Art Appreciation Class Experiences the Wonders of the High
Adjunct instructor Atteka Abdou offered her students extra credit for recently traveling with her to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. They viewed the High’s new exhibit titled “Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting.” The students enjoyed more than 120 paintings and drawings in the exhibit, and while there, participated in a class session to discuss several works of art they chose on site.
The group also looked at paintings and sculptures from the permanent collection, from the the 15th century Renaissance through current contemporary art. Among the contemporary pieces were the works of the late regional artist Howard Finster. In fact, Abdou’s students will be traveling to Finster’s Paradise Garden in Chattooga County during April, to view the garden and eat lunch among the mosaics.
Abdou said that seeing the works of art in person brings them to life in a way that a slide or photo can’t. One of her students, before touring the museum, had chosen “The Death of Atala” from the permanent collection as a subject for an essay. Seeing the actual piece herself will influence the direction of the essay because she will be able to draw upon her own emotional and visual reaction to it.
Student comments about the High visit:
“I really like the little statue of Jupiter in the permanent collection. That was my favorite work.”
“It was my first visit to the High Museum and I especially liked the display of Frida Kahlo’s cast that she wore during her hospital stay. She was really sad about the loss of her baby.”
“I enjoyed going to the High Museum because we looked at several paintings there. But my favorite was Frida Kahlo’s painting, ‘Broken Column.’ It shows what she felt after her accident, both physically and emotionally.”
“I liked the painting from the permanent collection that had St. Nicholas cutting down the tree. I took a photo of it. I also thought it was exciting to have class in the museum.”