Ok, so the title of this post is kind of a misnomer. But I am taking a class at the local university here in Quito. The class is called Contemporary Art: Ecuador and Latin America (although the actual title is in Spanish). And the whole class is in Spanish, too!
I'm pretty psyched because I've tried to find something for a while that would hold my interest, but also let me speak Spanish more often. This class is it because I'm the only English speaker in there. My teacher knows English, but we've already established that English is not an option in class. I haven't taken an art history course since Madrid when I studied contemporary art at the local university there. Luckily for me, the paintings were familiar. Whereas here, we're focusing on painters that are entirely new to me. I also am out of my league because I don't know as much of Ecuadorian history or politics.
But unlike the other students, I don't have to worry about getting a good grade. I just have to focus on soaking up art history, Ecuadorian history and politics knowledge and try not to annoy my other classmates with my sometimes dreadful Spanish. Like today, when I forgot the word for "shop" (noun) - SHOP of all things! That word is covered within the first month of a basic Spanish class. For shame!
I've already had two classes - the first I understood about 60% of what was said to me. From what I understood, I could tell I was going to learn a whole lot. In my second class, we went to Old Town to view the architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries, which is what we're focusing on right now.
Our teacher is so awesome - she got us into chapels and places that are otherwise off-limits. And we saw some really amazing chapels and paintings. We mainly focused on the church of Santo Domingo. Without pictures (yeah, I know - I really goofed up on not bringing my camera), I can't really explain the coolness of what we say so you'll just have to trust me on that. When I do learn something interesting, I'll make sure to share it with you. Until then!