Artists We Love: Maria Cienfuegos

Travelers on our people-to-people Cuba programs sometimes visit the Miramar home of visual artist Maria Cienfuegos, where she showcases her work as well as that of other young artists.  Her artist-run cooperative, dubbed Studio 7 y 60 (or Septima Y Sesenta), has existed since 2010, when Maria and three collaborators decided to use her family’s apartment as a venue to present their creations directly to the public.

maria-cienfuegosMuch of Maria’s art explores the concept of memory. On her website, Maria, who has a background in biology as well as art, writes: “I approach my work from the hybrid sensitivity that arises from the mutual influence of art and science. My photographs emerge from the counterbalance between these two forms of operation, which I regard as complementary. Within this dynamic I am interested in the social/anthropological processes which traverse the categories of thought and image. It is my personal quest to go inside spaces of remembrance and forgetfulness. Photography is my way of not only adding and revealing layers to the process of reminiscence; but also of participating in this cryptic accumulation.”

On a recent journey to Havana, we captured these images of the artist and her studio space. Find out more about her artist-run space, Studio 7 y 60, here.You can also read an article about the studio on Cuban Art News.

To find out more about Academic Arrangements Abroad, one of the pioneers in offering legal travel to Cuba, visit our website. Since 1999, we have helped thousands of Americans discover the rich history and culture of this once-inaccessible nation.

Our president, Jim Friedlander, who has traveled to Cuba more than 50 times, has also created the Havana Heritage Foundation, which is dedicated to protecting and preserving the architecture and culture of Havana.  For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, click here.

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Eight Reasons to Visit Iran in 2016

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Discover the ancient wonders and modern complexities of Iran, home to 7,000 years of civilization, when you experience “Iconic Iran: A Journey Through Persia,” from October 20 to November 5, 2016. This trip of a lifetime features the landmarks of Tehran, Shiraz, and Isfahan (which Condé Nast Traveler describes as “a beautiful city of ancient mosques with elaborate mosaics”), as well as Persepolis and several less-visited destinations.

Here are just a few reasons to explore Iran with Academic Arrangements Abroad this fall:

1.) Nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Iran has an impressive list of 19 World Heritage Sites. On this program, visit nine of them, including the Golestan Palace Complex in Tehran and Isfahan’s spectacular Friday Mosque and Imam Square. At Pasargadae and Persepolis, explore the vast ruins of the palaces of the great kings Cyrus and Darius, and venture to the lesser-known sites at Bisotun, Choga Zanbil, and Shustar.

Met curator Christopher Lightfoot

Met curator Christopher Lightfoot

2.) Lecturer Christopher Lightfoot
Travel through millennia with this curator in the Department of Greek and Roman Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A scholar of ancient history, Dr. Lightfoot has an in-depth knowledge of the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanian periods in Iran.

3.) The museums of Tehran
Admire dazzling collections at the National Museum, the newly reopened Islamic Era Museum, and the spectacular Jewels Museum.

tour guide Bahman Zenhari

Tour guide Bahman Zenhari

4.) A superb guide
Our experienced guide, Bahman Zenhari, has been leading tours for Arrangements Abroad since 2010. He and his colleagues work hard to make sure travelers experience the country to its fullest, whether this means sharing their knowledge of Iran’s history or buying local delicacies for you to try.

Persian treats, photo by Sara Kosyk

Persian treats, photo by Sara Kosyk

5.) Amazing Persian cuisine
Iran’s cuisine features fluffy bread baked in clay ovens, fabulous ice cream, and rice dishes decorated with a rainbow of spices, fruits, and nuts. Our meals are often in local restaurants, in order to sample traditional dishes, which vary regionally.

Sunny Tehran

Tehran skyline

6.) Beautiful and diverse landscapes
Pass through scenic landscapes including dramatic snow-capped mountains, striking desert regions, and lush valleys. Admire the colorful gardens at city parks and palaces.

7.) Shopping in historic bazaars
Stroll through Shiraz’s colorful Vakil Bazaar, where almost 200 merchants sell spices, clothing, carpets, and more. In Isfahan, visit the vast Qeisarieh Bazaar, with time to browse the hundreds of shops displaying arts, antiques, and handicrafts.

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NOTE ABOUT IRANIAN VISAS:
Because applying for an Iranian visa is a lengthy process, we ask that all reservations for this October program be confirmed no later than June 15, 2016.

To find out more about this extraordinary journey or to reserve a place, please call Abigail Graszl at 212-514-8921, extension 38, or 800-221-1944, or email her at abigail@arrangementsabroad.com.
Academic Arrangements Abroad, together with leading cultural and educational institutions, is proud to offer a diverse portfolio of exceptional trips.
http://www.arrangementsabroad.com/

More Chances to Travel in 2016

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently added two trips to its 2016 Travel with the Met lineup: On Hidden Treasures of Northern Italy, art historian Frank Dabell takes travelers off the beaten path to lesser-visited, historically rich towns in Lombardy and Piedmont this September. In October, you can join distinguished scholar and author Olivier Bernier to discover the Houses of the English Aristocracy–an itinerary that generated so much interest we added a second departure.

