The Andes of Ecuador

Orientation is meant to be a time of bonding with the new students, and there are many planned activities to help them get to know each other, particularly within their advising groups. On Sunday, all new students were asked to participate in a visit to Reynolda House, Museum of American Art, which houses Frederic Church’s painting “The Andes of Ecuador.”

Over the summer, there were some required readings and video viewings – but now was the time to at last see the painting live and for advising groups to talk about it over a paella dinner on the beautiful Reynolda House lawn.

In talking about it with my own advising group, it definitely made a difference to see the painting live (as opposed to images on a web site or on YouTube). I will confess that I am not much of a lover of landscapes, so this was not necessarily my favorite genre. However, when our group arrived at the museum and saw it hanging in the auditorium for viewing, it was really impressive. You can see pictures of the Reynolda House trip here.

Admission to Reynolda House is free for students with their WFU ID, and the gardens and surrounding green spaces are one of the favorite places for studying and recreation. I urged my students to return – maybe on a day that was cooler than when we all went. Parents, it is a great destination for Family Weekend. Reynolda House has a premier collection of American art, as well as being a restored historic home and a lovely gift shop. Well worth your time.

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