Class of 2019 Explores the Visual Arts on Junior Field Trip
On a day that had not a cloud in sight, members of the Class of 2019 piled into Jesuit’s auditorium for the start of their Junior Class Field Trip. The trip helps enrich students understanding of the visual arts by learning through experience. The first stop for juniors was a presentation from Loyola music industries professors Kate Duncan and John Snyder on the importance of music as not only an art-form, but as a prospering industry where one can express themselves artistically while making a viable living.
Another stop, one just a skip and a hop away from Jesuit, was a tour of the vast galleries of the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). Students explored room after room of spectacular artwork, essentially wandering through many different ages of art. They gazed on the gold-leaf laden Byzantine icons of the early Italian Renaissance, where religious themes of sacred geometry and the Madonna and Child were abundant. They then jumped from the 15th century to the austere Dutch and Flemish still-life paintings of the 17th century, before moving on to the more well-know impressionist artists of the 19th century such as Degas, Monet, and Renoir. They ended their trip through time with the modern workings of Carlos Rolón whose bright and vibrant flower paintings mesmerized all who passed by. Juniors then stepped outside into the bright and sunny afternoon and explored the many pathways of the NOMA sculpture garden. Each group was given a scavenger hunt list to help them identify the many statues and to encourage discussion of the artworks. It was a relaxing and contemplative time before everyone broke for a lunch which included po-boys and sno-balls.
Students piled into school buses for a third stop and made their way to YAYA (Young Aspirations Young Artists) Glass studio, a New Orleans-nonprofit founded in 1988 that offers classes and after school programs to local children and teenagers. In a spacious warehouse studio the students got to watch as glass artisans James Vella and Mark Morris formed glass into many beautiful shapes. Outfitted with tools that ancient Venetian glass-makers of Murano would have used, Morris and Vella pulled super heated glass out of the molten kilns. They then proceeded to blow and shape into life a striped glass goblet. While they demonstrated the art of glass blowing, they educated juniors on the properties of glass, the history of glass blowing, and the use of glass-blowing in the modern era.
A fourth stop on the field experience was an art and history lesson that students received from the intricate, cast-iron pews of the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception. The visit was a true experience in coming home, as the church is located at the site of the original school on the corner of Baronne and Common Streets. Many of the architectural elements of the church date back to the 1850s, when the yellow fever epidemic ravaged New Orleans and substantial European immigrant populations settled in the city. The churches architect Fr. John Cambiaso, S.J., was much influenced by the Moorish architectural style since he had spent time teaching at a university in Spain. The tour was given by communications director Jeremy Reuther ’01.