Beyond the wide variety of workshops this summer, Art Division students had a chance to delve into the creative worlds of Ndejeka Akunyili Crosby, Stan Douglas, Sam Francis, and the delicate process of art conservation.
On June 9, the students visited David Zwirner's new gallery on Western Avenue, accompanied by staffers Ellie Herman and Dan McCleary, as well as Field Trips volunteer Elsa Longhauser. The group got a tour of Ndejeka Akunyili Crosby's latest show, led by Art Division's own Rebecca Levinson, who had worked as one of Crosby's assistants. Rebecca talked to the students about Crosby's meticulous painting technique, which combines acrylic painting with photographic images of Nigerian pop culture. The adjacent gallery housed the monumental photographs of Canadian artist Stan Douglas, presenting a visual reconstruction of protest sites around the world in 2011.
After the gallery visit, students and staff gathered at Cassell's over cheeseburgers for a lively discussion about the definition of art. Who gets to show art? Who gets to decide which art matters?
On June 16 at LACMA, a group of students, accompanied by Dan, Elsa, and painting instructor Fabián Cerejido, received a personal tour of the exhibition Sam Francis and Japan: Emptiness Overflowing led by curator Richard Speer. Speer guided the group through Francis' work and his experience with Japan. Following the tour, the group enjoyed a picnic lunch on the museum's lawn.
The final trip on June 20, took the students to the Getty Museum's Painting Conservation department, joined by several Art Division staffers: Ellie, Dan, Fabián, Luis Hernandez, Nicole Berlanga and Melissa Soriano. Led by Associate Conservator of Paintings Devi Ormond, the group was able to visit the lower levels of the museum, normally closed to the public. Devi shared her extensive knowledge and expertise on the intricate process of restoring paintings, showcasing the various techniques employed to bring artworks back to their original state. Afterwards, on the patio of the museum, the group enjoyed sandwiches, chips and a great conversation about artistic practice.
In addition to the great art, these trips are a terrific way for students to get a chance to hang out, share a meal and spend time with each other, building community as we expand our understanding of art.