Arrangements Abroad Lecturer Wins Award

 

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In December, Marijeta Bozovic, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University, was a recipient of Yale’s annual award for outstanding teachers in interdisciplinary fields. This summer she’ll put her talents into action on our popular Baltic cruise, where her talks on the literature of the region will complement lectures from a Metropolitan Museum of Art expert in arms and armor and a Harvard scholar of post-Soviet politics. Pictured above is Stockholm, where travelers will receive an exclusive tour of the Drottningholm Court Theater.

The Baltic’s Amber Coast: St. Petersburg to Copenhagen Aboard Sea Cloud II
July 1 to 12, 2016
With Met curator Pierre Terjanian,
Harvard professor Timothy Colton,
and Yale professor Marijeta Bozovic
Please click to view brochure

Happy Birthday, Sister Ships!

SeaClouds

The beloved tall ships Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud II turn a collective 100 years old in 2016, with the grande dame celebrating 85 years and her younger sister, 15. Throughout the year, we offer voyages aboard these lovely ladies, from the Mediterranean to the Baltic Seas and to the Celtic Isles.

Whether you join Sea Cloud in the Adriatic or sail around Sicily aboard Sea Cloud II this fall, you’re in for a thrill! On Saturday, October 22, saluting battery cannon fire will greet the ships when they both arrive in Syracuse, marking their collective centennial. The sisters then sail together to Malta, arriving the next morning. If you join either cruise, you can witness the historic occasion!

Adriatic Odyssey
October 14 to 23, 2016
With lecturer Patrick Bowe,
Met curator Stephan Wolohojian
and Yale Professor Ivo Banac
Please click to view brochure

Splendors of Sicily
October 14 to 23, 2016
With Met curator Wolfram Koeppe
Please click to view brochure

Emeralds in the Sky

Aurora borealis above Reykjavik. By Mike Theiss.

Aurora borealis above Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo by Mike Theiss at http://www.ExtremeNature.com

What are crystalline pieces of earthly carbon compared to the celestial dance of the aurora borealis? Join the Met’s first trip to Iceland, scheduled during an optimal time for witnessing the wondrously colorful Northern Lights. Lecturer Pari Stave, who has visited the country five times, will open doors to important artists’ studios and private collections.

Fire & Ice: Iceland Natura
September 15 to 23, 2016
With Pari Stave, Senior Administrator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Please click for more information

Celebrating Celle

Celle, Germany. Photo by yeowatzup

Celle, Germany. Photo by yeowatzup

Next summer, spend time in picturesque Celle on The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Gems of Northern Europe program. This German town’s pink-and-white Ducal Palace was the country castle of the Royal House of Hanover, the oldest European royal dynasty still in existence. Wander the Baroque staterooms and picture a medieval feast taking place in the beautifully restored banqueting hall.


Gems of Northern Europe
Hamburg, Hannover & The Hague
June 5 to 16, 2016
With Olivier Bernier, lecturer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Please click to view brochure

Happy Thingyan!

Bagan templesBurma is celebrating their New Year, a Buddhist festival called Thingyan. During the festival, which occurs annually during Burma’s hot season, participants drench each other with water. Here in New York, the weather is finally warming up, and the “Treasures of Burma” brochure for The Metropolitan Museum of Art has just landed!

The program (November 8-22, 2015), led by Met educator David Bowles, begins with four nights at the iconic Strand Hotel in Yangon. With a Buddhist focus, the trip features a stay at the Bagan Lodge (and optional hot air ballooning over Bagan!), a cruise on the Irrawaddy River, and just-for-The Metropolitan Museum of Art attractions, including a full-day excursion from Yangon to Bago (ancient Pegu). Another highlight is a memorable dinner under the stars against the backdrop of Bagan’s ancient temple ruins.

Call 800-221-1944 or email trips@arrangementsaboard.com to get your copy of the brochure for this privileged journey. Or click here to view a PDF.

Met Burma

8 Great Reasons to Sign up for Our “Artistic Legacies of the Mediterranean” Cruise this September

This fall, discover the art, architecture, and landscapes of the Western Mediterranean aboard Sea Cloud II. Here are eight great reasons to sign up for this exceptional cruise.

1.)    Barcelona’s Gaudí architecture

Park GuellBegin in lively Barcelona to view the splendidly restored masterpieces of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Born in Reus, Catalonia in 1852, Gaudí received his architectural degree in Barcelona in 1878. Stunning examples of Gaudí’s works in Barcelona include modernist building Casa Batlló, the massive Sagrada Familia basilica, and garden complex Park Güell.

