Tiny Florence: A Student Exhibit

FUA-AUF Photography Students Showcase Their Photographic Lens

written by Alex Daggett & Lily Carrol for Special Project: Experiential Learning in Journalism

Hosted at Via Ricasoli, 21’s Palazzi Community Center on May 30, “Tiny Florence” showcases the work of summer semester FUA-AUF study abroad students enrolled in both the courses of Introduction to Digital Photography and Intermediate Landscape and Architectural Photography. For three weeks leading up to the exhibit, students were given the opportunity to explore and capture the essence of Florence through their photographic lens, all culminating in a selected portion of 6 cm x 6 cm black-and-white digital snapshots, framed by white borders. 

On this rainy day, it’s a packed house. Students, teachers and passersby are welcomed with prosecco and a place to dry off, but got much more than that. The exhibit lines the two walls of Corridoio Fiorentino, proceeding towards Palazzi Community Center's terrace garden. The images lining the walls, while small, encourage the viewers to take a closer look. A powerful testament to the ample character the city has to offer, beyond the conspicuous beauties Florence is known for. 

“Through Tiny Florence, you're supposed to get an essence, a microcosm of the city of Florence itself, whether that be architecture, people, or just the general way of life,” says Michael Moses, one of the students featured in the exhibit. Each participant took over 100 photos, and narrowed it down to the 12 that best fit the themes and goals of the exhibit.

Students from both classes were able to venture out and take photos independently, and come together in the classroom for editing and selection. Implementing the unique experiential learning opportunities FUA-AUF has to offer, students were given free reign of the city, to honor the city these students get to call home for a short period of time. This exhibit brings light to the little things that get lost in the whirlwind of excitement Florence has to offer.  

“What we really wanted to influence was the students going out on their own time outside of the classroom,” Robert Thompson, Teaching Assistant for the Introduction to Digital Photography course said. “And photographing things that intrigued them about the city personally. Whether it was their first time traveling and seeing something new, or seeing Italy from a different angle.”

The photos on display are arranged in different patterns and shapes on the walls, with some in frames, and some adorned simply in just their white outlines, with each different position reflecting a different theme. The scenes in the photographs range from a variety of subjects, with some featuring classic street photography tropes such as interesting angles of alleyways, harsh contrasting shadows on roads, and simple portraiture of pedestrians. The exhibit will be up for observation for three weeks, with a new one taking its place at the conclusion, featuring more photo students' works with a different theme. 

“I would definitely come back to future exhibits,” student Riley Guerette said. “I think that this is a great opportunity for the people of the community and students alike to gather and share a common interest and it creates a very welcoming and relaxing environment.”

"Tiny Florence" is still available to be seen in Corridoio Fiorentino. Another exhibit, "Alchemy of Love”, will be showing at Via Ricasoli 21’s Palazzi Community Center in place of "Tiny Florence" on June 20, 2024 at 6:30 p.m.

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