‘Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life’ -Pablo Picasso

Artists visit Taft Museum


Melinda Looney

EVOKE YOUR CREATIVITY. Students in the AP Art classes tour the Taft Museum. They learned about the history behind the museum and its pieces as well as about the artists themselves. “It was so hard to pick just one piece to write about. I liked the painting of a girl beside the piano, but I also enjoyed the ones with cows,” Looney said.

“The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke,” said Jerzy Kosinski, Polish-American novelist.

On Fri., Oct. 6, AP Art students visited the Taft Museum as part of the Taft Artists Reaching Classrooms (ARC) program, which provides art students with the opportunity to meet professional artists in the area and to immerse themselves in local art work.

They toured the museum and learned more about the history and story behind each piece, whether it was a painting, porcelein bowl, or copper plate.

“I was amazed by how all the art had some meaning. Even the painting that was done by an artist just for the sake of art had an underlying focus on geometric shapes,” said Thea Ferdinand, 12.

On the field trip, students chose a particular piece that spoke to them. In the following weeks, they will be writing a creative paper about that piece.

“The paper can be in any format. Essays about the life of the author and the purpose of the piece are boring. Instead, [students] can write poems, songs, stories.

“It can even be from different perspectives – from the point of view of the author, a person in the piece, an inanimate object. This is the chance to be creative,” said Mrs. Kathy Ferguson, AP Art teacher.

This will be the last year that Sycamore participates in the ARC for at least two to three years, when it will be eligible to join the program again. Because the ARC is so popular among schools in the area, each school can only take part in five year rotations.

“This program is really remarkable. To be able to meet with different artists and hear from them, visit their studios, and just be out in the world of art can go a long way,” Ferguson said.

The first part of the program involved a visit from Saad Ghosn, a local artist who creates woodcut prints to express his views on different social issues such as discrimination and identity.

“I loved how a single piece of art could hold so much meaning. We were able to study Saad’s pieces and find the critiques of different aspects of society,” said Melinda Looney, 12.

The students will be visiting the museum in early November to present their papers.