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Spanish IV Students Explore Madison Art Museums
Spanish Art Trip

Departing the high school at 8:15 a.m., 35 Spanish IV students traveled to the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art to view how life impacts art on Thursday, April 12. As a part of our unit on immigration, the students' main objective was to view an installation by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, Talking Continents. It is a walkthrough exhibit of suspended steel forms constructed of welded letters and symbols representing multiple languages and cultures. The depiction of people traveling from different places in the world, bringing their culture with them, demonstrates the hope that many feel as they immigrate to new places in the world. Interestingly, the pieces representing people were all faceless in an effort to remove the stereotypes that often occur when we see a person's facial features. Students watched a portion of a movie that demonstrated another artistic outlet for sharing some of the struggles people who immigrate encounter. Students visited other exhibits at the museum and learned that art can represent many social issues and sometimes literally can be looked at in many ways. One of the final pieces we saw filled us with pride. It was a large oil painting of a chicly decorated room created by former Whippet David Bushman, WHS Class of 1963. Students enjoyed lunch on State Street before a final stop at the Chazen Museum of Art on the UW-Madison Campus. There, students independently toured the exhibits as they sought out pieces of art that spoke to them. Students will write descriptions in Spanish during class to share their thoughts about the pieces they selected. We were very fortunate to see a sculpture at all stages by Pablo Picasso. We saw his initial drawing, the mock sculpture made of paper, and the final piece carved and shaped from bronze. It was a very art filled day and the students represented WHS very well. Shout out to retired art teacher Mrs. Brigham-Schmuhl who volunteered to accompany the group. Her breadth of knowledge and enthusiasm for art was a true asset to our day.

Author: Kate McNulty   E-Mail: