most rewarding part of your research experience?
The most rewarding aspect of my research experience was the ability to utilize my research in my own work. While I spent hours looking at art, I was able to dissect and implement techniques revered for centuries, and actually studying such monumental works up close as opposed to slides was an unforgettable experience.
How has participating in research affected your undergraduate experience?
Participating in research has really completed my undergraduate experience. As a senior, I cannot picture my undergraduate career without this experience. I was able to really delve into the pictures that I have studied through slides and immerse myself in a new culture.
What surprised you during the research process?
While I was working on my own work in the studio, I was surprised just to see how much studying the works of the artists Sandro Botticelli, Fra Lippo Lippi, and even the Cosmati tile work permeated into my work. I did not expect them to play such a prominent role in developing my own artistic style.
Research Week showcases the exciting work of undergraduates across campus and highlights opportunities for students interested in getting involved. Co-sponsored by the Senate of College Councils and the School of Undergraduate Studies, Research Week takes place April 15-19 this year. Take a look at the online schedule of events to find out more about Research Week events. To celebrate undergraduate research and creative activity, we’re highlighting five profiles of student researchers.