Planning Educational Student Trips to Chicago: Art Tours

Art Museum Tours: The Perfect Chicago Student Trip

In the windy city of Chicago students and teachers have the opportunity to plan educational field trips to a wide variety of art museums and exhibitions. Whether you plan a senior class trip or a typical high school tour, art tours in Chicago offer a number of artistic perspectives, styles, mediums, collections and educational programs. Exposure to various art mediums and artists teaches, encourages and inspires students of all ages.

Student Art Tours You’ll Want to Include on Your Chicago Field Trip

If you are currently in the process of planning a student trip to Chicago here are some art tours you won’t want to miss.

Student Trips at the Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is more than a school. It is also home to one of the most breathtaking museums in the Chicago area. The Art Institute displays thousands of paintings, sculptures and other artworks from around the world. Collections include African, American, Ancient, Architectural, Medieval, Renaissance, Asian, Contemporary, European, American Indian and Modern art. Students can see the work of famous artists such as John Singer Sargent, Georgia O’Keeffe, Diego Rivera Ivan Albright, Picasso and Matisse.

Currently the Art Institute is completing construction of The Modern Wing, scheduled to open to the public on May 16, 2009. The Modern Wing will increase gallery space and be home to the Ryan Education Center. In March and May student tours will not be available.

Educational Tours of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) provides guided, self-guided and Curator tours to student groups, families and individuals. The MCA is one of the country’s largest facilities devoted to modern art. Student tours can view contemporary visual art mediums such as painting, sculpture, photography, video, film, and performance. The MCA collection features artists from 1945 until the present day. Surrealist, minimalist and conceptual artists are often featured. Student trips to the MCA can also include interactive Creation and Design Labs.

Art-Oriented Field Trips to the University of Chicago
As the future home of the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts, the University of Chicago deems the arts as an integral part of academia. The Center, scheduled to open in 2011 will house theatre and performance, music, and cinema and media studies.

The Center will have classrooms, individual studios, exhibition space for the visual arts, a black-box theater, music practice rooms, a film vault, a lecture/film screening hall, and computer editing labs.

On the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus student tour groups also have access to the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, home to more than 10,000 objects, spanning five millennia of Western and Eastern civilization. The Smart Museum of Art is nationally recognized for its permanent collection, special exhibits, research, outreach and educational programs. In February and March of 2009 construction upgrades to the Smart Museum of Art will be completed. Student tours will not have access to all galleries during this time.

Educational Field Trips to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio

Frank Lloyd Wright lived and worked at his now famous home and studio from 1889 to 1909. Wright’s home became his experimental, architectural laboratory. Here Wright and his colleagues created a new American architecture: the Prairie style. One hundred and twenty-five buildings were designed and constructed. Each spring individual, group and student trips can be planned during the annual Housewalk, during which visitors are able to view the interiors of multiple Wright designed homes. Educational programs are available to help visitors experience architecture first hand and learn more about historic preservation.

A One-of-a-Kind Student Trip: The National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum
The National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum (NVVAM) is unlike any other Chicago field trip destination. NVVAM displays over 1500 artworks created by artists to chronicle experiences in the Vietnam War. Exhibits are sometimes interactive and always meant to provoke dialogue about the realities of war. The “Things They Carried” exhibit allows children to wear the uniforms, boots and backpacks of Vietnam soldiers.

Art therapy, for many veterans, has been a healthy way to process and express painful memories and feelings. NVVAM is dedicated to helping veterans from all wars share their perspectives with the public. Currently the NVVAM is now showing art by Iraq veterans. Work by a local University of Illinois art student, Aaron Hughes, is now being shown. Hughes served in Iraq for 18 months.

Educational Student Tours of Chicago’s Museum of Mexican Art

Educational field trips to The National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) feature curator Talks and guides as well as children’s and adult art classes. The Museum preserves Mexican culture and educates the public about the Mexican visual and performing arts. As the largest Latino arts institution in the United States, the NMMA is actively involved in community based art programs, cultural equity issues and Latino groups throughout the City of Chicago.

As anyone planning a student trip to Chicago can see, art is a great way to focus the learning experience. Take one or several of these art destinations and add them to an itinerary for any student tour of the Chicago area.

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