Wabash Blogs Immersion 2009: New York Art


March 12, 2009

Day 6 - We are finally going home…can we get the trip to be extended a few more days?

Juan Diaz, Class of 2010 - The New York trip finally came to an end. Everyone had their last moments of fun, slept for the last night in New York and packed for our trip back to good old ‘Bash. The trip was filled with so much excitement, aching feet and of course art. We walked miles from museum to museum and within museums. Saw every kind of art imaginable. Saw great works by great artists such as Cezanne, Frida Kahlo, Pollock, Picasso, and Georgia O’Keeffe. We witnessed art from all over: African Art, Oceana Art, art from the Americas, European Art, and Asian art; as well as art form different time periods. We saw art that can easily fit in your finger and art that is so massive you wonder how the museum got it indoors. So much art, so little time.
As everyone slept their last few hours, Dr. Wilkins and I headed to Times Square for one more piece of art. Time Square was home to a sound piece hidden underground. You knew it was in Times Square, the problem became finding it. We looked in one location, but no luck so we headed across the street. After enduring the cold freezing morning winds we heard an echo. Located a few feet off a newly build red stands the piece was a wonderful way to end the trip. It is hard to describe the sound but it was sort of a serene constant hollow sound. It had a different tone form time to time, but overall had a similar tone and beat. This piece was by far the most unique of the trip. We saw multiple works that dealt with art, but those pieces also showed you the art. In this particular piece you only heard the art. Hearing and seeing is one thing, but hearing it and NOT seeing it can be profound.
We are now in the Indianapolis terminal waiting for our ride back to campus. As we sit, wait and enjoy Twizzlers we reminisce on our experiences. That art, places, and people we saw urging to go back to NY and stay a bit longer…but been back home is fair enough. 

Day 6 - A Sad Journey Home

Kyle Edwards, Class of 2011 - So today I would love to tell you that we saw all of these awesome pieces of art by world famous artists, and saw more fascinating sites of New York City, but today was much less interesting.  Today we had to wake up and pack for the journey home.  We checked out of our hostel and made our way to LaGuardia Airport via a shuttle with some scary New York City driving.  The journey home was definitely a depressing one.  We all wanted to stay in the Big Apple for another week, as the sites there are much better than those of Crawfordsville.  Looking back at the trip we all had a great time and saw many wonderful pieces of artwork. 
Many of us students that went had never been to New York City before, and we were all amazed at the sites and the incredible number of museums and galleries that the city had to offer.  All of the students were very thankful to have participated in this immersion trip; we got to see artwork that we study in class on the wall of a museum or gallery.  Seeing that work in a picture of a textbook does not come close in comparison, you can actually see what the artist was experiencing when they created the piece.  Some of the paintings we saw exceeded 15 feet in one dimension, but you do not get the same feeling just looking at the picture in a textbook.  This was definitely an inspiring trip for an art major.  I want to end with saying thank you very much to Wabash and to the art professors for taking us on this wonderful experience to New York City.

March 11, 2009

Day 5 - Rather Shallow and Pedantic at the Guggenshmuggen

Korey Pazour, Class of 2010 – So today has been another long day with many miles of walking.  After pushing through the pain of my blistering feet, the breath-taking art at the incredible museums we have gone to is well worth it.   The first museum we visited was the Guggenheim.  I have always wanted to see this museum, so this was a real treat for me.  Seeing all the famous artists that I have studied for countless hours at the Bash leaves me speechless.  Pictures from the books that I have studied do not do justice for these talented artists.  The Guggenheim featured works from Pablo Picasso, Mark Chagall, Vincent Van Gogh, Georges Braque, Henri Rousseau, and many others that just about any artist would dream about seeing.  The most shocking piece that I saw at the Guggenheim was a piece by Camille Pissarro that I actually reproduced in high school (I would argue my work is slightly better).  I did not expect to see this piece at the Guggenheim, so it really caught me off guard. 
The second museum we visited was the Whitney Museum of American Art.  This museum also contained many artists that I have been studying in my art history classes.  Seeing Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko’s pieces up close is entirely different from viewing them in the book.  The massive size of them really draws you into their work.  I would have to say one of my favorite pieces at this museum was an abstract video by Cory Arcangel titled Super Mario Clouds.  I thought it was creative to use a well-known video game and make it his own by playing with the idea of abstraction. 
The last museum we went to today was the Museum of Arts and Design.  I did not think that this museum would have much hope after just getting out of the Guggenheim and Whitney; however, it actually was right up at the top of my favorite museums during our trip here.  The artists in this museum were extremely creative and the galleries were perfect.  I got many ideas from the art in this museum, and am ready to head back to create some new work at home.  This trip has been extremely beneficial to me as an artist.

