After a year of tours, reunions, and a national symposium on the future of the arts, Interlochen visual artists capped off the Academy's 50th anniversary festivities with an eventful trip to New York City. Visual arts students have made previous trips to New York City but this trip gave the group a rare chance to show their work to new audiences.
Academy visual artists began their journey in the gallery of the Herbert H. and Barbara C. Dow Visual Arts building, where works from selected students were shown for a week. After students, faculty and staff had a chance to view the work, it was carefully and meticulously packed for the long journey to New York.
Lena Jafery, a junior from Dubai, said that while the whole trip was eye-opening, the preparation was just as valuable. "As an artist, your work doesn't just magically appear in a gallery. It was really beneficial to learn how to pack and move art work, work as a team and get the show set up perfectly." Following an 850 mile road trip, the group unpacked and set up in the spacious Helen Mills Event Space.
The students would have had their hands full with just setting up the gallery, but they squeezed every possibly opportunity into their short stay in New York with visits to the city's top art and design schools including Pratt, Parsons, Cooper Union and the School of Visual Arts. At each school, students toured the facilities and had portfolio reviews.
For Liz Rennie, a senior visual arts major, the school visits were a valuable chance to get a complete picture of the colleges, many of which were on her list of top choices. "You don't know what a school is like until you go there," said Liz.
Since no trip to New York would be complete without seeing some museums, the students and faculty carved a little time out of their busy schedule to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art as well as Tatzu Nishi's remarkable installation in Columbus Circle.
"The whole experience was eye-opening to our students: packing up their work, traveling to New York City, visiting schools and museums, and showing their work to a new audience," said Melinda Zacher-Ronayne, the director of the visual arts program. "It makes the world a little smaller and gives the students a sense of perspective that most young artists don't possess."