HomeArts & EntertainmentTJC says Viva Italia!

TJC says Viva Italia!


Studiare è divertente, first thoughts are probably “what does that mean?” It means studying is fun. Now you’re probably thinking “since when is studying fun?” Fifteen TJC students had the opportunity to go to Italy for a month, and to do what? Study.

“Florence itself is a museum, the city is just amazing,” said Chris Stewart, Tyler Junior college professor/ department chair of Art.

During the summer of 2014 from June 18-July 18, Professors T.J. McLemore and Chris Stewart took 15 students to Italy for a month to study art and writing. The courses offered there consisted of art history, a studio course, creative writing, and world literature. Each student was able to choose two classes, earning six college hours. Students were chosen through an application process based on grade point average, campus involvement, and although it isn’t required, an art major or in the honors program. “We spent a month just writing, reading, studying, and making art in Florence,” said Stewart.


They visited several different cities in Italy including Florence, Siena, Orvieto, and Rome. “I think what stood out most to the students was living like an Italian for a month. It changed their perspective on the world and the way we live here,” said McLemore, Tyler Junior College professor/Honors Program coordinator. “You go down to the market and buy food from the guy you see every day and know his name by the end of the month,” said McLemore.

While in Italy, the group had the opportunity to travel to different galleries, museums, and churches. Santa Maria del Fiore and Santa Croce are just a couple of churches they visited. “Florence is the art capital of the Western World,” said McLemore. A couple of galleries that the group went to were the Accademia, where Michelangelo’s “David” is, and the Galleria degli Uffizi. “All these places are just filled with works of art, that actually have to do with the history of Florence,” said McLemore.


McLemore and Stewart plan to take another group to Italy next summer. By getting involved on campus, maintaining a good grade point average and completing the application process, students could earn a spot to go. Students in the Honors Program or who are an art major are also welcomed. Traveling abroad can give students knowledge beyond the classroom by learning how to live in a foreign country, learning a new language, and studying the different culture. “TJC is a unique institution in different ways. You don’t see a lot of junior colleges doing what we’re doing, so it’s something we thought was really important to do,” Stewart said.

If interested, contact either Professor McLemore or Professor Stewart; students can contact them by emailing them or calling them.


T.J. Mclemore: tmcl@tjc.edu 903-510-3078

Chris Stewart: cste@tjc.edu 903-510-2234

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