By Margaret Pepe
This summer, some LIU Post students got the experience of a lifetime. Professor Neill Slaughter took a small group of students on a cultural art tour through Europe to experience art in a completely new way. On the tour, the students visited museums in London, Paris, and Amsterdam.
Professor Slaughter, who teaches drawing and painting, watercolor, and other art classes at Post, decided to pursue art as a career when he was 19 years old, traveling for three months unaccompanied throughout Europe.
“Seeing in person all those art treasures that up to that point in my life, I had only seen pictured in books,” Slaughter said, “made a profound impact on me and helped me focus on pursing art full time when I returned to college.”
While in these cities, Slaughter and his students also visited the Alnwick Castle, where Harry Potter was filmed, the Windsor Castle in Versailles, France, which Slaughter describes to be “so opulent it is difficult to describe adequately without seeing it in person,” Rembrandt’s House, and the Ann Frank house.
“It is difficult to say which city is most impressive,” Slaughter said, “because each city is so distinctly different from the others, which is why I chose those cities, to provide a wide array of architectural monuments as well as different languages and cultures.”
Slaughter explained why he chose London, Paris, and Amsterdam as locations for this trip. “I had been to each of these cities numerous times over the years and knew each city had world class art museums. Each city is unique in its architectural appearance.”
This was not the first art trip Slaughter has brought students on. In 2011, he guided students through France and Italy on a similar tour, and in 2013, he brought a class to Turkey and Greece. Slaughter mentioned that he would consider taking students to Europe again, and change the venue if students expressed interest.
“I encourage all my students to travel abroad because I know from my own extensive travel and teaching abroad that experiences of this kind broaden ones cultural and aesthetic horizons,” he said. “I try to foster an awareness in my students of the enriching, mind-expanding experiences that are unique when encountering art and foreign cultures first hand instead of simply reading about them in a book or viewing a video in a classroom.”
Slaughter did not make this trip available to his students only. He posted fliers in the studios where he teaches on campus; however he welcomes any interested students on his trips.
Slaughter hopes to take LIU students on another trip this fall to see the John Singer Sargent, an exhibit the group had seen in London, at the MET in New York City.