Day 5 - Zen and the Art of Craft

Nick Roudebush, Class of 2009 – My feet hurt, but now as we are preparing to leave. I am beginning to understand the workings of this crazy city. The subways are extremely efficient and there is a Starbucks on every corner. Our first stop this morning was the Guggenheim Museum. There was an amazing exhibition titled “The Third Mind” which showcased several contemporary artists and their contemplation of Eastern Philosophy. I address similar themes in my work, so this experience will turn out to be very beneficial upon my return to the studio. I saw work by Richard Tuttle, Sugimoto, Carl Andre, Tom Marioni, and even Jack Kerouac. The notion that most of these artists were Westerners interested in Eastern philosophy seemed to address the difficulty of bridging two cultures. At the Guggenheim there was also an exhibition by Young and Zazeela titled “Dream House.” This work required the viewer to take off his/her shoes and enter a dark room with dramatic lighting effects and intense monotone noise blasting from big speakers. It was successful at investigating the nature of sound as a medium; kind of like musical minimalism. Also saw a sweet work by Ann Hamilton that utilized the architecture of the museum.
From there we went to the Whitney and then to the Museum of Art and Design. The later was by far my favorite of the trip. The essence of the museum was to place a certain importance on the art of craftsmanship itself. Quite necessary if you ask me. I saw a load of ceramic work and there was a nice show of found object sculpture as well.
Going back to the hostel to take a nap. Peace Out.

Day 4 - Realism in New York

Callum Davies, Class of 2011- This morning we visited the Exit art gallery, the aperture museum, and a selection of smaller art galleries in the district. From there we travelled to the Chelsea art museum were we saw a selection of more obscure artwork. While at the Exit art gallery we saw some pretty provocative installations. The most queer of which was a video about a chemical that caused women to become dominatrix’s. I sat there for about ten minutes watching this video and by the end my jaw was open so wide I thought I would have to pick it up off the floor.
The aperture museum, which we visited next, was a behemoth of a building. The galleries spanned seven floors high and were significantly spacious. My personal favorite was the third floor, which contained a selection of photo realist paintings. The vibrant colors and attention to detail were watch attracted me the most.
Finally, we visited the Chelsea art museum, which we had actually passed on day one on our way to the textual healing exhibition. This museum was only three stories tall and contained very little art. I feel as though we have seen a great deal of artwork not only today but thus far on our trip. We have certainly had plenty to entertain us with and we are definitely getting a legwork out. I cannot believe we have already been here four days, it will be hard to say goodbye to the amazing culture that we are becoming immersed in. 

