NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Students bring museum to life

NECC students and professors travel to Boston art museum

The bustle of the museum soon died out as the students moved further into the art galleries. Pictures lined that walls all around them as the soft smell of old belongings kissed their noses. Professor Patricia Portanova, Professor Steve Russell, and NECC students went to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) on April 3. After being stuck on a school bus in the morning rush to Boston, the students gathered in the MFA to learn more about American, European, and Spanish artists. Professor Portanova’s Creative Non-Fiction Writing class had previously written about an artist they had chosen from the museum’s website. Going through the museum, they were their own tour guides for the day. After a few wrong turns, the students found themselves talking about the artist and piece of work they had written about. Each student who had an artist that had their work displayed gave a short and informal presentation to the group.

Danikza Carrasquillo, a NECC English student, commented on how going to the MFA helped with her class. “It helped me to visualize the artwork. Seeing it in person gave me more intel of the artist,” she said. She also commented that going on the field trip was more of a social experience than sitting in a class room. Katherine Hailson, a Liberal Arts Writing Major, said that she liked seeing the students talk about the artist they picked to write their essays on. She said that it was “way more interesting than having a museum tour guide.” Hailson pointed out that one of the benefits of going on the field trip was that it was a different way of learning. Students got to get out of the classroom and could have a hands on experience she said. When asked what some of the highlights of the trip were, Hailson said “I got to explore exhibits that I wouldn’t usually explore.”

One of the popular exhibits that was on display was the Frida Kahlo exhibit. NECC student Mariella Mendez talked about how Kahlo was involved in a near fatal accident that had her bedridden for some time when she was young. Kahlo’s father suggested that she start drawing. Her love for art continued throughout her life and she became a very famous artist. The exhibit was full of bright colors and daring images. It was obvious that Kahlo did not censor anything when it came to her artwork. Carrasquillo commented that everything else seemed underwhelming compared to this exhibit. The students and faculty members that attended were engaged in what each other had to say. Hearing other students talk about what they learned about the artist they had chosen brought the museum to life.