Creative Exploration: 71 Art Students Embark on 5 Field Trips in 1 Day

On April 25, 71 Millbrook art students traveled to five different art spaces to engage in, and reflect upon, their artistic disciplines in hands-on ways. Students participated in select trips that supported their respective area of artistic study and traveled to locations including the Museum of Modern Art, the International Center for PhotographyHudson Beach Glass, the Magnet Theater, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and more. 

Photography students went on a walking trip throughout New York City, stopping at four locations to see art: The International Center of Photography, NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, The LGBTQ Center, and Aperture Gallery. The group covered three miles of ground, walking from the Bowery to Hudson Yards.
"Our theme for the trip was political art. Before we went on the trip we talked about what makes art political and looked at art that ranged from propaganda posters to personal stories of political significance," said Arts Department Chair and Photography Instructor Sarah MacWright. Their first stop, the International Center of Photography (ICP), illustrated that breadth. There, students saw a portrait show, Your Mirror, which included daguerreotypes from the very birth of photography to contemporary images from artists who are working today. Students spotted work by Gabriel Garcia Román and Sebastiao Salgado, both of whom have shown work on campus.

"Also at the ICP, we spent time with an exhibition called For Freedoms, a collection of political art inspired by FDR’s four freedoms, which Norman Rockwell made iconic in his illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post. Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, the artists behind For Freedoms, organized the show to push back against apathy and to show the power of art and artists in political debate," said Ms. MacWright.
Students also visited the Grey Art Gallery and the LGBTQ Community Center, where they looked at work by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Lyle Ashton Harris, and others, that connects to the gay rights movement spurred by the police raid of the Stonewall Inn in 1969.

Photography students concluded their walking tour at the Aperture Gallery, which had a group show of Lens Culture winners, which connected to their personal projects. "This trip was an opportunity for students to look at the topic of political and personal art closely and critically," said Ms. MacWright. A lot of ground was covered, literally!
Meanwhile, students studying art history and honors drawing and painting visited the Musem of Modern Art and improvisation students enjoyed a show at the Magnet Theater.

Students studying instrumental music also traveled to New York City to hear Kelly Hall-Tompkins perform a concert entitled Fiddler Expanding Traditions. "Kelly was the fiddler for the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof," said Director of Instrumental music Brian Coughlin. The concert included music arranged for Kelly and her band from the musical along with projections of archival materials from the original production. "This was a change for students to both experience live music performed at the highest level and to witness how a musician develops a program of material from conception to presentation," says Coughlin. Upon returning to campus, students were tasked with determining how to best apply some of these performance concepts to their own Arts Night performances. 

While many of our art students were in New York City, ceramics students traveled to Beacon, NY to visit Hudson Beach Glass, where students received one-on-one lessons in glass-blowing. Each student chose a pattern and color to create their very own ornament. After learning about glass-blowing, students crossed the Hudson River to visit The Newburgh Pottery ceramics studio. 

It was a busy day filled with experiential learning opportunities that provided inspiration for students upon their return to campus! 

Click here to learn more about the arts at Millbrook.