As a culminating trip, the Frisch senior AP art studio class was fortunate enough to experience the Mana Contemporary Museum in Jersey City. The Mana Contemporary building was used as a tobacco factory in the 1920s and still retains its original architectural design, which some might say enhance the artistic feel of the galleries and exhibits. Alex Santana, the group’s knowledgeable tour guide, gave them insight into the most interesting and inspiring exhibits.
A particularly memorable gallery that they visited was the Andy Warhol gallery. The exhibit extended from his early work, based on the Cold War’s most prominent figures, to the famous Campbell Soup silk screen prints. In art class, the students have been fascinated with silk screen prints and were lucky enough to be invited to the studio of master silk screen printer, Gary Lichtenstein, at the museum where he demonstrated the entire silk screening process.
Walking through the different art-filled floors, Frisch’s young, aspiring artists felt a sense of intense motivation to strive to become master artists. They viewed the John Chamberlin photographic gallery, showcasing the original concept of the selfie. Most of Chamberlin’s work involves self-taken pictures (selfies), which humorously connected to the students as millennials. Chamberlain created a large couch in the shape of a bed that the students, together with their teachers, enjoyed bouncing, lying and taking pictures on.
The next stop was the “Basement.” The Basement is where young artists take up art residency for three months in the gallery. Touring the Basement, where twelve different artists work in modern, contemporary, digital, realistic, abstract and graphic art and bring their imaginations to life was most moving. The bursts of different colors and materials that were experienced in the Basement were spectacular. The last and most special studio that the students visited was the studio of Tamara Herschel, an Israeli artist, who depicts her struggles based on her personal life story of escaping Nazi-occupied Croatia and ultimately making aliyah to Israel with her mother. Her art consists of different depictions of one to three dimensional deer, abstract maps of Israel and abstract paintings of jazz bands.
This trip was extremely educational and encouraging for each one of the aspiring Frisch artists. The students thanked teachers Ahuva Winslow and Mira Levy for giving them an insight into the complex artist’s world that they hope to contribute to in the near future.
By Elisheva Schur, Frisch senior