AA Lit Classes Visit Museum of Art


Jaelen Whitehead, Fine Arts Co-Editor

On Thursday, November 15, Mr. Robinson’s African American Literature classes went to the Tucson Museum of Art to visit the 30 American Art exhibits on display which contains only work, in a variety of mediums, from African American artists over the last 40 years. The exhibit has paintings, sculptures, installations, pictures, and much more that portray African American culture. Students were asked to choose a piece of art that they found interesting and write their impressions on the work. Prior to the field trip, we pre-selected a work of art from their website that we wanted to focus on.

Students arrived around 10:30, and then got into our groups of 4. There were parents, as well as experts in African American literature and art from the community, chaperoning the trip.  When we arrived, the students got into groups and got a tour of the exhibit, soaking in the art and writing about it. The exhibit was amazing. All of the pieces explored African American culture and background. It also helps that many of the piece were huge. It helped to see a lot of extra intricate details in the artwork.

Marques Weatherspoon said, “I loved it.” This was his first time going to an art museum. Marques also said that his favorite artwork was the Triple Portrait of Charles the First by Kehinde Wiley, because, “It holds this sort of duality, while it celebrates African American culture.  It also can be seen as controversial, considering he’s wearing the stereotypical hooded sweatshirt with a hood up. A dangerous fashion choice.”

I choose to write about the piece called Sacrifice #2: It Has To Last, by Rozeal. I chose this piece because I have never seen a painting like this before. This painting mixes both African American culture and Japanese culture. It’s also really colorful and vibrant in my personal opinion.

Another student who went on the trip, Casarah Blondeaux, said she liked the Equestrian Portrait of the Count Duke Olivares by Kehinde Wiley because, “it put a new twist on the old art piece. I think it made it better.”

Mr Robinson stated, “Seeing these works and having the curators work with us both before, and after was a great opportunity for all of us. Students engaged with the works of art, frequently giving both a personal and cultural context to the works. I highly recommend anyone check out this exhibition while it’s running, until January 13th.”

After we had lunch, we drove back to Sahuaro and finished the school trip. It was a very fun field trip and a wonderful opportunity to be exposed to African American Art.  The museum has free admission on the first Thursday and second Sunday of every month. Students interested in the class can see Mr. Robinson in room 203 or simply sign up for African American Literature during registration, which counts as an English credit.