Nov. 8, 2017
With help of a generous scholarship from the Citizen Scholars program, sophomore Tiffanie Quinn spent four weeks this past summer studying abroad with the Visual Art in Italy program.
Citizen Scholars offers students monetary rewards to be used towards high-impact learning experiences, such as study abroad, study away, internships and undergraduate research. After completing her first year in the program, Quinn applied and received funding towards her study abroad experience.
“When I came to Michigan State and heard about the study abroad programs here, I decided I wanted to try to do one every year,” Quinn said. “I’m grateful to Citizen Scholars for helping me with this funding because I was able to have a really great experience that I otherwise might not have been able to have.”
A major in apparel and textile design, Quinn chose the Visual Art in Italy program as a way to spark new inspiration for her fashion designs. She spent three weeks in Venice and one week in Florence, where she took classes to improve her painting and drawing techniques.
“To be a good fashion designer, it’s important to improve in all aspects of art, especially with painting and sculpture,” Quinn said. “Those mediums help me to know the human form and how it moves so that I am able to improve my designs and illustrations.”
Quinn hopes to pursue avant-garde fashion, the more experimental and art-like designs often seen on runways. Taking art classes in another country has helped sharpen her artistic abilities in order to fit this style of design.
Quinn started the study abroad by doing realistic paintings, but by the end of the program, she was experimenting with inventive colors. She now uses experimental colors in her designs and illustrations.
“I had this perception that everything has to be a certain way, but it doesn’t. Now I draw my models as aliens with purple skin,” Quinn said. “Looking at the inventive style of art really affected what I do.”
Quinn and the rest of the students on the study abroad toured numerous historical schools, museums, monasteries and churches, with each displaying iconic Renaissance-era artwork.
“I can now implement art that I’ve seen in person into my designs,” Quinn said. “Learning about art and discovering different parts of the world are always great sources to implement into designs.”
For this reason, Quinn also loves being a Citizen Scholar, where she is constantly inspired by the diversity and cultural differences at MSU.
“I love being a Citizen Scholar. It has opened my eyes to different cultures and made me more aware of society’s issues in general,” she said. “The skills and mindset that Citizen Scholars has given me allowed me to be more grateful and positive during the trip as I experienced a new culture and a new part of the world.”
Written by Alexandria Drzazgowski, professional writing major
Reused with permission from the College of Arts and Letters