Art head travels Turkey


Terri-Lynn Frasher

Art by Adam Christian One of the art student contributions for the Traveling Turkey art exhibit at the Spriva Gallery on Campus

New art department head Christine Bentley has been hard at work with faculty and staff developing new programs and opportunities for students to enhance their learning experience at Missouri Southern. The latest innovation provides students with expanded travel opportunities and up-close exposure to some of the most treasured art and architecture in the world.

The new opportunities have a direct tie-in with the Institute of International Studies and the themed semester program.

“Historically, the art department has been involved in the themed semester by arranging for an exhibition of photography or art work from the country we are focusing on,” said Chad Stebbins, director of the institute. “But this past year they came up with a new twist. They would send a faculty member and/or students in advance to the themed semester country to study the artwork of that country, take photos and then come back and put together an exhibition inspired by that particular trip.”

Bentley traveled to Turkey last spring and brought back the photographs and artifacts that inspired students to create works displayed in the exhibition “Traveling Turkey – an Artist’s Journey: Istanbul and Beyond,” currently showing in the Spiva Gallery on campus.

 “Certainly the art department has been involved for a number of years,” said Stebbins. “This is just taking it to the next level, rather than bringing in an exhibition from somewhere else, creating it yourself and involving and engaging your own students and faculty.”

Measures to arrange for a quality exhibition have proved challenging in the past, and the new program brings a win-win solution for the department.

“To get Italianate art or art from Egypt or art from South America is very difficult,” said Bert Bucher, associate professor of art. “It’s like a needle in a haystack. I guess a baby needle in a haystack, you know? To find those kinds of art and artists, and so this was a great solution … it’s a way for our students to expand not only internationally, just traveling around, but also artistically, so they’re understanding how to convey what they feel and their interpretation into a visual form.”

Bucher will take four or five senior art students on the next international trip in the spring.

“In March we will be going to Spain,” said Bucher. “It will actually overlap the week before and of spring break and we will basically be doing a tour of Spain … it’s going to be an art and architecture tour … Spain is really inundated with art, so we’re going to be hitting a lot of things, in particular Madrid and Barcelona, [the] Gaudi cathedral, the Sagrada Família.”

He said he is very excited about the Mediterranean and French influences, and the opportunity to acquaint students with real-life examples of surrealism and classicism.

Future trips will continue to be part of the Southern commitment to the international mission. The international studies website provides information about the University’s mission as well as travel and study-abroad opportunities for Missouri Southern students. The website  URL is to familiarize yourself with travel and study abroad opportunities available to you as a Missouri Southern State University student.

“Traveling Turkey – an Artist’s Journey: Istanbul and Beyond” will remain on display through Sept. 5.