Middle Schoolers Visit High Museum on the First Field Trip Since Pandemic


Sydney Wszolek

During the week of September 12, many Middle School students went on their first field trip of the year, visiting the High Museum. This was the first out-of-school field trip since COVID interrupted school in 2020. Organized and led by French teacher Anne-Sophie Hankla, the trip traveled by grade on September 14, 15, and 17 to view the Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso exhibit. The sixth grade, seventh grade, and eighth grade Visual Arts class, the eighth grade French class including some six grade French students, and seventh grade Spanish 1 and eighth grade Spanish Advanced classes went to the High Museum according to the date, spending around two hours at the exhibit. 

This exhibit features Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso’s twentieth-century art. The exhibit presents more than one hundred paintings, sculptures, and works on paper spanning Calder’s and Picasso’s careers, and “will reveal the radical innovation and enduring influence of their art.” 

Even without vaccination, 6th graders were still able to participate in this trip. “The High Museum was really trying to keep the numbers of people in the gallery really low, so COVID wasn’t a big concern for the 6th graders. Also the buses were kept at half capacity for COVID safety,” said Hankla. 

As a French teacher, Hankla wanted to expose the students to the works of Picasso, partially because he was an artist who was Spanish but lived in France, and also because she wanted some curiosity to spark in their heads about modern art. Before visiting the exhibit, students who took French studied the life of Picasso, and they also talked about cubism. After touring the exhibit, students will continue reading a book about a character who fled Spain to France because of the Spanish Civil War. After finishing the book, the class will study the piece Guernica, which they saw at the High Museum, a famous painting about the Spanish Civil War and the massacre of civilians.