School of Art students visit NYC

Submitted photo.

Submitted photo.

Kasey Fahey

Senior Matthew Mohrbach marveled at the sight of Elizabeth Murray’s bumpy, colorful and multi-paneled painting “Bop” during the School of Art’s fourth annual trip to New York City’s art museums last weekend.

“I really liked the painting/sculpture,” said Mohrbach, art education and art history major. “It was really exciting to see because I taught a lesson plan about it and thought it was really flat, but it’s actually painted pieces put together.”

Every spring, art education and art history majors share a coach bus that departs early Thursday morning. They spend a long weekend visiting the city’s world-renowned museum collections. The places they visit change every year depending on the exhibitions.

This year’s locations included Jazz on the Park, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art, American Folk Art Museum, Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There were also optional visitations places such as Ground Zero and Battery Park.

“It’s wonderful to see their excitement,” said Linda Hoeptner-Poling, art education professor and trip adviser. “Former students have teared up at paintings.”

The 32 art education majors gained first-hand experience with the diversity of the exhibitions, genres and forms, while earning two upper-division credits for Field Experience: Travel Study In Art Education.

“It’s about museum education, and art educators can use museums in the classrooms and the websites for pre-planning,” said Juliann Dorff, art education lecturer and trip adviser. “We really want them to experience the art in person. It’s a different level of interaction with a difference aspect of their intellectual growth.”

Students researched select works before the trip and education components of the museums’ websites after to compare similarities between the two. They also had to maintain a daily reflective journal during the trip and write a lesson plan when they returned.

Hoeptner-Poling said students had a choice for some of the activities they completed, such as sketching in the museum. The museum visits ended around 7 p.m., leaving some time for students to explore the city.

“I loved going to all the different museums,” said Gina Lippucci, senior art education major. “We got to do so many things in such a short amount of time. It’s a great opportunity to see the city and go to museums you may never see.”

Lippucci said the MoMA was her favorite museum because Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” is there.

“You could see all of the brush strokes and everything,” Lippucci said.

Dorff added the trip reinforces and builds a community within the art education department. Mohrbach said that is one of the reasons he chose to go on the trip.

“Getting to view all these great museums that we read about with our classmates opposed to going by yourself was the best part,” Mohrbach said. “We’re in class with these people every day, so it led to a lot of intellectual discussion.” Mohrbach said he would make the trip longer and visit a few more museums if he could.

The trip took about a month to plan and cost $350, which paid for everything except meals and free-time adventures. There is no profit for the School of Art; the money paid covers only the cost of going.

The trip is short, and the days are filled with museum visits and new experiences like learning to ride the subway.

“We always have a story to take back,” Dorff said.

Contact Kasey Fahey at [email protected].