Fall break was a much needed relaxing time for some of us, and others a crazy new adventure of traveling in different cities. Monday found all of us Temple students a bit tired but very curious of each others’ travels. We spent as much time before and after class trying to hear about every ridiculous story of riding vespas in Barcelona, strikes in France stopping trains and planes, late night salsa dancing, Ibiza beach days, Greek cuisine, and much, much more. Every Thursday my Galleries and Studios class takes place on site at either a museum, gallery opening, or private studio visit with an artist. I love to blog about this because the experience is new and intrigues me in my interest of study. This week I had the privilege of a great on-site visit to the American Academy in Rome. We made our way into the academy bumping into artist Betty Woodman, who currently has a show up at the academy, and we briefly spoke to her to let her know we were seeing her show. The exhibition features new selected works in ceramic and on canvas that are poetic responses to Rome, its history and its art. After seeing the show, we made our way into the studio of Dike Blair who is currently working at the Academy. He greeted us with wine and plenty of chairs to sit down and listen to a short lecture about his work. Blair has been making work since the 70’s which ranges from paintings on glass to installations inspired by Disney World’s Epcot Center. He then started to make modestly scaled gouaches, which continues to intrigue him up to this day. The private studio was great, and after the lecture he told us what studio visits were like with curators and that he felt “vulnerable” when people visited his studio. An hour passed of chatting with Blair, and we left the Academy making our way to the RISD School art opening in Trastevere. As we left the academy, thousands, and I mean thousands, of birds were zooming through the air all around the center city of Rome. It looked as if a thick black cloud was swarming, and the city was about to become infested with birds. Chirping and fluttering of leaves from the trees made it so we had to run through the streets not to get pooped on by the birds!! It was a funny and interesting sight, something that I had never seen before. The week passed by really quickly, and it felt nice to be back ‘home’ in Rome once again. I was talking to someone about how I felt home being in Rome and they said that’s just because home is where your stuff is, but really over the last 2 months Rome has become my home where my friends, school, and current life is. Yes, I miss my family and friends back home but adapting to a new situation and culture is so fun, I like to feel that home is wherever I am at the moment; enjoying and discovering new things in my life.