On May 24, 2011, four Eastern art students -- Rebecca Marsie, Leanne Church, Brian O'Meara and Alex Moshier -- joined students from Central Connecticut State University and the University of Hartford for a 28-day trip to the British Isles to draw and study biology. The students were accompanied by part-time art professor Muriel Miller of Eastern and Biology Professor Sylvia Halkin of Central.
The tour group started their journey on the west coast of Ireland in County Clare. For more than a week, students painted, drew and did field studies in biology. They also spent a day on the Aran Islands, visited Galway and the Cliffs of Mohr. They hiked one day to the Doolin Cave where they saw a wonderful stalactite.
These field trips provided students with ideas and dramatic views to capture in their art. Hikes in the Burren also provided much content for biology studies and artistic creativity. "Being on the seacoast was also a great place for studies of art and biology," said Miller, "and we especially enjoyed the local folk music of Ireland."
The students then traveled to the Lake District National Park in Cumbria for the next 12 days. Sheep, cows and a variety of wildflowers offered bountiful art subjects and the hiking kept the group invigorated. "We visited John Ruskin's home and studio, and Wordsworth's home and the cemetery where he is buried," said Miller. "We also studied badgers, which have dens along the trails."