Six young members of the National Art Honor Society at CCA traveled to Paris, where they saw God move in an unexpected way. Senior Gabriela Lehmann shares about her cross-cultural experience studying art in Paris, France.
This year, I founded a chapter of the National Art Honor Society
to gather student artists who wanted to become more involved in the visual arts at CCA. In our first year as a club, six other students and I explored historical and cultural sites in the art capitol of the world, Paris, France. After extensive fundraising and planning, we departed on March 10th for a 7-day excursion, accompanied by art teacher, Ms. Klipfel, and French teacher, Ms. Mays.
I saw that every little action has the potential to open up a door to show someone the love of Jesus Christ.
On the same day we landed, we began our trip right away by climbing up to Montmartre and viewing all the local artists out in the open selling their work by the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. The next day we traveled to the Hôtel des Invalides, the historical Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Sainte-Chapelle, adorned in its wonderful stained glass walls. Later, we traveled to the Luxembourg gardens to try a French game called Petanque. Then, we explored Les Grands Boulevards, walked across the Palais Garnier, ate at various cafes, and toured the Fragonard Museum. We also got to view the Catacombs of Paris (which I wouldn’t recommend if you are afraid of skeletons, claustrophobic, or both), the Rodin Museum, and the world renowned Louvre Palace. On our last day, we took a bike ride across the vast Château of Versailles. We also saw works by Van Gogh in the Musee D’Orsay, and got a view of the entire cityscape of Paris from the top of the Eiffel tower.
We traveled everywhere entirely by metro train or walking, so we had lots of interactions with locals and had long conversations with our tour guide regarding life in the city. As our group became well acquainted with our guide, we wondered if we would be able to bring up Christ in conversation.
God provided a path to deeper conversation and opened a way to share Christ with our tour guide in an unexpected way.
During our walk in Versailles, our art teacher began a discussion about the grand scale of the architecture and its historical relevance during the reign of Louis XIV. She and our tour guide discussed that despite France becoming one of the most revered and powerful countries of the era, it was a gilded age for the people, as it masked the true hardships suffered during this time. Through a seemingly unconnected conversation about history, our tour guide explained that similarly she had many recent trials come into her life, and how she struggled to deal with what had happened in her personal life and instead put up a front to her friends and family. We shared with her God’s healing and offered some solutions to help her through the hardships. God provided a path to deeper conversation and opened a way to share Christ with our tour guide in an unexpected way.
Overall, during our time in Paris, I not only learned about the architectural, artistic, and cultural history of a wonderful city, but also made unforgettable memories. Being able to take part in this trip and start the National Art Honor Society has been a wonderful experience both educationally and spiritually. I saw that every little action has the potential to open up a door to show someone the love of Jesus Christ.
Gabriela Lehmann is a senior at Calvary Christian Academy and has been attending for 8 years. She has a passion for the visual arts and will be studying architecture at Northeastern University.