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SCSD Fifth Graders Experience Fine Arts Up Close at The Everson

This is a photo of a group of Syracuse Latin students standing in front of a staircase at the Everson Museum of Art.“I like this piece because of the realism. And because black and yellow are my favorite colors!”
Moses Sekarore, a fifth grade student at Syracuse Latin, had an interesting take on ‘Alpha Delta’ by Morris Louis, a large piece of art hanging high on the lobby wall at the Everson Museum of Art. And that was the point of this annual field trip, in which all SCSD fifth grade students are provided with the opportunity to take a field trip to explore the art on display at the famed local museum.
For going on a decade, funding from the SCSD Fine Arts Department has enabled all SCSD fifth graders to make this trip, in which they spend two hours exploring the museum and learning more about art in an up close, hands-on way. After two years of cancelled field trips due to the pandemic, our students were thrilled to have the experience this year.
“We work so that every single SCSD student has a positive arts experience,” SCSD Director of Fine Arts Rory Edwards explained. “Some students do not want to get on stage and perform; but every student deserves a chance to consume the arts and make connections to life and learning in whatever way is best for them. Ultimately, we try to offer as many arts opportunities as possible, with the hope that field trips like this one will help our students nurture a positive relationship with the arts. I want them to drive by the Everson for the rest of their lives and know the amazing things that happen inside the building!”  
On the field trip, students did discover amazing things. For one, it was that the museum’s iconic stairs looked like curly fries. For another, it was a painting that used squares to create an optical illusion, changing from a 2D piece to a 3D piece, depending on the angle it was viewed from.
“I’ve seen so much cool art here,” Moses added. “I’ve never been to a museum before! We learned a lot about the artists and what made them think to make their art. I really liked the artist who made sculptures that each had hearts hidden in them. We came up with our own ideas about why the hearts were in there – my idea is that the artist used the hearts to show the love he’s putting into his work.”
“The sculptures were my favorite part,” Eddie O’Malley shared. “I like the symbolism of hope coming out of the chaos. There is a lot of creativity here – it’s awesome to be here!”
“I also liked the sculptures,” Ian Bell said. “They were cool and there was a lot of meaning in them. There were so many materials in them! I like art that has mystery to it – you can’t tell the meaning of it but you just like to look at it and try to guess.”
Students broke into small groups and then either toured the museum with a docent or participated in an arts activity. After an hour, they switched to experience the other activity. When not touring the museum, students had the opportunity to paint with watercolor using techniques developed by local artist Dan Shanahan, watch a history of hip hop performance by traveling dance troupe Versa Style, or watch an age-appropriate educational video about art theory.
Over the course of a month, more than 1,300 SCSD fifth graders walked the galleries of the museum. Thank you to the Fine Arts Department and the staff at the Everson for making this experience possible!
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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