Art Department Trip to NYC

About the trip

Annually, the Art and Art History Department sponsors a trip to New York City for the Studio Art and Art History Seniors. The trip offers plentiful networking and career development opportunities and gives students a taste of what it’s like to live and work in the creative field. Dr. Felicia Else, Chair of the Art and Art History Department, explains how this opportunity fits into the Department’s educational goals: “The Departmental New York trip could not be a more ideal way to promote our students' educational goals, embracing the interests of both Studio and Art History. Students learn from seeing a wide variety of art in different contexts--from ancient statues in established museums to cutting-edge Contemporary works in small galleries and studios. But we take this to another level by arranging behind-the-scenes meetings with artists, curators and gallery dealers.”

2019 trip to New York City

Art & Art History - New York City Trip Fall 2019

2016 trip to New York City

Art & Art History Trip to New York City Fall 2016

For Erica Schaumberg ‘18, an Art History Major and Studio Art Minor, the trip was a highlight of her undergraduate career and helped crystallize her career path. She remarks, “I really just wanted to expose myself to as many aspects of the trip as possible. I think the trip confirmed my dreams of working in a museum rather than a gallery. I found the contemporary art world to be very cut throat and I would much rather educate on art rather than be determined to make a profit.”

The trip also fostered inspiration for Studio Art major Shannon Gross ’17, who is currently attending the Rhode Island School of Design’s MFA program: “[The New York trip] spurred so many new ideas and solidified my senior capstone. That semester I was working on my portfolio for grad school applications and I wasn’t really thinking about my capstone, but seeing all that stuff gave me so many new ideas.”

Studio Art major David Rampersad ’17 took away some perspective for his art career from other active artists in New York. He notes, “[The trip] happened at the end of my undergrad career, so I was inspired in the sense that this was us talking to people that are in this world. We got an understanding of how they make a career in art work, how they make their living, what aspects of it that they enjoyed, and why they’re there. Though we all have our motivations for why we do art, all of us artists understand that we make art because we have to. But what about people who are actually pursuing it professionally and making a living? Talking to then was really encouraging just to get knowledge from them and how they make it work. It’s all about us seeing art in application and learning from people who are living it.”

The trip is truly a unique experience offered by the Art and Art History Department. Painting Professor Amer Kobaslija commented: “The seniors returned to Gettysburg energized and with a greater sense of direction. They had plenty to discuss among themselves and with the faculty while working on their Capstone Projects. The trip was designed so that the students would have opportunities to learn about the art world and prospective professional paths they may want to pursue after graduation. For some students the NY trip is an important factor in deciding whether to pursue graduate degrees after Gettysburg.”

Ultimately, Dr. Else stresses, “Students come away with real professional contacts and a much greater sense of the rich and dynamic directions in which their skills can take them.”¿ This opportunity is open to all senior Art and Art History majors.

Some highlights from the trip (Photos by Linh Phan ’18):

Art NYC 2016 trip

Art NYC 2016 trip

Mark Borgi Fine Arts with art dealer & consultant Julia Keyes and curator Jenny Mushkin Goldman. Students saw the exhibit, “Beyond Secretary”, which touched on themes of feminine power. Shannon Gross noted that it was an interesting exhibit. “It seemed kind of a strange array of things to put in the exhibit at the same time, but they were all connected by women. One woman took paint chips and painted different foods on them and they were really telling of womanhood.”

Art NYC 2016 trip

Art NYC 2016 trip

Pavel Zoubok Gallery with gallery owner Pavel Zoubok, and an artist talk from Vanessa German. German gave an powerful and engaging artist’s talk about the intersection of race and feminism through her artwork. Gross remarked that this talk was a favorite moment in the trip: “Vanessa German was the best. Her work had so many different references in all of her sculptures – it looked like she had a terracotta army. That was what it felt like, going into that room and seeing all those individual sculptures; it was like seeing rows and rows of soldiers but they were all these different sculptures made out of all these different materials, like old packaging for food, signs, fabrics, and elaborate headdresses, all referencing the Yoruba culture…. I was floored.”

Art NYC 2016 trip

George Adams Gallery. Kobalija, who is represented by the Gallery, discussed the visit: “We visited the eminent George Adams Gallery, where Mr. Adams invited our students and faculty to the private gallery quarters. The gallery director Eva Rivlin spoke to the students at length about the ongoing exhibition, the art world in general and many of the blessings as well as the challenges associated with running an art gallery. She offered advices to the students on how to promote their work and eventually approach galleries after graduation.”

Art NYC 2016 trip

Art NYC 2016 trip

Visit to the Studio Museum at Harlem facilitated by Dr. Nicholas Miller. Exhibits included a site-specific live installation. David Rampersad commented, “This piece was made by an artist who was laying within the piece. Apparently his pieces are very much involved with the body in art, and also enduring, pushing the body, and his body as the vessel.”

Networking Dinner at Fig and Olive. Students had the opportunity to network with Gettysburg College Art Department alums as well as professionals working in the art or art history field. Guests included art critics Dr. Thyrza Goodeve and Edward Gomez, painter Andrew Lenaghan, and alumna Francesca DeBiaso ’12 and Deirdre d’Amico ’16. Erica Schaumberg said that the dinner was one of the standout experiences she had on the trip. She says, “At the networking dinner, a guest said that the combination of Art History and Studio Art was very ‘dynamic and practical’. As an art student you never really hear people telling you the subjects you are studying are ‘practical’ since many people in society do not value art the same way I do. I think just being able to listen to people who are in the field as I would like to be by the time I graduate really just confirmed that my dreams are not outlandish as long as I work the best I possibly can.”

Art NYC 2016 trip

The Metropolitan Art Museum facilitated by Dr. Felicia Else. Posing with the New York Kouros is a tradition for the annual trip. Rampersad, who went to high school a few blocks away from the museum, noted it as one of his favorite stops. “It felt like a homecoming, but [at the same time]there’s always different collections and stuff in there.”

Art NYC 2016 trip

Art NYC 2016 trip

--Article by Zoe Yeoh ‘18

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