2.)    Sailing on the glamorous Sea Cloud II

SCII side viewExperience the grace and romance of a bygone era of travel aboard Sea Cloud II , christened in 2001. This elegant sailing yacht travels under 30,000 square feet of billowing sails trimmed by hand. Praised by the world’s most discerning travelers and travel writers, Sea Cloud II receives consistent high rankings from Condé Nast Traveler.

3.)    Marseille’s recently opened Musée des Civilisations d’Europe et de la Méditerranée

MarseilleFacing the sea in the Old Port of Marseille, this superb museum opened in 2013, focusing “primarily on the cultures of the Mediterranean, from a comparative and multi-disciplinary perspective, in which Europe and other continents that border the Med will play a major role.” Visitors to the museum praise its amazing architecture, interesting exhibits, and spectacular views.

4.)    Distinguished lecturers

A group of stellar lecturers includes art historian Olivier Bernier, whose previous lectures at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Spain and France have drawn rave reviews. Also lecturing on board will be a noted architectural historian and landscape designer, Dublin-based Patrick Bowe.

5.)    A special before-hours visit to the Matisse Museum in Nice

View the collections at the Matisse Museum during a private tour before opening hours. Situated on the hill of Cimiez, the museum’s collections include the artist’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, engravings, paper cut-outs, and illustrated books, all donated by Matisse and his heirs.

6.)    Performances by local artists

While Sea Cloud II is in Marseille, guests will gather on Lido Deck for dinner and a specially arranged concert of guitar music. During an al fresco dinner in the Isles d’Hyères, travelers will enjoy a performance by colorful folkloric group L’Arbanenco de Giens.

7.)    A private visit to Villa Noailles

Villa Noailles exterior by Claude ValetteLocated in the hills above Hyères, this château cubiste was designed by Robert Mallet-Stevens in 1924 for art patron Vicomte Charles de Noailles. Now a museum with an unusual garden, the villa has many connections to French artistic and literary circles.

8.)    Porquerolles in the Isles d’Hyères

Porquerolles aerial viewSea Cloud II calls at tiny Porquerolles, one of the world’s most protected environments. Known for its beautiful beaches, Porquerolles also has a charming village and dazzling harbor.

To conserve the island’s lovely landscape, strict rules prohibit smoking outside the village and driving automobiles.

About Us:

Academic Arrangements Abroad, a leader in cultural travel since 1977, designs and operates travel programs for sponsoring institutions that include the nation’s top museums and alumni associations.

For more information on the Barcelona to Nice cruise (September 12 to 20, 2014), please contact Sara Kosyk, (212) 514-8921 or sara@arrangementsabroad.com

Colorful fishing boats

Meet Tour Director Kate Klorer

Kate Klorer with tour busKate Klorer started working for Academic Arrangements Abroad as a Tour Coordinator in December 2005. Soon afterwards, she became one of the firm’s Tour Directors. When Kate is home in New York between trips, she also works as a guide at The Frick Collection.

She will be leading more trips in 2014, so look for her on several programs to Europe, Cuba, and the Middle East.

What is your hometown? Redlands, California. It is especially beautiful in March and April, when the orange groves bloom and the scent of orange blossoms fills the air.

Kate in SienaCity you most recommend to friends? Most of my recommendations have to do with places I’ve had memorable experiences with art or food! I recently visited Siena, Italy, for the first time, mainly to see in person the great altarpiece by Duccio, and I was completely enchanted by this medieval town. Rome and Florence are absolute must-sees, but Siena offers a different, quieter experience… perfect for wandering with gelato on a sunny afternoon, admiring the beautiful Tuscan hills!

There are so many other great cities. Stockholm, Vilnius, Vienna, Havana, and of course the three I have called home: New York, London, and Los Angeles.

Sight you would drop everything to see I would love to see the Northern Lights at some point in my life!

Last tour you were on for Arrangements Abroad “The Performing & Visual Arts of Cuba: An Insider’s View”

Kate in UAESpecial skills  Not quite a special skill, but when I’m in a new place, I enjoy stepping into the local grocery store or farmer’s market. It is one of the best ways to get a feel for local life.  I also really enjoy meeting people from different backgrounds and life experiences. And I know a lot about art history, particularly 14th– to 19th-century European painting.

Your most visited websites  Google , Facebook, The New York Times, Kayak and United.com

photo-4Something about you that surprises people  As a graduate student in London, I worked at the Travel Bookshop in Notting Hill on weekends!  (Yes, the bookshop from the Hugh Grant movie…)

Three things you can’t travel without  A light suitcase, a pashmina to keep warm on the plane, and a camera.

Number of trips traveled on  I have visited 48 countries.  Some of my best travel experiences have been on Arrangements Abroad programs. Inquisitive and enthusiastic groups, opportunities to learn from experts, getting to know our local guides in different countries…all make for such enriching experiences when learning about a new place!