So often, we get caught up in our day-to-day obligations and routines, making it hard to break out of our daily demands and look beyond what is right in front of us. Going to museums and immersing ourselves in art gives us a chance to step out of our perfunctory daily life and get a broader perspective of the world, our place in it, what it means to be human, and to interact with others, experience new cultures, perspectives, and points of view.
In February for the Horizons at Colorado Academy Super Saturday, we did just that! We were able to enjoy two museums, Museo de las Americas and the Denver Art Museum. About 20 Kindergarten-Grade 4 students were treated to a lovely story hour at Museo de las Americas, highlighting family traditions. Afterwards, the students walked through the current exhibit, El Infinito, which shows beautiful satellite images taken from space alongside the Codex Borgia, an ancient Aztec manuscript containing the Aztecs’ interpretation of the cosmos. A juxtaposition of the past, present, and future, the exhibit brings forward the use of modern technology in space exploration, while contrasting our Aztec ancestors’ musings and theories of space. It was truly eye-opening (as you can see from the picture to the right).
Visiting the Denver Art Museum
Our 5th Grade through high school students explored the Denver Art Museum. Jorge Arroyo, our Horizons art teacher, put together an impactful program around Denver-born artist Jordan Casteel’s exhibit, Returning the Gaze. Jordan is an alumna of East High, and the body of work featured in this exhibit seeks to shine a light and give voice to those that are underrepresented in art. What makes her work so impactful is that she breaks down the barriers of outside skin color by painting her subjects with blue, green, and orange tones—so that the viewer can see past the surface and take a deeper look.
Before walking through the exhibit, students were given a set of questions to guide them as they took in the artwork. Afterwards, Jorge asked the students why they thought she chose to name her exhibit Returning the Gaze, what kind of feelings did the artwork provoke in them, what they thought of her subject matter, and more. For many of our students who hadn’t ever been to the museum before or it had been a while, it was a moving experience— exactly what we would like to happen during our times together!