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Bingham High Students Appreciate World Class Art In San Francisco

Apr 24, 2015 07:50PM ● Published by Julie Slama

Bingham High art and art history students visit the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park as part of the group’s San Francisco art field trip. Photo courtesy of James Barton

Fourteen Bingham High art and art history students spent a long weekend appreciating art in several museums and churches in San Francisco.

As part of an opportunity given to art and advanced placement art history students, AP art history teacher James Barton leads students through the de Young Museum, Legion of Honor, Asian Art Museum, Glide Memorial Church and Grace Cathedral allowing students to see pieces of art created by the masters. The art tour was over President’s weekend.

“It’s a heartening experience to see art students stand in front of a Monet or Renoir and see the great artist’s work and understand the impact this individual has,” Barton said. “As a teacher who is passionate about the subject, it’s fascinating to see them enlightened, ‘ooh and ahh’ the great masters and use the vocabulary they’ve learned when they see the works and gain inspiration from them.”

Barton said that this is the fourth annual trip he has taken students to San Francisco. He picked the city since it’s close, easily accessible with public transportation and has world-class collections, such as African, Mayan and Aztec at the de Young Museum and European and American collections at the Legion of Honor.

In addition to inspiring students, it also gives them confidence in their AP art history class.

“They see what they’ve learned and studied and realize they know it and realize that they actually can pass and do well on the AP test,” he said.

Barton hopes that students are appreciating and understanding their world around them.

“Through the art, I hope it is communicated that they see human experiences in a different light and may never look at the world the same way. Even when they’re older and may enter the business or science world and travel, they will have their understanding as an enriching aspect and the knowledge that art offers,” he said. 

The students also saw and did many of the typical San Francisco sites, such as going to the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Coit Tower, Chinatown, Little Italy, Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park and the Farmer’s Market as well as riding a trolley and eating Ghiradelli chocolate and ice cream.

Since the trip, which cost the students about $500, many of the students shared photos and notes with those who didn’t have the opportunity to go.

“The price can’t be beat since the experience is priceless. We packed in as much as we could, often getting back to our motel after 9 or 10 p.m. Many of the students are still so energized about it, they already are planning a return trip with their families this summer or plan to go back with the school next year,” he said.  
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