Contributor Bios

My name’s Jorge. I’m entering my third and penultimate semester at UT as a Studio Art major pursuing a BFA. The U.S. is the only foreign country I’ve been to, but it’s my home now. I’ve been in Austin since 2000 and left Mexico that year when I was seven going on eight. I am honest, kind, humble and often very specific. Creatively expressing myself is one of my favorite activities and I love to learn. Period. I leave you with an inspirational quote by Leonardo, whom I admire very much; “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
Hi everyone! I’m Celeste; rising senior sounds really cool so I’m gonna go ahead and use that, Studio Art major. Currently, my favorite media is charcoal and charcoal pencil but I also love to paint with oil, acrylic, and (very badly) with watercolor. This whole Learning Tuscany opportunity has been the craziest blessing I could ever ask for. Never in a million years would I ever have believed that I would have a chance to be a part of something as incredible as this. And yet, here I am!!! I’m looking forward to soaking in absolutely everything—the food, the culture, and especially the art! I want to learn everything I can about everything around me, make friends with the locals, enjoy the cuisine, and bask in all the beauty that Tuscany has to offer!

! I’m Sierra and a rising junior, majoring in Art History. I am so excited to practice my Italian and see all of the beautiful artwork in Italy! When I am not geeking out on all the art I’m seeing you can catch me doing yoga and hanging out with my friends. This is my first time in Italy I cannot wait to experience the views, art, people, and culture.

Hello! My name is Shelby and I’m a sophomore Visual Art Studies major at the University of Texas at Austin. I’m so excited to be in the Learning Tuscany program because I am very passionate about anything Italy! This country changed my life on a EF Tour I took in high school and it actually inspired me to take my first art class ever. And because of that I’m an Art major at UT today! I am so excited to be back for 6 WEEKS specifically learning about art history and studio art techniques. I will carry the experiences I gain on this trip with me for the rest of my life. As a future educator, I will work to make my future students as passionate about art, travel, and culture as I am.

Hey there! I’m Jenna, a rising sophomore in the BFA Design program. I’ve always had a passion for art, ever since elementary school. It wasn’t until after taking a graphic design course in high school did I discover my newfound interest in design. I’ve never been to Europe, so traveling to Italy will most definitely be a new and interesting experience. I can’t wait to see numerous Italian art masterpieces in person and immerse myself in the Italian culture.

Hello, I’m Noel and I’m a rising senior finishing my B.A. in Art History. My primary interests are in modern and postmodern art so you will definitely catch me at the Venice Biennale this June. I’m excited to see how multiple generations of art age, are restored, and are appropriated to create Italy’s distinctive identity.

Ciao, my name is Christina! I am a rising junior Visual Art Studies major. My interests so far have primarily been in photography and painting, but I am using my undergrad to explore literally everything from traditional drawing, to video and performance- as a future art educator, I want every medium to be an option not just for me, but for my students as well! I am beyond excited to be experiencing the culture, food, and most importantly, the art of Italy. I am hoping to let it inform and influence my creative work, and maybe even my way of living! We are after all the sum of our experiences, right? There will probably be a lot of fan-girling and happy tears from me on this trip. Just warning you now. Mmkay.

Greetings! My name is Tesch. I am a rising third year in Studio Art and Pre-med. Two formidable reasons I am quite looking forward to this trip: First, as of late art has become something I do because it is my major, and I am trying to do well in each class. But I want art to be something I create because I feel the need to express something, because I want to, because it beings me joy. I’m hoping a change in scenery and lifestyle will help inspire a change in mindset, and therefore change my art making. Secondly, the rumors inform me that Italians value quality food and quality rest (naps), and I can definitely support anyone that respects such beautiful necessities.

Hello! My name is Machaela and I am a rising senior studying Studio Art! I am so excited to be in Italy this summer!! Here’s a list of a few things I love: dogs, ultimate frisbee, the beach, people, being full of joy, loving people, hugs, being in the presence of God, laughing, hedgehogs, the great outdoors, and sweets.

Hey! I’m June, a rising Art History and International Relations senior. I’ve been studying art history for years, but this is my first trip to Europe, so I am very excited to finally see some legendary works in the flesh (or on canvas, I guess you could say). Post-graduation, I aim to work in galleries and with collectives, so I am very interested in seeing how artists interacted with larger institutions. Other than that, I am very eager to see the Italian countryside and to eat double my weight in authentic Italian food.

Ciao, I’m Caroline!! As a rising senior, Journalism major, I can’t wait to immerse myself in the new world of art and creativity! And what a better place to step out of my comfort zone than Italy?! I love all things food, music, photography, and the outdoors; and I plan on having enough pizza, pasta, and gelato to feed everyone back home. You will often find me singing without knowing it, laughing at my own jokes, striking up a conversation with strangers, outside enjoying the sunshine, or taking pictures of my food. I am so grateful for this opportunity and look forward to where this journey takes us!

Ciao! My name is Mackenzie and I’m a rising senior Art History major. I haven’t really figured out in which area I want to specialize (a major point of stress, believe me) because I love so many different kinds of art! Hopefully, Italy will help me choose. I’m particularly excited about this program because Dr. Johns was very influential in my decision to become an Art History major almost three years ago, and I’ve wanted to be in Learning Tuscany ever since! I’m also very excited to go antiquing in some little Italian markets and eat a lot of pasta (obviously).

Heyo! My name is Madi, and I’m a soon-to-be-senior studying art education and non-profit studies. Don’t let the title fool you, I’m also a hardcore artist and literally spend any waking moment creating. I’m more of a painter and drawer, and like to use any combination of dry and wet mediums in my work. I plan to be a lot of things in the future; art teacher, illustrator, student, curator, art program coordinator, professor. I know that this trip to Italy will help my achieve, hopefully, most of the things on this list, and will expand my breadth of knowledge immensely. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me!

