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AP Art History Students Explore Chicago's Art Museums

In April, roughly fifty Dumbach Scholars in AP Art History visited the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute of Chicago to view their latest exhibitions. This field trip supported the class's study of global contemporary art and served as a review of art from the Americas and Africa. Much of the work students encountered addressed themes of identity, a focus of the Dumbach Great Art curriculum.
"As much as I love learning in the classroom, the outside-of-class trip was a way to further my understanding and appreciation of the art. After all of our hard work since August, this field trip was a much-needed visit right before our AP test!" reflected Lucy Kirkland '25.

After an early stop for Stan's Donuts in downtown Chicago, the group first headed to the Museum of Contemporary Art to explore the exhibitions Enter the Mirror and Forecast Form. As students walked through the exhibits, they were encouraged to make personal connections to the works and consider new points of view.

After lunch, students traveled to the Art Institute of Chicago to view Fresh Up by Gio Swaby, a multidisciplinary artist whose textile-based practice explores the intersections of Blackness and womanhood. In her interpretations, Swaby foregrounds her hair, clothing, and jewelry—highlighting and celebrating the subjects' use of fashion as unapologetic self-definition and self-expression. The group also browsed the Modern Wing of the Institute. While there, students were encouraged to find work incorporating themes of identity, continuity, and change.

"From the Contemporary Wing of the Art Institute to the Forecast Form exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, I was amazed at the variety of work," said John Farr '25.

"I was able to connect a lot of what we were learning in class to what we were seeing at the museum. One of my favorite parts was seeing The Other Vietnam Memorial and comparing it to The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial by Maya Lin, which we learned about in class," added Meredith Duryea '25.

The Dumbach Scholars Honors Program is an enrichment program designed to enhance the curriculum of Loyola's most gifted and motivated students. The program is grounded in small group Socratic discussions of humanities and arts topics. For more information, click here.

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