AP Art Plans Trip to Southwest


By Isabella Schloss

After traveling to Europe last year, fine arts teachers Zachary Gilmour and Lisa Ouse-Hicks will take their AP art classes to explore the American southwest this April.

The program alternates every year between a European and more local trip.Since European trips happen every other year, art students have the opportunity to study as well as create different styles of art the years they don’t go overseas.

“Our focus is for our junior and senior art students to get exposure to a variety of art forms and techniques unique to that area of our country and to use the amazing geographical wonders, such as the Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest as inspiration for creating our own artwork,” Ouse said of the southwestern trip.

The students, from AP Drawing and Painting, AP 3-D Design (Ceramics) and AP Photography, plan to fly into Albuquerque where they will explore Santa Fe and Taos, a small town north of Santa Fe that is home to three art museums and the Taos Society of Artists.

The Taos Art Museum estimates that Taos has more artists per capita than any other city in the world.

The group will then travel through various locations in the southwest exploring the natural terrain before driving back to Mill Valley from the Grand Canyon.

The idea for the trip was based not only on the financial difference between the overseas trip and the more local U.S. trip. The art department’s desire to study non-European art such as the southwestern style, which includes the work of artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, contributed to the decision to travel to the American southwest.

“There are lots of things that are interesting artistically in the U.S.,” said Mr. Gilmour, “If you take four years of art you get a variety [of artistic styles].”

Next year’s trip may be to Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan or the United Kingdom, though the destination is still undecided.

Students participating in the week-long trip will depart on April 9 and will return on the 16.