Howdy, I’m Jade and I’m a rising senior in the Visual Art Studies program. Basically that means I want to be an art educator. In my own work, I primarily use analog photography and alternative photographic processes to explore humanity and the Landscape. I’ve never been outside of the country before, and I’m eager to see how examining a new country will influence my perspective on the Land. I hope that these influences will further shape my thoughts and experiences as a future educator. Also, I hear the pizza is pretty good.

Buongiorno! I’m Abigail and I’m an Art History major. I really dig Italian Baroque art (Bernini is my main man) and Post-Impressionism. I also have a growing love for Caravaggio that might overcome me when I see some of his works very soon!! I recently added English as a second major, so you should know that Hamlet and Harry Potter are equally important to me. During our time in Italy I look forward to both enjoying some legendary artworks and raising my standards for what qualifies as a good piece of pizza.

My name is Alicia. I am second in a set of triplets. We all share the same boots, but our eye makeup varies considerably. I am a first year Studio Art Major. I am a huge fan of Sienese and Rococo art, and am excited for this trip.

Hi there! Amy is my name, and Art History is my game. I am a soon to be fourth year BA Art History major. Most of my interest of study comes from the Renaissance, which is extremely convenient that we are going to Italy. I am so excited to see a completely new environment and culture outside to the US. Maybe I’ll learn some more words other than ciao and pizza. I would say that carbs are my best friend, and I would love to make even more friends on this journey; bread and human alike. When I am not thinking about art or food, I love to hang out with friends, discus fashion (even if wear t-shirts most of the time), or explore the outdoors. I am a huge movie/TV buff, so there will jokes, quotes or heated arguments throughout this trip, so that might be something to prepare for. On a more serious note, art is a capsule of history, an expression of emotion, or something to pretty up a room; it something that will always connect everyone no matter what it is. Art is one of the most important thing in my life, and I cannot wait to see such a magnificent place where it thrives all around.

Ciao! My name is Elizabeth and I’m a junior Studio Arts major. I primarily enjoy drawing and painting, though I have recently become interested in material as visual process, as well as the concepts of humanness and the evolving self as a journey. What better way to experience this firsthand than to live everyday as a journey in Italy? I can’t wait to see how my immersion in the art-rich Italian culture will influence my future work!

Ciao, I’m Erin!!  I am a rising junior BFA Studio Art major, and I primarily paint and do photography.  I enjoy exploring many subject matters and materials, so I am excited to see the influences of Italy in my future work!  When I’m not in the studio, I enjoy spending times outdoors, with friends, being a leader for Young Life, and playing Ultimate frisbee for the UT women’s club team! Super fun and sporty, I know. I can not wait to go on long runs/hikes in the beautiful Tuscan country-side, explore the life and culture of Italy (most importantly the food), and memorize over the amazing art I get to experience first hand!

Hello! I am Julia and I’m a second year Visual Art Studies major. I’ve always loved painting but recently have found an interest in print making. I’m so excited to further develop my painting skills and learn more about the culture in Italy. I’m also looking forward to all the pasta.

Hello there. My name is Wagner, and I am a junior Neuroscience major. I know, a little out of the ordinary for the group, but I feel that this experience could help in other aspects of my life, as it will hopefully open me up to new interpretations of the world around me. In the meantime, I enjoy listening to -large- amounts of music, diving into TV shows & films, eating good food, and doing research on how increasing the metabolic capacity of certain brain regions affects behavior.

Hi! I’m Annie. I am a Humanities major with a focus in Museum Studies, and I’m so excited to visit some of the best museums in the world this summer! I love film photography, reading, and dessert, so I think Italy will be the perfect place for me. I am eager to study Renaissance art in the place it was created and make my own art!

Buongiorno! My name is Sasha, and I am a rising senior in the BFA Studio Art program. I have recently become focused predominantly in sculpture and painting in my work. I love exploring materials and studying the unique and different techniques artists use for their works, and I can’t wait to study the methods of Italy up close!

Ciao! My name is Logan and I am a first year BFA Studio Art major. I have studied painting for the past ten years but my current work has taken on a more print and collage based approach. My work is usually in response to Renaissance and Classical artwork with an emphasis on religious spaces. I am excited to see how what I learn and observe through Learning Tuscany will come to influence my work!

Hello! My name is Alyssa. I am an Art History rising senior. I enjoy fangirling over any art, but I especially love Italian Renaissance Art. I can not wait to look at it more closely this summer. Cooking is my passion, second only to art, so I will be on the hunt for a nonna to teach me her cooking ways! I am so excited to see and eat my way through Italy!

My name is Evelyn. I’m from Santa Barbara, California. I received my undergraduate degree from CSU Long Beach. Living in Southern California has giving me a predisposition for liking neon colors, lights, signage, sun damaged objects, architecture, design and cinema, which has influenced my interest of form, surface and space. I’m excited to go to Italy to see how old materials and new materials live together.

Bio Haiku (Dan Sutherland)

My bio so short
consider an extension
oh powers I exhort
My name is Dan, I grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. My partner Lisa and I moved to Texas in 1991. My lovely family Lisa, Adie (15) and Berk (21) will be joining us for part of this amazing trip. Italian painting, drawing, design and cartography have long influenced my work and I look forward to exploring with you. You can see my work and exhibition history on my website

My name is Ann Johns. I’m a Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Art and Art History, and I’m also the director of the Learning Tuscany program. I work on the art and architecture of medieval and Renaissance Italy. I never pass a church, museum, or Furla store without looking inside.