By: Gracie Guy ’19

The Fine Arts Trip to New York this year gave students of all artistic interests the opportunity to further explore their fields of studies in one of the most unique cities in the world. From performances to museums, each student was able to engage in their arts in new ways and catch a glimpses of the professional world.

The performing arts students began their creative journey on the very first night at The Circle in the Square Theatre’s performance of “Once on this Island”, the story of two very different worlds coming together to help one another. Before entering the theatre, a group of ESJ girls spotted Kenny Ortega, the director of the “High School Musical” movie trilogy and snapped a few photos with him before walking into the theatre. This play proved to many performing artists that any space can be an artistic space. On the third day of the trip, students took communion at an Episcopalian church and received the chance to listen to a very impressive choir, as well as talented accompaniment consisting of many different instruments. That night, they attended a performance of “Body Traffic”, at the Joyce Theatre, which included a wide array of genres of dance such as tap, jazz and contemporary. Many of the dancers performed in more than one piece, exemplifying the versatility needed to succeed as a professional dancer. The trip concluded with lunch at Playwright Tavern with Wesley Taylor, a lead character in “Spongebob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical”, where he shared some of his tips to making it as well as some of his favorite experiences performing on Broadway with the budding artists. The performing arts students also learned a musical number entitled “Hoop de Dingle” at a workshop which they performed at Grandparents’ Day. With four performances, two talkbacks with cast members and a chance to develop in piece in the Big Apple, the New York trip proved to be very successful for the performing artists.

The visual artists also experienced the wonders of the city with every building they walked past and museum they entered. On a walk through Central Park, photography students were encouraged to snap shots of the breathtaking nature. Shortly after, students arrived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Each exhibit portrayed a different artistic time period and showcased its best pieces. Some of the favorites included the Medieval, Arms and Armor and and Modern and Contemporary collections. Students were in awe of the extreme talent of these works and left with a greater appreciation for their craft. While the performing artists attended their workshop, the visual arts students witnessed the experimental work of the Chelsea Gallery. They finished the week off with an exciting visit to the Museum of Modern Art where they took a look at some iconic pieces including Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. Throughout the many different artistic experiences and opportunities, there was truly something special for each visual artist.

This year’s New York Trip provided all of the fine arts students with informative, interesting and fun experiences. From the modern museums to the eye-opening workshops, this adventure will be one that the young artists will never forget.

Image courtesy of Jesse Leonard ’19.