Art field trip to MET leaves students inspired


Photo by Serena Ye '20

The Metropolitan Museum of Art featured many vivid and colorful artists, such as this collection of paintings by Florine Stettheimer. Here, she depicts the economic, social and cultural institutions of New York.

Amidst skyscraper buildings, the billowing smoke of rickety hot dog stands and the beeping angry taxis, stands the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yet even within the quiet floors of the museum, one can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the immense amount of history and culture. From the bold, revolutionary “drip” paintings of Jackson Pollock, to the grand, white marble statues of ancient Rome, it would take days for one to fully view every piece of art. 

Students from a variety of art classes at Staples High School visited both the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as the Met Bruer in New York on Thursday, Dec. 12. 

“Going on art field trips are always the highlight of my year,” Max Benjamin ’20 said. “Being able to disappear from school for a day and enjoy a day in the City is the most perfect and relaxing but also educational experience.”

After two hours aboard a large Dattco bus, the students first arrived at the Met Breuer. 

Located on Madison Avenue, the Bruer is a smaller, plain gray building. This museum is comparatively less-known than its counterpart, the MET. 

Leaving the smell of rich, roasted coffee behind them from the ground-level cafe, the students took an elevator up to the featured artist Vija Celmins exhibit. 

The selection showcased the journey of her 120 works that began from her earliest paintings in Los Angeles in the 1960s, to art that she had completed in New York within the last five years.

“We could experience through her work that she spoke from her heart,” Kalina Kinyon ’20 said. “They were pieces you could truly feel.” 

Kinyon further admired Celmin’s focus on minimalism in using monochromatic colors of black and white in her drawings of space and cobwebs.

“Some of her art was honestly a bit bland and repetitive,” Benjamin said. “But others were incredible.” 

Benjamin complimented her attention to detail in sketching the folds of a postcard, or the uneven crevices of a rock. Through this, Celmin utilized shading and light to create a sense of hyperrealism that urged viewers to take a closer look at her paintings.

Later  in the afternoon, the class walked  a few blocks over to the main Metropolitan Museum of Art. Students were free to explore any exhibits they wished in small groups. 

“My favorite wing was the Art of Africa, Oceania and America,” Benjamin said. “Being given our own independence to explore, discover and learn more about the museum made the experience more valuable.” 

Many students made sure to visit the classical historical floors filled with artifacts and timeless objects. In addition, exhibits such as the extravagant fashion walkway as well as the modern pop and abstract art galleries were favorites among students. 

Students left the field trip with gift bags and trinkets from the gift store, but also with refueled inspiration and awe to take back into the school’s art studios.  

“I thought that the field trip was a really awesome learning opportunity for us to get outside of the classroom and really see art out in the world for ourselves,” Olivia Sarno ’20 said. “It’s really important that students get hands-on learning experiences especially with something like art where we can observe real artists pursuing it as a career.”