On Wednesday, April 4, 28 art students left the country on a 10-day trip to Europe, where they toured Copenhagen, Hamburg, Amsterdam and Brussels.
“The highlights of the trip were the art museums: the Danish national art museum, the Van Gogh museum, and the Rene Magritte museum,” art teacher Christine An said. “The Danish national art museum displays Nordic art works that you have a hard time seeing in other museums.”
The Van Gogh museum left an impression on sophomore Angella Abbey as well.
“I really liked visiting the Van Gogh museum,” Angella said. “Just seeing how he lived and all the changes in his art style was amazing. The way they made the rooms you could just tell how he was feeling through the strokes in the paint. It was interesting just seeing these amazing changes from painting to painting and all the different things he tried.”
Throughout the school year, the Art Club members organized fundraisers and raised money for scholarships to make this trip available to all interested students currently enrolled in an art class.
Unlike last year, when students travelled solely to France, this year students were exposed to four different countries: Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
However, throughout the years, the annual art trip has toured cities in Europe more than any other continent.
“There is an awful amount of art in Europe and if you’re intending to pursue a career within the arts, as an artist or someone who is involved in the business, it’s absolutely imperative that you get over there eventually, if not live there,” senior Lane Garber said.
Since the Renaissance, Europe has been the center of art, as its culturally diverse cities have hosted different forms and styles of art.
“If you said I want to study the impressionist … you would go to Paris. If you wanted to go to study the Dutch masters, you would go to Amsterdam,” Lane said. “Ultimately, it’s all over there, it’s not here.”
Style of art was one of the primary factors that the art teachers took into account when choosing the cities for this year’s art trip. Other factors were the proximity between the cities, their cultural history, and the museums that the cities housed.
According to art teacher Alice Lee, the art trip is a priceless journey of the art students’ careers.
“To see these masterpieces in a gallery setting, in a different setting, is invaluable to [the art students] having more respect for the work and understanding it more,” Lee said. “I also think understanding where the work comes from is very important.”
Beyond witnessing the art and getting a first hand experience, the Art Department teachers see the trip as a way for the art students to get a sense of independence and autonomy through global travel.
“A lot of these students haven’t been out of the country before so it’s just the opportunity to do international travel which is certainly new and exciting,” photography teacher Jessica Hayes said.
From a student perspective, experiencing the expanse of art in Europe allowed art students to broaden their view of art as a whole.
“Anything can become artistic; you just have to open your horizons more. You get to see something so new on the other side of the world,” Angella said. “Anytime you see something like that you’re going to have your mind opened up.”