On Saturday June 1, 2019 the Life Drawing/Portfolio Preparation of West California Academy of Art and Design （WCAAD）took a field trip to the Norton Simon museum of art. The trip was design to give an opportunity and dynamic educational experience, activities and resources, and to encourage discussion.
To explore a rich and educational environment, with the instructor, helping them engage with the arts community and deep understanding of chosen topic. They were allowed to see the value of creative and historical work and broad understanding of the past. Through tours and lectures by the instructor, students explore and involve their own creativity, and ask questions.
Bringing students to museums opened them up to different ideas and perspectives that are relevant in their lives, and building critical and creative thinking skills, which are integral to their future success. It’s proven that children of all ages regularly exposed to museums provided a strong foundation for intellectual growth and development and at West California Academy of Art and Design we also share that belief.
A memorable, immersive learning experiences, provoking imagination, introducing unknown cultures and subject matters, and offering unique environments for quality time with each other is crucial for a well rounded experience in and outside the classroom. Bringing them to the museum reveals the group as being equally active in learning and a shared understanding. A chance to connect, understand, and explore perceptions, feelings, and innovative thoughts. Museums provide a space for reflection, experimentation, inspiration, creativity, enjoyment and allow for authentic learning experiences and play.
Through interactive sketching of Old Master and real intimate exposure to the art itself away from text book or visual, children have the ability to take ownership of their own learning and develop and explore curiosities. This unique exposure provides the foundation for creativity, critical thinking, and connection to the world around them. It gives students the opportunity to explore the textures of paintings up close, techniques of artists, and the scale of works. This puts art in a completely different perspective.
At WCAAD, we always encourage them to look at it as a shared intergenerational learning experience in which they grow together. This evokes discussions that can lead to a very natural free-flowing dialogue.
Art boosts the emotional intelligence of people, giving them experiences of empathy and exposing them to new worldviews and ideas. Not only will it help them develop personally, but it will also give them a greater sense of the historical identity they hold, as well as the identities of others. Seeing art made by cultures of others, can really help contextualize their place in the world, what ideologies were held in the past, and evidence of how the human experience has changed. Exposure to museums creates lifelong museum visitors of the future.
(Written by: Omar Gallegos, WCAAD Vice Principal and Director of Education)