Day 4 - Learning from the good and the bad

Mike Scott, Class of 2010 – Today, we went to a lot of exhibitions, plus a couple of museums.  I really enjoyed most of the individual installations, and especially the last museum, the Chelsea Art Museum.  Many of the works there were very interesting, one in particular, a wax figure of a person, the upper half of which became tree-like forms that arched and reached to the ground.  This piece was really striking to me, it brought that which is human, that is becoming consumed by technology and industry, especially in this city, and transformed it back into its organic “roots”, reminding us of what we really are and where we come from. 
Many of the installations in the individual galleries were very interesting, I liked the fact that they were not terribly mainstream, and often were unafraid to go to darker places or more crude places to get their idea across.  One installation in particular caught my interest that featured several works comprised of different cloths and cloth-like materials.  The works were very minimal, but were composed very well, and were attractive in a very whimsical and soft way. 
Much of the art here in Chelsea is very unconventional, some in good ways, some in bad.  I find, that many times, I learn so much more from a piece of art that is lacking, rather than one that gives me all the answers easy.  For example, one installation featured more photo-realist pieces, but were comprised of many unconventional items and living things in each piece.  One had a jungle camouflaged soldier with a large and heavy backpack standing on a glacier with a bear adjacent to him and fire crackers going off in the background, and as it seemed they were either in the Antarctic or North Pole, all of these items were random, and I felt like it was an attempt at highlighting the chaos of life and this world.  Now, although the pieces were painting with a very stead hand, and most things looked like they should, the works were overall very uninteresting.  The random figures and landscapes in the works were not interacting with each other, or at least, not enough, for the piece to be interesting.  They all just seemed stuck in there with no rhyme or reason, and even the fireworks were not casting brightly-colored lights onto the Antarctic water, which in this realist piece, unbalanced the reality of the composition in a way that did not compliment the work.  The artist lacked, or chose to ignore, the ability to place the figures effectively.  For me, I was able to see the artist’s faults and gain something more from his/her shortcomings rather than works that inspired me to higher goals. 
I really enjoyed today, though not as much as some of our other days here, but the art was still well worth the effort and the sore feet for the next week.  I have to admit, I wasn’t so sure I would enjoy this trip, being a country boy going to a big city like this and being overwhelmed, but I have truly been surprised in my stay here and am hopeful for the remaining days of the trip.  Thanks to all who helped this be possible, and I hope others will come to enjoy this trip as much as I have.

March 10, 2009

Day 3 - Graffiti


Collin Fleck, Class of 2011 - The best part about today was visiting MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) and their satellite gallery PS1 (I never found out what that meant). The sheer size of the museum was incredible; 5 levels filled with paintings, sculpture, design, and video installations. After we spent a few hours there a few of us headed over to the PS1 gallery to see some more video work and other works as well.
One of the coolest pieces I saw was a swimming pool that when you looked down into it there was people walking around on the bottom. A stairway lead down to where anyone could walk along the bottom of the pool and look up though the water as well. Another piece of work I liked was a combination of text and photos of Jackie Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald that brought up interesting dialogue and interpretations. As we left I realized that the infamous 5 Pointz warehouse was located right across the street. This is a warehouse that is covered from head to foot in graffiti. Many of the great legends from all across the world have been here to paint. For me this was the Mecca of graffiti!! I saw some of my favorite writers like Cope2 and Espo.
I wanted to stay longer but we had to be on our way to have dinner with alumnus Bill Wheeler. Mr. Wheeler is currently the CFO of Metlife in New York and he was treating us to dinner at a Brazilian restaurant called Circus. The food was great and it was really cool to meet Mr. Wheeler and talk about old Wabash and his experience. 


Day 3 - MOMA & Dinner

Jake Huston, Class of 2009 - Today we visited the Museum of Modern Art.  For years we have been learning about the famous Jackson Pollock’s, Mark Rothko’s, and Picasso’s, but never any further than the textbook.  Actually being there among all of the works of famous artists was truly surreal, and is the only true way to fully experience the effects of such an art Mecca.  Because of this opportunity, we have all gained a greater respect and appreciation for the artist’s ability to alter not only the space surrounding the work, but the mood as well. 
After the museum, we met up with Bill Wheeler, a Wabash Alum who also happens to be the CFO of MetLife.  He treated us all to a fantastic dinner at a Brazilian restaurant called The Circus, where we had a 3 course meal, sampling the traditional and not so traditional Brazilian faire.  Mr. Wheeler was a great person to have met, and was amazing to have a conversation with, as he is a real Wabash guy; brilliant, yet down to earth.  When it was all said and done, it was a perfect day in New York City, immersed in culture and spoiled by the great opportunity we were each given, allowing us to kick the textbooks to the curb for a few hours and learn by experience.

