So because of the class, I’ve learned a lot about all of that stuff: how you can give meaning to things that otherwise you just look upon as your sort of everyday thing, and I think that’s probably where the motivation is, where the inspiration is, and there’s always more.
Interview conducted by Cori Rosin (Winter 2020 student):
First question if you could just tell me your name, and what classes you teach, and just a little description of each class.
My name is Craig Markarian. I teach two classes. The first class that I taught when I started here at ALBA was, is, History of Art and Architecture. It starts from the Roman period 2000 years ago all the way to present history, current history. The other class I teach is called Hands on Barcelona. It’s also an art history class, but it’s taken from a totally different approach. It’s more of modern art history, it’s 20th 21st-century art history, art and architecture history. It’s a totally different approach. We learn about art history and architecture through making, through doing things, through sketching, drawing, and painting. They’re not art students, not art majors, but they use art in order to understand art history.
What is your favorite part about each class?
Well, I love interacting with the students. One of the things I love most is just seeing… because most of the stuff here is all really fresh for everyone. They’ve never seen it, they’ve never learned about it, so I… when we’re finishing a class when we’re done with a certain class, and I look at the students faces and they’re wowed, or we walk into one of the buildings that we see or we visit, we finish a lecture and the students are wowed and they’re amazed… that’s probably I would say the part that’s most interesting to me.
What motivates you to be an art and architecture professor and to teach these classes?
Wow, that’s an intense question, what motivates me? I think there’s just a passion that I have for all of the… the history is so intense and everything is so interrelated where we are physically in Spain and Barcelona here in the city all of the rich history, and then the fact that there’s all the art and architecture here, and that there’s this interlacing of all history, art, and architecture all together… pulling it out and actually starting to make sense of it as the classes progress, it’s kind of feeding our own… we’re putting ourselves back in time and really making this stuff come alive, because otherwise you walk through the city and you see wow this is amazing, this is amazing, this is beautiful, but the class is what really puts it all together and makes sense of it all. It gives it structure, it gives meaning. So because of the class, I’ve learned a lot about all of that stuff: how you can give meaning to things that otherwise you just look upon as your sort of everyday thing, and I think that’s probably where the motivation is, where the inspiration is, and there’s always more. You’ve got things down pat, you’ve learned, you’ve got all of the information, but there’s always more that you can keep doing and keep pushing and getting more information to help inform the classes.
What do you hope that your students will take away from these classes?
Well obviously being here in Barcelona, and the experience of being here 10 weeks or 6 weeks in the case of summer classes, it’s such an intense experience for them. Being just a small part of that, because they’re here, and their schoolwork, part of their university experience, obviously it’s part of their regular education, but the fact that there’s this connection to the city specifically here… I think there’s a sigh that we always end up having at the end of the course where it becomes personal and emotional in a way, because of that tie of place and time and history, there’s that personal connection with them. So that’s the sort of thing I hope that they can always take away from the experience, that they’ve been able to really connect with the place and time and always take away that memory with them after they’re done.