Make The Connection

June 20, 2023 | By Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan student Clara Wood ’25 visits the Colosseum in Rome while completing a ‘European Art and Culture’ program in England, France, and Italy. (Photos courtesy of Clara Wood)

‘Context and Impact’

Ohio Wesleyan Student Studies Art and Culture in England, France, and Italy

Name: Clara Wood ’25
Hometown: Kent, Ohio
High School: Revere High School
Majors: Art History and Business Administration (Marketing Concentration)
Minor: History

OWU Connection Experience: European Art and Culture study-away program through AIFS Abroad

Wood studied overseas this spring from May 7-30, spending time in London, England; Paris and Nice, France; and Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, Italy.

Clara Wood ’25, posing with gondolas by St. Mark’s Square in Venice, says her study abroad has helped her to focus her career plans on museum management.

Why This Experience?

“As an Art History major, I felt like it was important for me to see the things I am studying in person to fully understand their context and impact. Also, studying abroad was a huge priority for my college experience, but I knew I would not be able to do a full semester based on scheduling conflicts, so this was the best solution and it was definitely worth it.”

My Favorite Moment

“There were so many amazing moments, but something that has stuck with me was seeing Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin in a church in Venice. We were doing a walking tour of the major locations around Venice, and we went into a church that I had never heard of, and I thought nothing of it (we saw a lot of churches on this trip), but we rounded a corner and there was one of the most iconic pieces of Renaissance art right in front of us.

“It was really amazing to see this piece in its original context, which made it easier to understand other religious works that were in museums, out of their original context. I also loved going to Versailles and just Venice as a whole.”

Lessons Learned

“I learned so much about art and being able to actually see objects I had learned about in the classroom really helped me understand their context and how they fit into the canon a lot better.

“I also surprisingly learned a lot about the business of museums, which ended up being a major pillar of the course, and learning more about that helped me solidify that museum business is what I am interested in doing as a career, rather than being an art historian.

“I had also never been out of the country before I went on this trip, and even though I only went to a very small portion of the globe, it definitely changed how I feel about the U.S. and how I view the U.S. in the context of the world.

“I think that those changes in perspective and opportunities to meet people from different parts of the country and world are the true value of experiences outside of the university, above any career and academic benefits.”

Clara Wood ’25 visits the Hall of Mirrors during a trip to the Palace of Versailles in France.

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan?

“I chose to attend OWU because of the amount of ways to go beyond the school to gain experiences. The New York Arts Program was a big draw for me to come to OWU, as well as the study abroad opportunities and the emphasis on internships and summer experiences. I really liked how OWU is not a bubble and that everyone is excited to help you figure out what you want to do and how far you want to go (literally and metaphorically).”

My Plans After Graduation

“I plan to go to graduate school for arts management or events management, and then work in museum management. I have gotten so much help getting internships, gaining experiences, and figuring out my goals from everyone at OWU, especially Career Connection, Fine Arts Department, International and Off-Campus Programs Office, and Campus Programming Board!”