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Academia Hernando presents “Russian Art and Architecture”

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A vibrant and vastly educational survey of international art will be up for offer at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church as the spring series of Academia Hernando continues in a grand style. The Academia Hernando community learning series presents “Russian Art and Architecture” at 10 am on Friday, January 20.

Academia Hernando is a not-for-profit lifelong learning organization providing quality instruction and learning experiences for adult students throughout Hernando County and beyond. Their goal is to inform, educate and inspire adult learners through a series of weekly lectures on a wide variety of topics.

A description of the lecture explained, “Throughout their history, the Russian peoples have experienced pendulum swings of political and sociological shifts. This lecture will focus on artistic endeavors from the age of ‘Old Russia’ through the communist era. In the Middle Ages, the art of ‘Old Russia’ focuses on religion and spirituality. During the era of the great tsars, Peter the Great and then Catherine the Great, the interest shifted to displays of political power and grandeur. Through the Romantic and revolutionary eras, nature, the human condition and experiments in modernism are the dominant themes. Art produced through Stalin and the communist era emphasizes political might and social conformity.”

The event presenter will be Dedee Aleccia, who has taught both literature and art history for more than 30 years, held professorships at Broome Community College and Montgomery College and has served as adjunct professor at Binghamton University, the University of Baltimore, and Eckerd College. During her tenure she chaired a middle states accreditation committee, directed a Three-Campus Honors Program, served as a Smithsonian Institution research fellow, received both a Faculty Outstanding Service award and a national NISOD Excellence Award in teaching and retired with professor emerita status. Aleccia shared, “My background is as a retired professor in literature and art history; and I loved Russian literature and art in particular. Through this presentation, I want to show these works to those who may never get the chance to visit Russia.”

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Since she retired in 2007, Dedee has been lecturing for Eckerd College’s various lifelong learning programs: the Road Scholar Program, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and the Program for Experienced Learners (PEL) – a fast-paced degree program. She feels that Russian art, both visual and literary, is a subject well worthy of study.

“There are great art museums in Russia, so many places to research,” Aleccia said. “The artwork found there conveys a powerful sense of culture, depicting the beautiful geography, terrain, weather, and a sense of depth in conveying the lives and personalities of the people.”
Aleccia has enjoyed being a key member of American Stage’s learn series which presents informative insights and analyses of upcoming plays. At the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art she has also given lectures that focused on both works in the permanent collection and temporary exhibits. She also enjoys doing presentations for centers such as Royal Palms of Largo and Academia Hernando.

Dedee Aleccia counts 19th century art among her favorite examples of prime Russian artwork. These pieces include Ilya Repin’s Barge Haulers on the Volga, Ivan Shiskin’s Morning in a Pine Forest, Nataliya Goncharova’s Haycutting, Kazimir Malevich’s Airplane Flying and Isaak Brodsky’s Stalin. “What I hope to convey is the power and beauty of Russian art,” she said.

Sharon Printz, board member of Academia Hernando, is looking forward to welcoming this repeat presenter back to the Academia Hernando stage.
“Dedee always piques our interest,” said Printz. “Through her travels all around the world, she has developed a wide variety of interests. All of her ideas, reflections, and studies, she brings to us.”

Academia Hernando presentations begin promptly at 10 a.m. and last two hours with a 15-minute intermission. The spring series continues via presentations by Laura Gamba, “Tai Chi and Diabetes Empowerment” on Friday, Jan. 27, at 10 am; “The Great 60s Sitcoms” presented by Jason Fortner at 10 am on Feb. 3; “They Created What?” presented by Sheryl Long at 10 am on Feb. 10; “The Crisis in Ukraine” presented by Damien Austin at 10 am on Feb. 17; “Spies, Lies and Betrayal” presented at 10 am on Feb. 24, by Col. Mike Pheneger; lastly, “Simon & Garfunkel,” by Bruce Gobioff will be presented at 10 am on March 3.

To register for the entire lecture series in addition to an excursion that will take guests to Chinsegut Hill, print the registration form found at https://www.academiahernando.org/fall-series and mail with your check for $80 payable to Academia Hernando, Inc. and mail to:
Bev Nuzzi
15027 Middle Fairway Drive
Brooksville, FL 34609

Checks also can be brought to an Academia Hernando presentation; in addition, walkin admissions are available at $15 per presentation. Visit https://www.academiahernando.org/ for more information or call (352) 345-8345.

“As a life-long learner,” states information released through Academia Hernando, “Dedee Aleccia intends to keep researching and lecturing because she believes it keeps her young.”

Ivan Shiskin’s Morning in a Pine Forest on the Volga (Public Domain).
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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