Learning Holidays: A Thumbnail Guide

Article excerpt

People wanting to spend their vacations in pursuit of culture have a fairly wide choice of options that go beyond mere sightseeing. Numerous companies organize tours for lovers of architecture or art. Those who don't mind roughing it can do volunteer project work, join archaeological digs or help with cultural studies.

Though not an endorsement of any tour organization or programme, the following sample includes just a few of the many options available.

ART AND ARCHITECTURE

* Instituto per l'Arte e il Restauro Palazzo Spinelli offers throughout the summer two- to four-week courses on Italian art including fresco, painting, ceramics, stone, archaeological, paper, glass, carpet, textile and wood restoration; study of the antique trade; drawing and painting; graphic design; computer graphics; interior design; garden design and planning; and Italian language.

Website www.spinelli.it; phone (39) 55 246001; fax (39) 55 240709; or write Borgo S. Croce, 10 - 50122 Florence, Italy.

* The Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, has short-term courses in painting, silver work, drawing, lithography and etching, silk screening, ceramics, multimedia sculpture, traditional Mexican weaving, Mexican art history, Spanish language classes and iron sculpture.

E-mail iallende@institutoallende.edu.com, phone (52) 415 2-01-90, fax (52) 415 2-45-38 or write Ancha de San Antonio #20, San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

* Wisconsin, USA-based Adventures in Perspective brings together Mayan, Mexican and American artists to teach painting, ceramics, batik making, drumming, cooking and story-telling from their respective cultures. Week-long courses take place at the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

E-mail advenper@win.bright.net; phone (1) 715 779-9503; or write P.O. Box 874, Bayfield, Wisconsin, 54814, USA.

* Sua Bali offers two-week and longer courses in batik painting, local music, cookery, herbal medicine and the Indonesian language. Classes take place at a mini-resort of seven traditional guest houses in a rural setting south of the village of Ubud, renowned for its painting.

E-mail suabali@indosat.net.id, phone (62) 361 941-050, fax (62) 361 941-035 or write Mrs. Ida Ayu Mas, PO Box 155, Gianyar 80500, Bali, Indonesia

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE WORK

* There are numerous opportunities to take part in archaeological digs. For example, every spring, Current Archaeology magazine publishes the Directory of British Archaeology, listing more than 700 societies, universities and professional units. A small number of these open their archaeological fieldwork to outsiders on weekends, or for several weeks in the summer.

Website

www. currentarchaeology.com; phone (44) (0)171 435-7517; fax (44) (0)171 916-2405; or write to Current Archaeology, 9 Nassington Road, London NW3 2T, UK.

* Aberdeen University Centre for Continuing Education runs a "field school" in archaeology at three sites in Scotland during July and August.

E-mail cce-aberdeen@abdn.ac.uk, phone (44) (0)1463 718718; fax (44) (0)1463 714794; or write to B5 Etive House, Beechwood Park, Inverness, Scotland, IV2 3BW.

* In Antigua, West Indies, Betty's Hope, a 350-year-old sugar plantation, is undergoing a multi-year restoration programme. Volunteers take part in archaeological excavations and archival research, and learn surveying and excavation techniques, processing and cataloguing of artefacts, conservation methods, archival record research and report preparation.

Website

www. interimpact.com/expedition, phone (1) 819 682-0562; fax (1) 819 682-8001; or write to Cultural Expeditions MEC Canada Inc. Westgate PO 35012, Ottawa, Que. K1Z 1A2, Canada.

* In Ecuador, weekend archaeologists unearth artefacts from pre-Hispanic chiefdoms in the Guayllabamba valley. They learn labeling and washing artefacts in the lab. …