Eight art majors and two faculty left Rexburg for a four day trip to Santa Monica and Los Angeles on March 6. They spent the week gazing at art they had researched for months.
The art travel class, ART 395, is available for all art majors who receive instructor approval. The class offers students an opportunity to attend conferences and events across the country. Common trips include visits to art galleries and museums in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Fe and Salt Lake. In order to experience art in this region, they take advantage of local plays and concerts.
Brian Atkinson, an art faculty member who attended the recent Los Angeles trip, said they spent four hours in the Getty Museum examining “world class paintings, sculptures, photography and more.” Following the Getty Museum, the group made stops at Bergamot Station galleries, the L.A. County Museum of Art, and a few places in downtown Los Angeles.
“The main purpose is to allow students to experience world-class art first hand,” said Rich Briggs, an art professor. “Seeing works of art in person is a much more satisfying experience than from books or the internet and it gives students more information they can use to improve their own work.”
Although the class requires some effort, a travel fee and preparation, Briggs said the rewards are enormous for those who are serious about art. Some students have even told him it was life-changing.
Jared Bachui, a student on the Los Angeles trip, described it as an “eye-opening” experience. “I had not seen such a culture like that before. I used to think that seeing a painting in a book was just as good as the original, but there is nothing more powerful (than) to see the textures, mistakes and the emotion inside the art work.”
Maddie Jensen, a junior studying graphic design, said the trip helped her out of a creative rut and inspired her to try new things.
“I think it’s important for students to know this is a busy trip,” Jensen said. “It’s not relaxing at all, you are constantly doing something, headed to the next museum or gallery.”