Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Villa Party

One of the most amazing things about studying abroad, specifically in the CAF Genova program, is that it is understood that all experiences—not just those in the classroom—inform our education.  While architecture students are among the hardest working majors, it is important for us to get outside the studio enough to absorb Italian culture.  The Villa Party, which took place February 27, is one such event specifically designed to celebrate this immersion.  Guests of honor include Clemson faculty and alumni, Italian friends of the program, and friends of the students who are able to travel to Genova for one night of food, drinks, music, and dancing.

While most think of the Villa Party as the social event of the season, it is also about showcasing our work.  We printed the best of our field sketches on vellum and hung them on the wall between the garden and studio.  The result was a lovely translucent gallery of our travels.  The images represent both the terrific talent of my classmates and a great example of how each of us sees the world differently.  

With our gallery complete, all the students worked to transform the studio into an elegant ballroom (well, if you use your imagination a bit).  Desks were cleared—which, mid-project was an enormous undertaking, given that architecture students are not exactly the neatest people—to make room for linen covered tables of food and flowers.  A dance area, bar, and stage for the band was set up.  Kyle put together a slide show of everyone’s pictures to play throughout the evening.

I think the ladies of CAF had just as much fun getting ready for the party as attending it.  In a flurry of makeup, high heels, bobby pins, and hairspray, we emerged glammed out for the evening—and ready to dance.  The boys cleaned up nicely as well, with most wearing jackets and ties.  Derrick donned his new Versace suit, while Jonathan, in his Fedora, brought to mind the Old Hollywood days of Sinatra.

The evening did not disappoint.  Over a hundred guests—including the US Ambassador(!)—graced us with their presence.  Angela’s spread of food was mouth-watering, David Carrol’s band, Louche, rocked out the house, and Harrison’s Italian DJ debut performance kept the party going until the wee hours.  It was an evening we will not soon forget.

Sketch gallery

(photo by Jonathan Edens)

AMAZING spread of food that Angela (pictured on left) made for the event

(photo by Jonathan Edens)

Villa ladies, all glammed up

(photo by Jonathan Edens)

Derrick and Jonathan with our wonderful Italian friends

(photo by Lindsey Edens)

Rocking out to the live band

(photo by Jonathan Edens)

Everyone enjoying Louche

(photo by Jonathan Edens)

Derrick with the three Villa angels, Andreina, Angela, and Silvia

(photo by Lindsey Edens)

DJ Harrison keeping the party going

(photo by Lura Blumenfeld)

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