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Traveling Back to the Beginning

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, April 10, 2017
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Paris Street; Rainy Day, Gustave Caillebotte, The Art Institute of Chicago

In less than twenty-four hours I am going to board a plane and end up in the city of my childhood. I am returning to the Windy City because it is Spring Break and because I yearn to have a Marcel Proustian experience of all the familiar places, tastes, and scents from the times of my youth. In honor of this trip, I am going to write about early experiences involving art that have left a lasting impact for years to come.

The story begins in the early nineties when I was not exactly a lover of art. As a matter of fact, it would appear from my early years that my love of the arts grew after a Stockholm Syndrome sort of relationship. I attended a classical elementary school in Chicago that incorporated Latin into the curriculum and an exposure to the art world made possible by frequent trips to the Art Institute. Living in a major city has its advantages when stressing the importance of the arts.

Unfortunately, a trip to the museum (similar to a trip to Orchestra Hall) meant no talking, no playing, and having to walk around for hours while a curator spoke about random pieces of art. The permission slip labeled “Art Institute” would let out a resigned sigh from many of my grade school classmates.

It was not until years later when I was sitting in a modern Art History lecture that I was wholeheartedly thankful for the opportunity presented to me in my youth. I was able to appreciate impressionism by Monet and Gustave Caillebotte, Georges Seurat's pointillism, and ready-mades by Marcel Duchamp up close and in person in real life, which is always way cooler than a slide image.

The emphasis in the study of arts in my formative years made a lasting impression on me that I carried into adulthood. I believe it is important to teach youngsters about art by taking trips to museums even if it seems boring at first.

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anonymous?

Banes at 7:24AM, April 11, 2017

Hope you have a fine, fulfilling trip; it's always illuminating to hear your insights. Looking forward to anything you have to say about Chicago upon your return. It must be radically different from L.A. eh?

ozoneocean at 7:20PM, April 10, 2017

As a kid you're just too inexperienced about the world, you need to be introduced to these things or you'd never seek them out on your own, It really does pay off in later life. I wish my parents had pushed me harder towards more of the things I was reluctant to participate in.

KimLuster at 1:10PM, April 10, 2017

I'm glad I too art appreciation and critique in college - I was way too immature to appreciate it earlier than that haha


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