New Class Explores the History of Art in the Adirondacks

Earlier this month, the Adirondack Art Exploration class ventured to Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake. While at the museum, students were treated to a private showing of original work by the artists Harold Weston and Rockwell Kent.

Students in the Art Exploration class not only make art but also learn about artists that have lived and found inspiration in the Adirondacks. Ms. Ingrid Van Slyke, an art teacher, teaches this trimester-long elective. She took her students to the museum to share her passion for art in the hopes that her students gain a deeper appreciation of art. “I hoped that when they saw artworks in real life, they would make a connection to what they were doing in class,” Ms. Van Slyke said.

Prior to the visit to the museum, students watched documentary films about the lives of Weston and Kent, wrote journals on them, and made art in the style of Harold Weston.

A highlight of the trip for VanSlyke and her students was that they got to go see a part of the museum that the public doesn’t usually see. They went into the inners of the museum, down into a faculty area where the museum staff pulled out paintings from the vault that weren’t out on display at the time, so everyone got to see the real work that they had been learning about. It made an impression on the students. “Seeing Weston’s paintings in real [was a highlight] because it’s not the same as seeing it online. You could see the texture and it was really cool,” said Ryan Combe ‘20, a student in the class.

Adirondack Art Exploration is a first trimester fine arts elective and will likely be offered again first trimester next year.

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