Art students to visit museums, studios in fall semester course

Sierra Shelton, Staff Writer

Directly inspiring students to find their niche in the professional art world is what the new “Investigating the Art World” field-trip based course hopes to accomplish.

This course offers a unique experience by taking students on four field-trips throughout the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara areas.

Students do most classwork online beginning August 26, and only meet up on four specific Saturdays to participate in the trips.

“I didn’t know anybody who was an artist growing up, they all did other things… I always liked to draw, that always seemed like a hobby,” said Art Department Chair and Professor Christopher Ulivo. “Then to meet people who are pursuing it seriously, it just made a switch go off and say ‘That’s an option.’”

Having made revisions for numerous past courses, Ulivo and Art Professor Stephanie Washburn curated an extensive curriculum development plan for the course that would benefit the students.

In order to prioritize the career goals and keep students on track, Washburn and Ulivo kept the California Guided Pathways in mind as they organized the class to prioritize the students’ best interests.

The class will visit numerous museums, art galleries, and artist-run spaces in areas such as Santa Barbara, Ojai, Ventura, and Downtown Los Angeles on their all-day trips.

The students also get to shadow in artist studios, a part of the learning experience that Ulivo found to be his favorite as an undergraduate in the East Coast.

“In art, there’s a lot of preconceived notions that there aren’t a lot of opportunities out there,” Ulivo said. “It’s kind of like an ecosystem… There’s a lot of different places for people to inhabit in the art world.”

This course could be taken with ART 118, where students can become familiar with the professional side of art, as well as networking with peers, established artists, and agents while building a clean portfolio.

Washburn hopes to guide students on the ins and outs of “the economics behind art production and exhibition, contrasting for-profit, nonprofit, artist-run and more collaborative exhibition spaces.”

On the field trips, students observe behind-the-scenes aspects of art institutions, for example, how galleries are curated or how museums are run. An emphasis is placed on how museums are funded and represented in order for students to get an idea of how the institutions work and operate.

Any student can take this course whether they find art simply as a hobby or a career because there are no prerequisites required to register.

“I’m hoping we can help begin to demystify the art world,” said Washburn. “The class should give students a better sense of how they want to structure their education in the arts.”

Whether it be inside or outside the classroom or on a field-trip, Washburn hopes to build up a “supportive creative community” at City College and break up the stigmas surrounding careers and opportunities in the arts.