Fortunate opportunities for AP Art Students

Danna Tabachnik, digital director

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Every year, the AP Art class goes on field trips to multiple museums. And although the museums themselves do not change, the experience does.

“With the Art Institute being so big, and having such a big collection, even if we repeat that [the trip], there’s so much to see, that we encourage students to go to a different part of the museum. You really can’t see it all in one day anyway,” Matthew Winkelman, fine arts teacher, said.

This year’s trip to the Art Institute of Chicago is Thursday, October 1, and it is not just about looking at professional art work.

“I see it as an opportunity for them [the students] to make real life connections to the works of other artists. It’s like taking our classroom into a larger practice,” Winkelman said.

Winkelman sets up the trip by previewing the artists who will be on display, the day before in class. Because of their prior knowledge, students have the chance to create an unforgettable experience.

“We went to the Museum of Contemporary Art a few years ago and Jeff Koontz – one of the most influential contemporary artists today – had an exhibit. In the middle of the exhibit, a group of my students burst into an impromptu debate about whether or not his work was truly art,” Winkelman said. “Other visitors joined in and some were off to the side but were really interested in hearing what they had to say. That’s why we go. That would never have happened, in the same way, in a classroom setting.”

That experience also would not have happened if Lake Zurich was located in rural Iowa, according to Winkelman.

“We have this awesome opportunity. Because we are located so close to Chicago, we have these awesome resources,” Winkelman said. “I feel like I have an obligation to make those opportunities available, because we are so fortunate.”


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