Visual Arts – England

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The Visual Arts program operates an optional 12 week summer immersion program at our full-time dedicated campus in Old Harlow, England (40 minutes outside of London in a quiet country town, with a direct train line to Liverpool Street Station in the heart of London). The Harlow Program (which has been running for 20 years) is offered every second year, and involves three full credit courses in Visual Culture and Art History, and is open to any student in the VA Program and to students from other degree streams. There is also a graduate level course (offered with instructor permission) that can be applied for.

From Memorial University's campus in Old Harlow, England, Dr. Gerard Curtis leads daily field trips to important cultural and architectural sites in the UK. The program lasts approximately 11 to 12 weeks, and begins in late April or early May. The majority of the course work occurs directly in London, with trips into the city three to four times a week. The three art history courses completed during the trip are immersive and experiential, offering a hybrid of art history, visual and material culture, and studio-based work (though one does not have to be an artist to participate in the trip). The program also includes a 10-day field trip to Bath, Salisbury, Stonehenge, St. Ives and Bristol as well as day trips to Cambridge, Saffron Walden and Brighton. In addition, there is a 7-9 day break during which students can arrange their own travel plans; on past trips, students have traveled to Ireland, Paris, Amsterdam, Greece, and Berlin. Students have also stay on after the courses were completed and toured Europe.

During the most recent trip to Harlow, twenty-four students spent twelve weeks immersed in the visual and architectural culture of England. The students went on day trips to Oxford, Salisbury, Stonehenge and Brighton, as well as multi-day stays in Bath, St. Ives (including an optional surfing session) and Bristol. Some highlights of the trip include walking tours of London, a Norman Foster architectural walk, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Tate Britain, the Tate Modern, productions at the Globe Theatre, Henry Moore's estate at Perry Green, the Roman Baths, Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge, Avebury, Cambridge, Bodiam Castle, and the Brighton Pavilion. Students also saw artwork by Hirst, Emin, Lucas, Mueck, Kusama, Picasso, Munch, Hepworth, the Pre-Raphaelites, the Vorticists as well as the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and graduating student shows at Central St. Martin's and the Chelsea College of Art & Design.

Traveling overseas can be expensive, especially on a student budget. To alleviate some financial strain there are a limited number of travel scholarships offered by Memorial, and students participate in fundraising throughout the one or two years leading up to the departure date. This fundraising helps to cover group costs such as vehicle rentals and admission fees to museums and galleries. Students are responsible for the cost of airfare, accommodation, tuition, books, most meals (though either a dinner or a packed lunch is provided on weekdays by the campus as part of the accommodation costs) and all other personal expenses. Total costs for the 2011 and 2012 trip, for twelve weeks, were estimated at between $6000 - $7000 (Canadian dollars) by those students who had carefully planned their expenses. This included airfare, tuition, accommodation, meals, field trips, and most foreseeable expenses. Please note, however, that expenses will vary according to exchange rates, individual budgets -- and spending habits.

For more information about the Harlow trip, see the Harlow Campus website or contact