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Spain: On the Tiles of Spain Through Seville, Valencia, and Barcelona

JUNE 1-JUNE 28, 2014

(Registration Deadline: March 14, 2014)

Spain is unique in the cultural mosaic of Europe. It is home to the Holy Grail and to the Alhambra. Dialects are varied and rich: Catalan, Valencian, Andalusian. The arts of Spain are as diverse as the language, each with its own pronounced regional aesthetic.

This four-week trip will guide students along Spain's Mediterranean coast, from the Moorish history of Seville to the Valencia region, where 45% of all tiles in Europe are made. Our adventure concludes in Barcelona where contemporary architecture intersects with old wandering streets and hidden squares.

By studying local ceramic, food, dance, gardens, architecture, and other cultural touchstones, we will track Moorish and Roman traditions in Spain, and see them leading up to, and meeting with, contemporary culture. Students will document their encounter using a combination of photographs, drawing, and research into the history of ceramics.

In addition to encountering ceramics in museum collections, we will also meet collection directors, pottery towns, encounter recent archeological findings, visit sites, factories, and local artists.

Program fees include housing, museum entrance fees, ground transportation, and some meals.


Mat Karas is a ceramic artist and designer whose work plays with function as a language to mediate art and daily life. He is currently Assistant Professor of Ceramics at MICA. He holds an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. Karas has taught, lectured, and exhibited at universities and galleries in Canada and the United States.

Daniela Sandler has a Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester, and a professional degree in Architecture and Urbanism from the University of São Paulo. Her teaching and research interests include modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism in Latin America and Europe; visual and cultural studies; social inequality in space; preservation; and history and memory in the built environment.


• $5,700 (does not include international airfare)

Includes tuition for 3 undergraduate credits in Ceramics OR Studio Elective

• $7,260 (does not include international airfare)

Includes tuition for 3 undergraduate credits in Ceramics OR Studio Elective

+ 3 undergraduate credits in Art History

• Graduate credit is available to qualified students for $75 per credit above the base fee (contact program coordinator below).


Contact program coordinator Mat Karas at

Open to undergraduate and graduate students in all majors--18 years or older with a valid passport--who have completed at least one year of college. For all programs, credits can be applied to Studio Elective. For more information, or to inquire about scholarships, contact the School for Professional and Continuing Studies at or 410-225-2219.