Today I received permission from an artist I admire, April Gornik, to link her essay on visual literacy to my blogs.I linked it here as well as on my blog so that I can direct my Visual Art in Ed students to read it as part of their homework. April addresses some important points about the ubiquitous visual images that bombard our senses in contemporary society. We become desensitized to these images and presume to know about things that we have merely experienced through a photographic reproduction. Here is the value of traveling to see important historical places, objects, and buildings. Here is the value of traveling to see natural wonders. You can’t know what the Grand Canyon is until you have stood at the rim even though you might have seen hundreds of beautiful photos of it. It is one thing to say you understand the construction and floor plans of a Gothic cathedral but until you have entered that space and experienced the deep sense of other worldliness, you cannot know the transforming power of architecture. And to stand in front of some of the great works of art as April describes is nothing like looking at a poor reproduction in a book. Check out the whole essay here. I think we will be using some of ideas as we talk about Venice as a symbol and how traveling abroad is a meaning-making, very enriching experience for all who go with a mind to become truly engrossed in another place.