Three art education majors, sophomore Kate Strickland, freshman Chloe Shinn and alumna Lexy Martin, went on a trip to New York City (NYC) with the chair of the art education department, Dr. Howard J. Frye, to research public art programs in the city.
From Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, the students toured several well-known art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art.
The students attended a workshop on Picasso’s “La Demoiselle d’Avignon,” creating a sculpture of artwork similar to Picasso’s. They explored some of the city’s popular attractions, such as Ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty.
Shinn said she really enjoyed getting to know Frye, her professor for Art Education 305. Art has been a part of Strickland’s life for years.
“I think [art] is a really good escape,” Strickland said. “The arts are really important to me, and I want to share that when I teach.”
She has known for over four years that she wants to use art to help educate students in a classroom setting, she said.
The trip impacted Strickland, and she said it has helped change the course of her academic career and future professional career.
“It gave me insight into how the museums in New York work, and I was able to see some great artwork in person that I will one day be teaching my students about,” Strickland said. “I saw Starry Night by Van Gogh, and it was pretty cool!”
To Strickland, the most important part of the experience was what she will be able to use from it to assist her in the classroom with future generations.
“I’ve always liked art and the way you can speak through art with every emotion,” Shinn said. “My decision to actually pursue art as a career was because of my high school art teacher.”
Shinn said that her favorite museum that they toured on this trip was the Museum of Modern Art.
“The experience of this trip taught me a lot more about different art works and artists,” Shinn said. “I have a wider range of knowledge about contemporary artists which will help me in the classroom in my career.”
She added that she also benefited from the trip by getting to explore the city itself. Since she had never been to NYC before, she said she learned a lot about navigating in large cities during free time.
Strickland said the purpose of the trip was to research community outreach programs that New York City art museums have to offer to the public. The students conducted the research in each of the museums that they visited. She said that she, along with the other students who went on the trip, learned a lot about the way the NYC art programs work and how they assist the people of the city.
Strickland compared the outreach for public art in NYC with that of Florence. She said that because Florence is so different from the city, she learned that how the city does outreach would have to be adjusted to further the outreach in Florence. Strickland also said that Florence has already started some outreach programs, pointing out the art workshops and galleries located downtown.
Shinn described a bit about the processes they used during the trip, saying that they studied at multiple museums, conducted research online, created ten sketches and wrote about each work that they viewed.
The research that Strickland and Shinn conducted during this Art Education trip to NYC will be presented during Research and Exhibition Day at FMU in March 2016.