Ridley College: Art and Design in New York City

The annual Grade 12 Art and Design trip to New York City was another fast-paced, eye-filling, brain bending experience for students who had the opportunity to see a wide array of visual culture spanning contemporary and historical practices. Since the mid-1940’s, New York City established itself as the epicenter of avant-garde visual art practice, and work on display today in museums and in commercial galleries attests to the fact that this bold vision is still alive in the city that never sleeps.

The first stop after arriving in the city was a journey to the top of the Rockefeller Centre, one of New York’s most historic art deco skyscrapers built in 1930. On Saturday students spent the morning at the Museum of Modern Art, the world’s most comprehensive collection of Twentieth century art. In the afternoon, the design students travelled to the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, and the art students travelled to the Whitney Museum and then on to Chelsea art district to tour commercial galleries. As our hotel was located just steps from Times Square, students spent the evening exploring the buzz of Broadway.

On Sunday we travelled to the northern tip of Manhattan Island for a guided visit of the Cloisters, a 13th century monastery built from the ruins of various monasteries in France at the turn of the century. We then headed back downtown to St. John the Divine, and neo-Gothic cathedral that claims the title of the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. After experiencing the awesome spectacle of the interior of the cathedral, we travelled to the Metropolitan Museum, home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of fine and decorative art. After the MET, we spent our last reserves of energy touring the Frick Museum, a more intimate space with an astounding collection of 17th and 18th century paintings and furniture.

The trip wrapped up on Monday morning with a subway ride to the southern tip of the island, a ferry ride past the Statue of Liberty and an hour shopping for souvenirs on busy Canal Street. At exactly 1pm we boarded the bus and were off on the long journey back to Ridley, totally exhausted and reveling in memories of a city that still serves as the epicenter of art.

As told by Mr. Nickerson

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