University of Oregon

Art and Artifact: Intermedia Art in Athens

Program Overview

The unique landscape of the Greek islands and the multilayered city of Athens provide the setting for this intensive three-week studio art course. Through a series of lectures, studio work, daily excursions to archaeological sites and museums, contemporary galleries and engagement with land and sea, students will have the opportunity to weave global history and theory into the practice of making art. Our methods will be interdisciplinary and open to various modes of expression, which might include but are not limited to, drawing and painting, performance, installation, photography and video.  

A central mission of the course will be to consider artifacts from the cultural past not only in regard to their influence but also in terms of their contemporary relevance. In what ways has the image of the siren of classical mythology been reinterpreted in contemporary thinking?  Where might we locate various manifestations of the Greek urn in contemporary art? A primary focus of the course will be a study of how artists from Picasso to Ann Hamilton have translated historical artifacts into art to tell the story of human experience. First hand observation of cultural and historical artifacts from vessels to street art will provide a forum for students to situate themselves within this living continuum of western art.

The proximity of notable historical sites, alternative contemporary artist hubs and the stark beauty of Greece will function as a laboratory for students to experiment with a variety art making strategies. Instruction will be offered in methods of documentation, the interpretation of found materials, digital archiving, the use of sequencing and layering, and the fusion of text and image to create a visual narrative.

In addition to gaining a basic understanding of Greek history, culture and art, students will be exposed to all facets of contemporary art in Athens, from commercial galleries and design studios to alternative creative hubs and political street art.

Open to all disciplines, this course immerses students in our rich cultural history and exposes them to cutting edge artistic aspirations. Students will be challenged to not only record their impressions, but to use their experience to initiate a new way of thinking about the creation of art and its value to society.

Academic Details

As this is a studio art course, the focus is creative production. Students are expected to keep some form of a journal with them at all times to record their daily observations using their desired combination of media; sketching, photographic documentation, the collection of ephemera and text. Each day there will be an assigned observation relevant to readings, slide lectures and excursions. Assessment will be based on creative exercises and other assignments, discussion of reading material, class participation and a final project and presentation.

Faculty and Staff

Colleen Choquette-Raphael is a member of the art faculty at the University of Oregon where she has taught all aspects of photographic media, art theory seminars, experimental book structures and public art.  Her creative practice, which includes video, photography and altered objects has been exhibited nationally. Deeply influenced by literature, film studies and the politics of gender, Choquette-Raphael's current research is focused on political puppetry. She has recently led educational tours to the Venice Biennale,  southern Italy and co-taught a study abroad program in Siena, Italy.

Housing Description

While in Athens, you will live in a shared apartment with a small kitchenette within walking distance of the Athens Centre. Generally, there will be two to four students in each apartment, although some houses will accommodate up to six people. You have the choice of cooking meals in the apartment, or eating at one of the inexpensive cafés and restaurants near the Athens Centre.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearPriority DeadlineApplication/Deposit DeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Summer20162/15/20163/15/20166/26/20167/16/2016

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.