Peddie’s Art Classes Visit the Big Apple

By Jessica Cha ’17
Section Editor

Peddie art students boarded New York-bound busses with sketchpads in hand for the winter term art trip on Jan. 24. All visual art classes visited sites relevant to the material learned in class.

“The New York City Museum Field Trip is an essential part of all of our art courses,” printmaking teacher Rachel Aisenson said. “Viewing and discussing famous artwork from a screen or a worksheet pales in comparison to the experience of seeing and experiencing historical artwork in person.”

The AP Art History class made the most of their time in the city by visiting three different locations. They first stopped by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, then the Frick Museum, and finally the Cloisters.

“We have a terrific textbook with hundreds of photographs [and] cutting-edge technology that projects large, high-resolution images of the artworks we study; however, nothing replaces…experiencing and studying the original,” AP Art History teacher Cathy Watkins said. “You can see the exact colors and observe the brushwork, which allows a much better sense of the artist’s process and intentions.”

Watkins encouraged her students to get as close as possible to the artwork. However, some students got a little too close for comfort.

Students in art classes visited various spots in New York City, including a group of AP History of Art students who visited the Cloisters, which is pictured above. Photographer: Caroline Casey '15
Students in art classes visited various spots in New York City, including a group of AP History of Art students who visited the Cloisters, which is pictured above. Photographer: Caroline Casey ’15

“Zui Dighe ’15 triggered the alarm twice at the Cloisters while studying the Merode Altarpiece,” Watkins said. “I was really proud of her.”

Needless to say, Dighe found her jam-packed day worthwhile as she related classroom studies to real-life pieces.

“It was cool to wander through the Met, Frick, and Cloister museums and point out a Caravaggio, Velazquez or Fragonard as if we already had a personal relationship with the pieces,” Dighe said.

While the AP Art History was getting personal with the art, the Visual Arts Foundations class was busy exploring as much of the Met as possible to complete their assigned packet.

“The goal of the arts assignments is to guide students toward a more thoughtful and sustained engagement with the artwork in the museums,” Watkins said. “We try to enhance the experience for students by pointing out important artwork and asking questions that connect to the work we’ve been doing in the studio. We balance that with free time for them to roam and make their own discoveries.”

Freshman Katie Thomsson found searching the Met to be a challenging, but rewarding experience.

“Completing the packet turned the trip into a scavenger hunt. It was a little hard to locate everything, but in the end I had a really fun time,” Thomsson said.

AP Studio Art, Painting, and Architecture stuck together and studied artwork in the Museum of Modern Art, as well as visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

“It was an enjoyable experience [to visit] the buildings we talked about in class,” Karandeep Komal ’17 said. “It helped me learn more about architecture, because seeing the building in reality is different than learning about it on paper.”

Lastly, the Intro to Photography and Video classes visited The New Museum and stopped by local galleries throughout the city. Students found shooting on site in the city had more potential than shooting in the local Hightstown area.

“We spent about three and a half hours walking around New York, completing our photo assignments and taking [pictures] in the Lower East Side,” Beth Nicholson ’17 said. “[It was] a much better way to experiment with street photography than anything we could do in Hightstown.”

Art students in the spring semester will get their chance to visit the city in April.