Eighth grade visual trip expands students’ outlooks on art

Eighth grade visual arts majors embarked on the second annual trip to the Tampa Bay Area from Jan. 21-23. The purpose of the trip was to explore historical and unique art forms.

“The visual trip showed me that art is a very universal form, and that it expresses feelings,” Tiffany Lumley, eighth grade visual major said. “It showed what was happening during the time art was made and why art was made in the first place.”

On the first day, the group visited the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. The museum included a tour that showcased European art and a circus exhibit that contained handmade statuettes.

“I’ve never seen such a wide collection of miniatures,” Lumley said.

According to the Ringling Museum’s website, John and Mable, a married couple, gave the museum to Florida after their deaths. The institution later became the state art museum.

“The Ringling Museum was comprised of various works of art gathered in one place,” Lianna McDonald, eighth grade visual major said.

Students took an audio tour of the Salvador Dali Museum on the second day. Dali was a famous Spanish surrealist painter who lived from 1904 to 1989. His works often featured optical illusions.

Emily Colainta, eighth grade visual major said. “I got to spend some time going through the Dali Museum with my friends.”

The Morean Art Center boasted the Chihuly Collection, Dale Chihuly’s permanent glass exhibition in St. Petersburg.

“All of the works in the Chihuly Collection were intricately sculpted,” McDonald said.

According to Chihuly’s website, on a visit to England in 1976, a severe car crash scarred Chihuly’s face and blinded his left eye. Yet, he still continued his passion for blowing glass.

“When I was studying interior architecture, there was one night when I blew a bubble and put a pipe into this glass I had melted,” Chihuly said. “From that moment, I wanted to be a glassblower.”

The Museum of Fine Arts, also in St. Petersburg, is “the only comprehensive art collection of its kind on Florida’s west coast,” according to the museum’s website.

“We were able to visit museums that we’ve never been to before, like the Museum of Fine Arts,” Colainta said. “It gave us a sense of independence while still being in a group.”

On the final day, students enjoyed three hours at the Florida Aquarium. The aquarium not only exposed visitors to marine life, but had a Madagascar exhibit as well.

McDonald said, “I felt tired [on the drive home] because we had a fun and fulfilling day at the aquarium.”

The trip was both the first and last trip for the visual class of 2016.

“There were so many visual appeals on the trip,” Lumley said. “We experienced another side of art that we didn’t know before.”