Museum Impacts Young Artists

Jesse Caldwell ’15 – We were on our feet from 10 am Wednesday morning until about 5 pm. Although we were tired, the experience was great! We started the day by going to the Museum of Modern Art otherwise known as the MOMA. While at the MOMA we were lucky enough to see some of the most significant works of art that we have seen in text books the last few years of our education. In my opinion, the most significant work that we saw today was Pablo Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”. The professors have been referencing the significance of this painting for my four years at Wabash. I was very excited to see the work in person.

Students snapped pictures of and with MOMA paintings.

Students snapped pictures of and with MOMA paintings.

When walking through the gallery, I turned a corner and saw this masterpiece. I instantly got cold chills. Everything I was told about this painting flooded back into my head and I got cold chills. I instantly took a step back and snapped a picture of it. As with any painting I see, I looked at it from afar and then slowly approached it while observing the brush work that the artist used. This work by Picasso carried a lot of weight in this room and  the entire museum. This was the painting I had heard about for so long and here it was in front of me. In my student work at Wabash, I used photography as my medium. After seeing this work along with other powerful paintings such as “ The Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh, I wished I had used painting as my medium. The work I saw on this trip will influence the way I approach the subject matter in my photography. These spectacular works of art were not the only things that kept us on our feet.

A few of us spent time in Central Park. We escaped the loud and busy city into a place of quiet and peace. The park was very cool. The peaceful green space is being towered over by the harsh buildings of the city. After leaving the park and the MOMA, we went as a group to the 9/11 Memorial. This might be one of the most significant parts of the trip for me. In the space where we stood, there was totally chaos on that day on September 11, 2001. I believe the way the new building towers of the new memorial is very significant. I believe it is a symbol of strength that looks over the memorial and protects those who are around the area. The entire area brought cold chills to my body and I could tell that it affected others who were there.

Being In Musuem Makes Big Impact

Kolby Lopp ‘17 – The group went to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and it was a great experience. Being in New York and experiencing real life pieces of art can be more than inspiring. I thought that going through the museum and gazing at famous pieces of art was phenomenal.

Wabash men at the NY Museum of Modern of Art

Wabash men at the NY Museum of Modern of Art

“The Persistence of Memory” is a famous piece by Salvador Dali, which I see in books or online all the time, but being able to see it up in person is priceless. Being able to go through these museums and see all the work in person doesn’t compare to what you see on paper. For example, going back to the Salvador Dali piece “The Persistence of Memory” you would imagine that his piece would have been bigger than an 18” X 24” canvas but in reality it really is only about 12” X 15”. Chances like this could not have been possible if it were not to Wabash allowing us to come here and view this work with our own eyes.

Seeing the work expanded my horizons and gave me the opportunity to try and incorporate things I saw into my own work. Looking at my work that I am doing now for my next project deals with abstraction and exploration of space. A piece that I saw today in the gallery that provided inspiration for my next piece of art. The piece incorporated paint in the background that was abstracted with mixed paints of watercolor and then layered with multiple colors over another. Then on the painting there was a 3 dimensional piece added on top with painted cave drawings on it that made it look like there is a whole in the painting. This inspires my next work because I was to incorporate multiple layers of colors mixing and dripping over the ground of the painting and then add layers over the top that can give the illusion of the absence of space and dimension.

After leaving the museum Professor Mortong gave us the opportunity to go to ground zero and see how the people who have lost their lives have been honored. The trip to New York was a wonderful experience for us to be put in a position for our skills to flourish and expand our horizons.

Understanding Wabash Network in NY

Quinn '00 chats with Wabash art students in his studio.

Quinn ’00 chats with Wabash art students in his studio.

Pat Embree ’15 – “Wabash takes care of their own.” That phrase was repeated so many times during my recruiting stage at Wabash that I almost got sick of it. The phrase, however, was one of the biggest reasons of my decision on going to Wabash. It was also something I experienced first hand Tuesday. We met with both, Matt Delegat, a Wabash alumnus who has opened his own gallery called the Minus Space Gallery, and Wabash alumnus by the name of Nathaniel Mary Quinn ’00, who is a painter that attended Wabash and now has skyrocketed to fame in the art world. Both alumni have made names for themselves in the art world, and yet were able to take outside of their busy schedules to talk with current students. Why? Because Wabash men take care of their own, and they want nothing more than take time to talk to fellow Wabash men.

Wabash is a place that pushes you to your limits, and all of those who been through it or are going through it have a special bond, due to the special place that Wabash holds so many hearts. Both individuals talked to the immersion group about what it took to get to where they are, and both individuals encouraged us that with the tools that Wabash gives us, we can achieve whatever we set our minds to. Both of these alumni where motivational to the point that I wanted to hop back on a plane today and head back to work on my own work more, but I also can’t wait to see what else New York has in store for the reminder of the trip.

I can’t believe how many opportunities that Wabash has given me, and I am also extremely thankful for the opportunities that Wabash has given me.

New York City Full of Art

Scott Hastings ’15 – New York is a wild place even for someone like me, who grew up on the East Coast near the fifth largest city in the country.  Today we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, home to some of the world’s finest and most significant works of art in history.  Very few places allow you to see works by Van Gogh, Monet, and Pollock together in addition to works by ancient Chinese and Japanese print makers and painters.

The museum had full scale reconstructions of zen gardens, Colonial American squares and Roman Temples.  A couple of the other guys got their first taste of public transportation riding subways and busses in quick succession.  When we were allowed on our own and had our fill of the Met we headed into to Queens to see a famous Graffiti display.  We were disappointed to find that it had been demolished recently but decided all was not lost and headed further up the 7 line to the location of the 1964 World’s Fair.  It’s amazing that the fixtures and displays developed for the World’s Fair are still as modern and fresh as they were in 1964.

Finally, we took the 7 to its terminus at Times Square and walked around marveling at the street performers and activists and all the people who come from around the world to experience the intersection that never goes dark.

Tuesday sees us visiting the polar opposite of the Met as we explore a small gallery owned by a Wabash alumnus called Minus Space.  It will be interesting to compare and contrast the massive museum and the smaller contemporary gallery.

First Day Spent Taking In NYC

Wabash guys went to top of Empire State Building for this view.

Wabash guys went to top of Empire State Building for this view.

John Vosel ‘ 15 – Our first day in New York has been quite exciting. I have never been before, so everything is quite surreal and I am thinking about everything “New York” I’ve ever known. The ride in went smoothly and we had no complications getting to our location and having our rooms situated. We have not gone into any galleries yet, given that it’s a Sunday, but we are about to go have dinner with Trustee Bill Wheeler this evening.

Students in NYC with Art Professor Elizabeth Morton.

Students in NYC with Art Professor Elizabeth Morton.

We have been sight seeing around the town and getting comfortable in the neighborhood of Chelsea, where our Hostel is located. We walked around the area and Dr. Morton pointed out a lot of the local galleries and artists’ studios. We also went to the Empire State Building, which was absolutely stunning. Using our New York passes we got to the top efficiently, and were able to take many quality photos. Something I find very intriguing about New York as a whole so far is the graffiti everywhere. Some see it as a form of self-expression, and others associate it with vandalism and gang violence. Whether it is or not, a lot of it is quite beautiful and adds some serious character to the architecture.

Today, the eight of us guys stopped into Bravo’ Pizza for some giant slices. It was pretty reasonable and run by Italians, sort of old fashioned. It was deep-dish and delicious, and I hope to experience some more of the famous “New York Pizza.”

 – Photos by Scott Hastings ’15