Asbury Art Major Selected to be Copyist in Louvre Museum
October 2, 2019
PARIS, France — Asbury University provides unique opportunities for students to get once-in-a-lifetime international work experience through Paris Semester. Students not only take a full load of classes, but also have the opportunity to participate in field-specific internships and independent studies in France’s capital city.
This year, Art and Design major Vivi Feiser ’21 landed a particularly special opportunity through her Paris Semester independent study, Old Master’s Technique. In Paris, Feiser has received special permission from the Louvre Museum to work as a copyist. Meeting for weekly instruction with a Paris-based instructor in Old Master’s Technique, she will then take her lessons and art materials into the halls of one of the world’s most famous museums.
“I select a piece I would like to copy, get measurements into the copying office and, once I get the all-clear, I set up in the gallery and copy the famous painting,” Feiser said excitedly about the process of copying in the world-renowned museum. “It’s a little nerve-wracking, because people come up and stare and make comments in every language to one another. But once I get a good rhythm down, it’s just like painting in the studio; the people all disappear.”
Feiser is studying under Paris Semester faculty member Professor Betsy Damez, who has worked as an artist in Paris for several decades. For Feiser, studying abroad has been a dream come true, as she’d been planning to go on Paris Semester since her freshman year at Asbury.
Upon arrival in the city of lights, Feiser met with the director of Copying at the Louvre. She’ll practice her technical skills in Damez’s studio for the first two months of the semester and spend the month of November working in the Louvre.
In addition to this unforgettable academic experience, Feiser has also seen much personal growth through her other courses and activities in Paris. What has she learned during her time studying abroad with Asbury?
“Oh, definitely patience,” Feiser said. “And trusting in God and being flexible. When we first got to Paris, there were some unforeseen paperwork problems in applying to work within the Louvre, and I ended up having to switch up my whole schedule a few times, and the copying got delayed a bit. But throughout it all, I just trusted God, and didn’t worry about it. Whether or not I paint in the Louvre, I am an artist, I am in Paris and that would have been just fine with me! This is truly a blessing, and I try to not forget that!”
Feiser is especially thankful to get to spend the semester with fellow Asburians and is proud of the way the group has brought Asbury community to France.
“Everyone who is in this group is up to their eyeballs with school and internships and responsibility, and everyone is handling it beautifully,” Feiser said. “We’re in a country where we don’t even fully speak the language! But that hasn’t stopped anyone from riding the metro all over, trying to order food in French or immersing themselves in the culture. The people who are on this trip are flexible and mature. We’ve grown into a big family, and I really cherish all of them.”
Most of all, being in France with Asbury’s Paris Semester program has taught Feiser a valuable lesson about the sweetness of life.
“The people know how to sit back and savor life,” Feiser said. “It’s not as frantic and overwhelming as New York or Chicago, and I feel like I could live here forever. There are so many cafes and museums, and it’s just a really beautiful place. I am so thankful to have this opportunity.”