JCA Art students visit “Van Gogh’s Bedrooms” exhibit at Art Institute of Chicago

Van Gogh's Bedroom

Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom” on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Current Joliet Catholic Academy art students traveled to Chicago today to visit the Art Institute of Chicago for a once in a lifetime opportunity to observe the “Van Gogh’s Bedrooms” exhibit, now on display until May 10th. “Vincent van Gogh’s bedroom in Arles is arguably the most famous chamber in the history of art. It also held special significance for the artist, who created three distinct paintings of this intimate space from 1888 to 1889. This exhibition, presented only at the Art Institute of Chicago, brings together three versions of The Bedroom for the first time in North America, offering a pioneering and in-depth study of their making and meaning to Van Gogh in his relentless quest for home.

JCA students along with fine arts teachers Mrs. Peg Stoiber and Mrs. Amanda Popow, were led on an hour long guided tour of the Van Gogh exhibit, which displayed several of works both prior and after painting The Bedroom. Mrs. Stoiber said, “It was a great opportunity to take what we talk about in class and see the actual work, in order to get a sense of where it fits in history. Students were able to see firsthand how an artist evolves over time, and the process that it takes to produce great works of art Artists search for years to develop their style, and our students were given an appreciation for how events throughout an artist’s life can influence their work.”

After the hour long tour of the Van Gogh exhibit in the Art Institute’s American Art wing, students were able to explore the Institutes various collections, including but not limited to Architecture and Design, Chicago Architecture, Modern Art, Contemporary Art, European Painting and Sculpture, and more.

JCA junior Michael Jones said, “I go to the museum often and every time I go it’s something different, a new experience. I’m a fan of the impressionist era so it was interesting to see the influence it had on Van Gogh. I’m looking forward to trying out Van Gogh’s style of thicker brush strokes in my acrylic painting during my free time.”

After viewing “Van Gogh’s Bedrooms” students were assigned a project based on any work of their choosing located within the Art Institute, allowing them to choose an area of their own interest. Each semester the Fine Arts Department organizes a trip to the Art Institute, and it has sparked the interest of more than one student to explore art even outside of the city of Chicago, and even the United States. Michael Jones is the latest example.

This summer, Michael and his family have planned a trip to visit Rome, Florence, Assisi, and Venice. “I’m most looking forward to visiting the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy (which features the works of Rembrandt, Botticelli, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci). Seeing the intricate differences between Van Gogh’s works today and getting a greater appreciation for the process artists undertake was a great experience”, said Jones.

An appreciation for art education, and transferring classroom lessons through real-world applications is what the JCA Fine Arts Department provides for the nearly 700 students in attendance on the campus of Larkin and Ingalls Avenues.

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