Walking Among Art

Amanda Mier, Feature Editor

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Art came to life in Europe.  Maggie Walker students did not think of great art as more than images on a computer screen until they stood before it in awe.  “A very special moment for me was when I saw a painting by Van Gogh,” said Virginia Taylor (’16). “Van Gogh has been my favorite artist since I was six-years-old and I had to choose an artist to paint, and then I was in the Louvre I saw the piece with the woman and the church and I was just stunned.”

For some, the sense of wonder around classical art was life changing. “Walking through the Louvre, there were halls and halls of historical Renaissance paintings that seemed to go on and on. The thought that these are only a fraction of a specific genre’s works made me aware of just how much traditional art there is in the world. Despite the Louvre’s huge collection, people swarmed around the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci, while overlooking so many other incredible pieces. This changed my perspective on how people often focus on one famous piece instead of exploring new pieces or genres,” said Sabrina Sampson (’17).

Beginning in France and traveling to England throughout the summer, the seven students were immersed in the atmospheres of wherever they stayed.  Said Sabrina, “Walking through the streets of London and Paris, you felt like you were among art, whether it be architecture, sculptures, street art, street musicians, or gardens. And I loved London’s architecture and overall feeling. The mix between the historical, old buildings and contemporary, new buildings was something we don’t get to see in the states.” Virginia Taylor agreed: “I’d never been out of the country, so it was exciting to be in a new place with an entirely new culture.”

Besides going to museums, those on the trip explored Paris and London and enjoyed the most important aspect of any good vacation: the food. “The food was so. Good,” gushed Virginia. “This one place had Brie balls, which is barley stuffed with Brie. And I tried escargot for the first time! Except I’m a vegetarian, and it was disgusting.”

Of course, not everything went perfectly: travelling around Europe from the United States can cause the horrendous affliction that is jet lag. “Within five minutes of bus tours, we’d fall asleep from jet lag and general exhaustion. After this happened on two or three tours, I was determined to stay awake during our night bus tour of Paris. Caroline (Pittard) and I sat with each other on the open deck so that she sat in the aisle seat, where she fell asleep almost instantly,” explained Sabrina. “Impressively enough, she didn’t wake up until the bus braked suddenly and her head banged into the seat in front of her.”

Overall, the experience brought the students closer together, through falling into the Thames, intense dance battles, or six-cheese pizza with Brie. “Getting to see these cool cities with all my friends was great!” said Kiersen Mather, (’17). “This trip was a good bonding experience. I already knew most of the kids on the trip fairly well, but getting to spend time with them in a foreign country was a great way to get to know them in a totally different setting,” concurred Sabrina.



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