From the ancient to the modern, the full spectrum of New York City museums inspires IB Arts course candidates
“I’ve never seen the studio so intense,” says Amy Chaplin, head of the Visual Arts Department. Returning to New York City for the first time in three years, Trinity’s IB Arts course candidates are making the most of their four-day experience at some of the world’s leading institutions of fine art. “Since we’ve gotten home — the seniors in particular — their heads are down, they're inspired, they're working. They are really engaged with the making process. They were so incredibly inspired.”
Nearly 40 students and eight chaperones traveled to the city January 12–15 to see the unrivaled mix of ancient and classical art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American modern collection in the architecturally unique Guggenheim and the last days of the popular Edward Hooper exhibition at the Whitney. But the museum that made the impact on this year’s group was the modern, multimedia array on display in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa).
“In the lobby was a big AI art exhibition, which is creating a huge conversation across disciples,” Chaplin recalls. “Is it art? What defines art? What defines artists? One student thought it was the coolest ever, while some others were worried about what AI means for the future of art makers. It sparked a lot of thought about how technology and our society will continue to intersect.”
Another favorite was the Met, where Chaplin says students really connected with the ancient works on exhibition. “Things that we cared about 3,000 years ago we still care about today,” she says. “Family, human relationships, the need to question why we’re here… these are things we are still questioning today.”
A favorite Trinity tradition for nearly 15 years, the trip has included visits to Chicago and Philadelphia in the past. Next year’s group will also visit sites in Brooklyn. Staying in upper Midtown between Times Square and Central Park also gave students the opportunity to experience the city’s incredible food, go ice skating and take in a Broadway show.
“Seeing their excitement when they come find you to show you something in a gallery makes it all worth it,” says Chaplin. “This group especially — because of COVID, so much of what they’ve had to look at has been on a digital platform. It’s just a different experience when you are interacting with it in real time. Even something as ubiquitous as Van Gogh’s Starry Night. They’ve seen it a million times — on postcards, on cocktail napkins — but to see it in real time, and have that visual experience is amazing.”
IB visual art and music courses are the pinnacle of arts education — these courses blend history, culture, current events, technique and much more into the works students create, while curating the essence and application of creativity.