Wabash Blogs New York's Great Art -

March 12, 2007

Still Shaking Head About NY Trip

Daniel Sutton ’08 - It’s just a little bit of a change to be back in Crawfordsville after experiencing everything New York City had to offer. Although it was an amazing trip, one week is just not enough time to fully appreciate a city like that. The city itself was a bit overwhelming at first but it only took a day or two to get acclimated to the faster-paced environment of NYC.

I am still amazed to have witnessed first-hand some of thegreatest art work in the world that I’ve studied in class. Sometimes I just found myself smiling as I walked through the galleries, seeing the work of artists like Van Gogh and Picasso and to see photos taken by some of the most amazing photographers of our time of which I’ve learned so much from in my quest to better myself in my medium.

But seeing countless pieces of art isn’t the only thing that impacted me during the trip. Being able to adjust to the busy life of a New Yorker was amazing in itself as we walked our way through the streets of New York and traveled from location to location using the subway system. It was really cool to see all the sites of the city that I’ve only seen on TV and in the movies. To actually be there and to experience all the culture and landmarks that NYC contains just blew me away.

With our free time in the evenings we were really able to see that it really is the “city that never sleeps” and is just as busy during the late night than it is during the day. But not only did this trip offer me a chance to examine art I’ve only seen before in books, but it helped me to create new friendships and connect with people to create new memories that will be with me forever.

The immersion trip was a learning experience on so many levels as it gave me the opportunity to discuss art, my personal views and the impact which art has had on me with the other guys on the trip and even with native New Yorkers. That in itself made the trip worthwhile to me as I was able to connect with fellow Wallies and other students of art as we discovered similarities with each other that we never even realized were there.

As I said, the memories and bonds created on this trip are definitely things that will stick with me forever and I thank Wabash and my professors for giving me the opportunity to experience everything NYC had to offer, not only impacting my interest in art, but also impacting my life.

Posted by hewitth at 09:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Day of Amazing Spanish, Chinese Art

Dustin Beck 03.08.07 - I find myself questioning the validity of the claim that NY is “the city that never sleeps”. Perhaps the city that hardly sleeps would be more appropriate though I suppose “never” is catchier. Even by Indiana standards last night was an early night for all. After catching an amazing Broadway play and a few post show beverages most of us were in bed by what would be an early night in NY of 2-3am. The fact that we were meeting at 9am today, Thursday, definitely played a role in that decision.

Though the early start seemed at first a bit unvacation-like the amazing architecture of the “museum mile” and our introduction to the most substantial collection of art many of us will ever see was enough to make our early start worth it. Our original plan to spend only the morning hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art quickly broke down as everyone scattered just like the hundreds of children on field trips, mouths gaping at the immensity of the collections.

There was something to draw everyone’s interest here but it was the Chinese art collection and the Barcelona Exhibit that caught my attention. For me the Chinese collection gave an interesting glimpse into the subject of my senior studies while the Barcelona show allowed me to see the work of two of my favorite artists, Dali and Miro. It was the countless ornately detailed scrolls that characterize Chinese art along side some interesting modern interpretations of this ancient art form that consumed most of my time at the Met.

By the end of the day most of us had stayed at the museum from the time they opened the doors at 9:30am to the time we were literally kicked out at about 5:30pm.

After being pushed from the halls of the Met a group of us decided to use our new best friend, the subway, to span the 50 blocks from Central Park to a BBQ joint we scouted earlier in the week. Our after-dinner treat was to enjoy a show from our front row seats at the club Seinfeld made famous, Comic Strip Live, where we were heckled up close by some of the best comics in NY.

Later the group did what Wabash men are known for as we toured the bars of the Upper East Side. It was this night that I became the only one in the group to literally “never sleep” as I continued my bar tour with some new friends after my fellow wallies returned home. My triumphant return to the hostel at 9am for a shower and a change of clothes has been short lived as I find myself desiring a nap above all else.

Posted by hewitth at 09:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New York Museums Busy Places

Philip Ramilo - By 9:00 am we were all on the lobby of Chelsea Savoy Hotel which became our daily meeting place. Then it was a subway towards Uptown New York to go to our first destination of the day, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  When we arrived at the museum, it’s not the art that surprise me; it was the amount of people in the museum on a regular day like Thursday.  True, the paintings by Picasso and Egyptian artifacts at the museum are mesmerizing; however, what amazed me the most is the love and dedication people shows to support the art.  After walking for hours looking and admiring the amount of history in one building, I found my self a little tired.  Fortunately, I found this “Japanese Garden” where I sat and relaxed.  Its remarkable how a place this serene is located in a place where there are thousands of people.

After the Metropolitan Museum of art, we went to the Neue Gallery to see the newest painting added to their collection, the Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt.  Unfortunately, out of the three gallery floors, only one was open. Nonetheless, the visit was satisfying due to the fact that the building itself is art due to its great architecture.  Then, it was time to ride the subway once again to go back to were we stay.  I decided to relaxed tonight and get ready to what tomorrow has to offer.

Posted by hewitth at 09:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 08, 2007

Appreciating the Art Work

Nic Bitting- Woke up to snow this morning.  It was a welcome tradeoff from the brutal winds that tore through New York yesterday.  Snow takes on an interesting character in this cement city; as it hits the ground it turns murky, soaking up the oils of the city.  The only white snow rests on the roofs of parked cars.  Friction from a million footfalls turns snow to slush.  Slush slides under taxi tires into sewers.  Out of sight underneath the city that never sees.