March 09, 2009

Day 2 - Evening

Mark Turpin, Class of 2009 - After the MET we split up to go to various museums, and a few of us decided to go with Professor Huebner to the Neue Gallery which had a special exhibit on the German Expressionist group Die Brucke. Most of the paintings were from Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and I thought it was a good end to our first long day of museum visits. We then headed back to the hostel for a well deserved nap.
We were all knocked out for a few hours and then headed out on an adventure to Chinatown to search for cheap sneakers and authentic Chinese food. It was interesting to get off the subway, and walk a few blocks and feel like you are in a completely different country. Though being a well traveled person, I am still in awe of the diversity you experience on every corner and the uniqueness our experience so far. Needless to say, our dinner in the hole-in-the-wall joint was the best Chinese food I’ve had and after we had our fill we headed toward Brooklyn Bridge to snap a few snapshots. Though it was a bit chilly, the bridge was pretty awesome with the view of the city even cooler.
We then headed through the financial district, and stopped at ground zero for some somber reflection. The proposed plans for the new Freedom Tower and monuments to 9/11 plastered everywhere seem like a fitting reminder. We then snuck a peak at the Statue of Liberty over the Hudson before the rain drove us back to the subway to meet up with the rest of the group back at the hostel. Though it seems like a more relaxed evening, the trip so far has not disappointed and I am looking forward to what the rest of the week has in store for us.

Day 2 - The MET

Aaron Cantu, Class of 2011 – It was going to be fun trying to make today as fulfilling as the last. Waking up so early was a blast after the long night before. We all met up at the professors’ hotel at 8:30 in the morning to start our day. We went to the subway and travelled to downtown New York City.
After getting off the subway we walked a few blocks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. On the way to the museum I saw Central Park for the first time, which was amazing. Right next to the park was the Metropolitan, which was one of the hugest museums I have ever been in.
Seeing some of the greatest artists in the world’s artwork was amazing. I saw some pieces from Picasso, Monet, Pollock, and even some amazing African, Egyptian, and Greek art. After being on our feet for a few hours we decided a break was needed.
We went to Central Park, had some awesome hot dogs and for once relaxed. I never thought it would be so relaxing to sit down in Central park and just watch people around us; it ended up killing two hours of our day. After our break we headed back to the museum and finished off viewing the Modern art section. The museum was amazing, with some of the most amazing pieces in the world. It was a wonderful experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. 

Day 1 - Truly A City That Never Sleeps

Joel Patterson, Class of 2009 – New York City, my first time.  The first day has been a blur and its only going to get busier.  After arriving in New York around noon, we were able to freely spend the rest of the day and evening.   Staying about a mile south of Times Square, we spent the first couple hours exploring the city.  Some from our group stumbled upon tickets to a Comedy Central taping of a comedy show at the Broadway Comedy Club.  This was my highlight of the first night.   

After trying to master the New York subway system…and eventually figuring it out, though very far from mastering it…we made it to the comedy club.  The night was hosted by New York comedian Erik Rivera and featured other comedians Todd Barry from “The Wrestler,” James Smith from “Flight of the Concords,” Andrew Kennedy, and a couple more.  The night was filled with jokes on current events and New York culture.  We laughed for a solid two hours!  After an incredibly busy day, our New York art tour begins on Monday morning with the Metropolitan Museum of Art  

Day 1 - A Blur

Ian Starnes, Class of 2011 - Today was by far one of the most eventful days in my life. I have never been to New York City, and let me just say, it is very overwhelming. We started our day by waking up around 7 a.m. and ran to the Wabash Chapel to meet the bus to take us to Indianapolis airport. We then hopped on a direct flight to the Big Apple. Once we got here, we got straight to business. We checked into our hotel, which is an international youth hostel…I have never stayed in a hostel. It has the bare minimums but it is nicer than I thought it would be. A group of us walked from our hotel and went to Times Square to start off our trip. It was amazing. There were so many people walking frantically in the heart of the city. We also stopped in a classic New York pizza place. It felt very authentic. We then met up with Professors Calisch, Huebner, and Wilkins and we all went out for dinner at a Thai restaurant in the Chelsea district of Manhattan.
After we ate we went to a contemporary art museum where there was a visual art exhibit going on outside. You could send a text message to a phone number and your text was flashed across a brick building and artists would interpret your message and act it out. We sent texts that read “Wabash Always Fights” and “USA, USA, USA.” It was very interesting.
To end our night we went to a comedy club on Broadway and saw a comedian from Flight of the Concords and Comedy Central taped it. We laughed the entire time. We also got familiar with the subway system and met some foreign female students from Sweden. The day was very eventful and I am so grateful for the opportunity that Wabash provided for me with this immersion trip.