Class of 2023 Explores Both Ancient & Modern Art on Junior Field Trip

Posted April 27, 2022 / Last updated April 30, 2022

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On Friday, April 22, the junior class embarked on a field trip to enrich their understanding of the visual and practical arts by learning through experience. Before heading out on their perspective buses the Class of 2023 began their day with mass. After mass, the students split into homerooms and journeyed to one of four stops they would be exploring that day—the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), the YAYA Glass Studio, or the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception.

New Orleans Museum of Art

At NOMA students explored room after room of spectacular artwork, essentially wandering through many different ages of art. The main highlight of this museum trip was the traveling exhibit of Queen Nefertari’s Egypt. The exhibit brings to life the role of Nefertari and other powerful women in ancient Egypt through 230 exceptional objects, including statues, jewelry, vases, papyrus, steles, wooden coffins, and stone sarcophagi, as well as tools and various items of daily life from the artisan village of Deir-el-Medina, home to those who created the royal tombs.

Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Right next door to NOMA the juniors got to enjoy the beautiful weather while exploring the many pathways of the recently expanded Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. With the garden’s irises in full bloom the students studied the many garden’s sculptures and statues looking to check off items on their scavenger hunt list. The list provided the juniors a way to to help identify the many sculptures and to encourage discussion of the artwork.

YAYA Glass studio

YAYA (Young Aspirations Young Artists) Glass studio, a New Orleans-nonprofit founded in 1988, offers classes and after-school programs to local children and teenagers. The spacious warehouse studio offered juniors a front row seat to watch as glass artisans, Carlos Zervigon, Mark Morris, and Charity Poskitt demonstrated glass blowing. Assisting in the demonstration was Jesuit’s very own, senior Andrew Bruce, who talked about his experience as a YAYA artisan. Outfitted with tools that ancient Venetian glass-makers of Murano would have used, they pulled super-heated glass out of the molten furnaces. They then proceeded to blow and shape into curvy blue crab. 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.

Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception

Fr. Anthony McGinn, S.J. gave the juniors an art and history lesson on the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception. Sitting in the intricate, cast-iron pews the juniors experienced a homecoming of sorts, as the church is located at the site of the original Jesuit 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 church’s architect Fr. John Cambiaso, S.J., was highly influenced by the Moorish architectural style from his time spent teaching at a university in Spain.