Since our arrival in New York I’ve developed a breakfast routine.  Today was no exception.  Picked up my standard street vendor breakfast – hot chocolate and a muffin.  The hot chocolate was watery, but I’ve learned not to buy it for the taste.  I use hot chocolate as a hand warmer.  Met up with the group and we began our trek from 23rd St. up to 50th.  I slipped six times on the way - snow on these streets is slippery.

Our first stop was at the International Center of Photography.  It was a great way to begin the day.  The work was aesthetically pleasing, but not conceptually challenging.  We eased our minds into art.  Its good to ease your mind into art in the morning.  Leaving ICP we took a brisk walk to the Museum of Modern Art which finalized the process of waking up.  My mind was ready to be engaged, and MOMA delivered.

The contemporary galleries at MOMA housed a number of innovative and conceptual artworks.  One of the most successful was created by contemporary Palestinina artist Mona Hatoum.  In the center of the gallery floor rested a 10-foot. by 1-foot. silver disk.  The smooth metal disk was filled with fine white sand.  Spanning the diameter of the disk was a rotating metal arm.  As it rotated half the arm created grooves in the sand while the other half erased the marks. 

The piece was a continuous realization of creation and destruction.  A perpetual interaction of life and death beautifully, simply, and powerfully realized.  Images communicate on a level that words cannot.  Words are not enough.  I want to bring the art to you.  Or bring you to me.  Bring you to New York City.  Then we wouldn’t need words.  You could stand next to the piece.  That would be enough.     

Despite my enthusiasm for the artwork my body began to protest.  My feet and legs insisted that I stop walking.  It was at this point of end of day exhaustion that our group began split.  Some members hung around the MOMA, a few went out to explore the city, some searched for food, and a small group chose to finish out the day with two more museums.  When in Rome…

First, came the American Museum of Folk Art where we witnessed the obsessive, repetitive, large scale drawings of a schizophrenic outsider artist – Martin Ramirez.  Other highlights included bottle cap snakes, towers of golden chicken bones, canes made whale bones, and a wooden chair constructed by a philosophical Indiana craftsman.  After seeing the unique and eccentric art of the Folk Museum we made our way over to the Museum of Art and Design where the featured exhibit was “Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting.”  I’ll admit I was rather skeptical of either lace or knitting being valid artistic mediums much less subversive.  However when I saw a table covered in a doily whose outermost lacings took the form of 3-D skulls my perceptions changed a bit.  This ain’t your grandma’s lace.

After the enjoyable, but exhausting day in the museums I had the opportunity to have dinner with my girlfriends aunt and uncle.  Their intimate knowledge of New York, and their vibrant embodiment of life well lived provided the perfect punctuation at the end of a long day.  As I wandered back toward the hostel a few notes of Nerbie Hancock drifted out of a nearby jazz bar.  I let my mind sink slowly into the rhythm.  It reverberated long after I left the street, but finally calmed when I laid my body to sleep.   

Posted by hewitth at 09:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Big Monday Night in New York

Today, Tuesday, has played out to be a much calmer day for me  after last night at the oldest bar in the nation.  Feeling quite groggy, with a nice sized headache and a churning stomach, I ventured out into the below freezing weather to meet the others.  Today we were going to visit the Chelsea Art Galleries in the Chelsea district.  We saw a lot of cool, innovative art as well as some stuff that shouldn’t really be called art. 

The event of the day occurred when we all got dressed up for a dinner with alumnus and trustee William Wheeler ‘83.  He treated us to an all expenses paid dinner fit for a king.  I had the filet and it was heavenly.  One of my comrades enjoyed the wine so much that he had to share it with Dr. Huebner’s shirt.  This comrade soon became a little weary and decided to take a quick nap through the end of dinner.  In the end, I chose to take it easy for the night, and get some much needed rest, while the others headed out into the New York night.

Posted by hewitth at 09:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 07, 2007

Arriving in New York City

Aaron Springhetti - The pilot told me to look out the window to the left to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.  Seeing it for the first time was remarkable; however, I had imagined it to be much larger.  There were many firsts for me on our date of arrival—some odd, funny, but many that I had wished to see for many years.  I never thought I would make it to the hostel as our crazed taxi driver was passing cars with literally two inches of breathing room between our van and the trucks next to us.  Once we were settled in at the hostel, things began to calm down, thankfully. 

To familiarize ourselves with the city, the group decided to walk its streets in hopes of validating unspoken truths of the so-called “City that never sleeps.” Along the way, we passed Madison Square Garden, Time Square, and even a man claiming to be Jesus who was only charging a dollar for a photo shoot.  Ultimately, we ended up in Central Park, about 50 blocks from our hostel.  After walking back to our hostel in the unforgiving wintry weather, we met up with Professors Huebner and Calisch for our first dinner.  The dinner was appeasing after our long workout, but we still had not completely indulged in all the city had to offer.  We would venture to lower Manhattan to have a few beverages at what claimed to be the oldest Irish pub in the city.  Thankfully, we were all able to make it safely back to our bunk beds in the hostel’s cubby holes. 

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