Proctor Students Study on European Classroom

students experienced life in Aix-au-Provence

By Scott Allenby
Andover’s Tori Smith ’20 paints on Proctor’s European Art Classroom. Tori is one of four Andover students studying on the abroad program this winter

Proctor Academy’s European Art Classroom program affords eight students the opportunity to live, study, and create art in Aix-en-Provence for nine weeks each winter and spring. Dozens of Andover students have taken part in this program over the past decade, including four Andover natives this winter: Blaine Hinds ‘20, Vienna Marcus ‘20, Tori Braley ‘20, and Ryelle Jenifer ‘20. Tori recently shared the following blog post on Proctor’s website:

Everyone gathers around the table. “Cooks, what’s for dinner,” Dave says. After the cooks elaborate on the beautifully displayed meal that they crafted, everyone grabs their plates and lines up to get their food. Cooks of course, eat last. Everyone has their very own napkin that they picked out at the local market that is placed at every seat. Each napkin has different colors, patterns, and designs that are custom to each person in our group, and in one way or another, displays each person’s sense of style. We all sit down at the seat where our napkins are placed. Everyone reaches for their own assigned cup. Each cup, much like the napkins, have their own designs, patterns, and colors on them. Blue polka dots is one, pink stripes wrapping around the whole cup is another. Some with fish on them, others with pink and blue sprinkles all over.

We raise our cups to the air. As someone proposes a toast, I reflect on my past two weeks here in France. I reflect on the long car rides filled with Jack Johnson; music and laughter filling the air. I reflect on the excursion days with Dave, where we venture off to a location and paint for a few hours.  I reflect on the days spent in town walking to the cafe for class. I reflect on Jazzercise with Dave, and the gorgeous view that I have been blessed to wake up to every morning. I reflect on Saturday night in town, going out to dinner and getting gelato after, and just sitting down and talking and laughing.

Of course, I have to reflect and give recognition to Paul. Paul has been our best friend here in France. He’s everywhere we go, he provides us with delicious sandwiches and pastries. Paul treats everyone very well and he’s not that expensive! There’s so much to be grateful for and so much to appreciate. With that being said, “ I’d like to propose a toast, here’s to an amazing group of people and an amazing past two weeks, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the term holds, cheers.” Everyone clinks glasses and says, “Cheers”. I love this part of the day, where everyone comes together to enjoy a nice, home cooked meal together and share stories and laughter. The time where we can all sit down and enjoy each other’s company and reflect on our day. “Bon Appétit, Eet Smakelijk” (Dutch for Bon Appétit).

Be sure to follow all European Art Classroom’s adventures on Proctor’s blog post home: