I arrived in Rome last Thursday evening, and almost all of my students were in town by the end of the day Saturday, ready to begin the fourth annual incarnation of the University of Idaho's Rome Architecture Program. On Sunday, we all went to the Pantheon for the Pentacost service, at the end of which the local firefighters dump rose petals down through the oculus at the peak of the dome. It's an incredible sight, and I spent most of the event shooting video that I'll need to edit later. After the fact, I did this sketch from memory, and as a sort of title page for this next chapter in my moleskine sketchbook.
Following the mass, we broke for lunch and then began an orientation tour around the center of town. This is a fairly casual and very random tour, where I attempt to lead the students into surprising urban situations - sudden vistas, curious spaces, hit-you-over-the-head Baroque moments. We talk about the history of the city, it's urban plan, it's monuments and personalities. We covered a lot of ground and the tour ended up going for about four hours, finishing at the Campidoglio, with its views over the Forum to the southeast and the Centro Storico to the north, where I did this quick sketch.
I teach architecture at the University of Idaho - design studios, architectural graphics courses, and a professional practice course. One of my passions outside of teaching ... and music, and plants, and mycology, and ... is observing and understanding the world through sketching with various media, such as pencil, pen, charcoal and watercolor. Passing along the same skill and interest to students is a goal I've pursued through my teaching here in Moscow, Idaho, and through an 8-week study-abroad program in Rome each summer.