Two JCU Students Selected to Participate in Workshop Organized by Rome's MACRO Museum

Students Anastasiia Lazareva and Maria Isabel Escalante Gortaire were selected to take part in the “Until the end of Time” workshop organized by Rome’s MACRO Museum. The workshop focused on the connection between people and buildings, artifacts, and architecture, and aimed at turning these “love stories” into a widespread installation.

Originally from Russia, Anastasiia is majoring in Communications with a minor in Art and Design, and Entrepreneurship. Isabel is from Ecuador, and she is studying Art History with a minor in Art and Design. Anastasiia is expected to graduate in Spring 2024, and Isabel in Fall 2024.

Anastasiia Lazareva

Anastasiia Lazareva

You were one of two JCU students selected to take part in the “Until the End of Time” workshop at Macro Museum. Tell us about this experience.
The workshop, which was held over two days, was inspired by the picture of a woman marrying a car and the concept of falling in love with places and things, and having a deep connection with them. They wanted to experiment with that idea and see where that led us. On the first day, we were asked to walk around the Salario-Nomentano neighborhood and find something to write a love letter to. I wrote a breakup letter to a bus station in Porta Pia. On the second day, we were asked to choose a sentence or phrase from the letter and write it on a canvas, and then leave it somewhere in the neighborhood. This workshop opened my perspective on what art really is and where you can get your inspiration from. Art is not only visual, it’s also an experience that can lead to something else.

You are a Communications major with minors in Art and Design, and Entrepreneurship. What made you decide to combine these disciplines?
Anastasiia: Communications is my main interest because I like media and video production, and I’m passionate about art and entrepreneurship. I’ve always been self-taught, even at a young age. I tried to experiment as much as I could growing up and later, I was introduced to Photoshop in art school.

Maria Isabel Escalante Gortaire

Maria Isabel Escalante Gortaire

How did you become passionate about art? What made you decide to major in Art History and minor in Art and Design?
Isabel: I have always liked going to museums. I had an internship at the National Museum of Ecuador, and I realized that I loved art and studying its context. After I came to JCU, I fell in love with art and design, and I got to experiment with various art forms, such as sketching, sculpting, and digital practices.

Anastasiia: I saw the opportunity on MACRO Museum’s Instagram page and Professor James Gardner sent me the information to apply. The project was about developing this idea of how specific physical locations can be connected to feelings of love. This sense that if you love something that you’re really connected to, somehow you can project onto the place. On the first day, we thought about what we could do to explore those concepts. For the final product, we were given wooden pieces to create whatever we wanted. In the end, we walked through the district and all of us left our pieces somewhere on the street. We don’t know what happened to our work, but I like to believe someone took it.

What’s your favorite thing about minoring in Art and Design?
Isabel: My favorite thing is that I can experiment with whatever I want, for example, with painting or sculpture, or digital. My advice to students interested in minoring in Art and Design is to be brave and open-minded. You don’t have to commit to the minor immediately, you can try one art class and see if you like it.

Anastasiia: The possibility to explore anything. Even if you think you already know how to use a specific medium, you can still learn and improve your technique and ideas. I love digital media and printmaking. I practically live in JCU’s Art Studio. I’m always inspired by literature and my past experiences. I’m passionate about realism in literature and art. It’s reflected in my works. Thanks to Russian literature, I’m passionate about drama and this also has a huge influence on what I create.

What are your plans for the future?
Anastasiia: After I graduate, I would like to stay in Rome and find work in video production or design. I want to understand how the industry works and then launch my personal studio or agency. The University and my professors were the ones who pushed me to create more. Because of them, I grew a lot.

Isabel: I honestly don’t know, and I like it. I like not having a plan and just seeing where my life and work will take me. I am interested in contemporary art and I would like to look into what is being done right now and how, what the conversations are, and how art has evolved over time.