Explore the Arts

From the Mundane to the Sublime

IB Art students probe the creative process in three-day exploration of the Philadephia art scene.
Nearly 50 students and five faculty members explored the diverse and colorful Philadelphia art scene over three days in mid-January. A long and favorite Trinity tradition, the annual trip allows course candidates in the International Baccalaureate Arts program to experience art in “real time,” said Amy Chaplin, Trinity’s head of visual arts.

“The trip introduces the students to the art they have seen online and in books, but more so they are exposed to artists' intention, influences and peers,” said Chaplin “Students have ample opportunity to exchange ideas with their classmates and teachers, discover a new favorite and to appreciate the masters.”

Visits included the Barnes Museum to see the massive collection of impressionist painting, the Rodin Museum to pose for the obligatory “Thinker” photo, and the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art. At the museum of Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA), the oldest art school in the country, students enjoyed the juxtaposition of both modern and historical pieces.

The traditional stops were balanced by a few off-beat destinations: a recently rehabbed Kieth Haring mural and the mosaic wonderland of the Magic Gardens by Isaiah Zagar.

At the Fabric Workshop and Museum, students viewed an exhibit featuring 40 years of “process boxes” donated by professional artists. Each one contained materials such as sketches, notes and prototypes that documented their creative process from concept to completion. “Everything from the mundane to the sublime comes out of that box,” said Meredith Turner, Trinity visual arts teacher, “everything from a piece of note proper to a finished piece of fabric by Lichtenstein.” A major component of the IB Arts program is to create a “process portfolio,” Turner explained, so this exhibit was especially meaningful their own art.

At the Crane Arts Building, the students visited a working art studio and observed artists in action, like Richard Hricko, a printmaker and professor at Tyler School of Art and his wife, Diane Hricko, a fiber artist.

“To see the work in person,” said Turner, “and experience the emotive quality of the work in person is essential to the IB visual art experience and curriculum.”

Learn more about the International Baccalaureate Arts program at Trinity at

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