The North Shore Studio’s 8 Steps to a Successful Trip to AIC

June 12, 2019 By dflorian

On Thursday, May 30th, the North Shore studio paid a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC). AIC, which holds 300,000-plus works of art, is a mammoth of a museum.  As exciting as it was to plan our trip, the tricky part was figuring out how to navigate its giant space successfully in order to make the most of our experience.   

Steps to a successful trip to AIC (based on our experience):

Step 1: Check the weather and set a date!

We went on a Thursday. The weather was 73 degrees and sunny all day; this made walking to and from the museum much more enjoyable.

Step 2: Clear up your schedule!

Once a date and time were set, artists and staff adjusted their schedules and RSVP’d to the trip. Thirty-two people attended-making it our largest group trip yet.

Step 3: Plan. Plan. Plan.  

Lexi Krebs, the North Shore Community Resources Coordinator, took care of the heavy lifting-from getting artist RSVPs to creating our itinerary. Thanks, Lexi! We may have been lost for months without our maps!

Step 4: Get there!

The majority of folks met at the North Shore studio and drove over to AIC together. Some artists and facilitators chose to meet us at the museum. At 11 a.m., we were finally together and ready to view some art work!

Step 5: Split up into groups

North Shore folks split into five groups based on which exhibitions they were interested in viewing.  Temporary collections were prioritized. Exhibitions of interest were: Connoisseurship of Japanese Prints, Rembrandt Portraits, The People Shall Govern! Medu Art Ensemble and the Anit-Apartheid Poster, and Super/Natural: Textiles of the Andes.

Step 6: Enjoy other works along the way!

We came across various works of art on our way to each temporary collection. Artists took turns getting a close look at several pieces. Those whose work we saw ranged from Vincent Van Gogh and Pierre-August Renoir, to David Hockney and Cindy Sherman. It was less than 1 percent of the art we viewed. Our options were truly endless.

Step 7: Take Pictures!

Of anything! The North Shore artists took several and some have already started new projects inspired by their trip photos!

Step 8:  Reflect

We viewed a lot of work that day, yet hardly scratched the surface of all that AIC has to offer. It’s difficult to process what it means to be in a space that holds over 5,000 years of human expression. Our experience left us with a lot to think about.

I asked North Shore artist, Daniel Frownfelter, if the trip was worth all of the planning and preparation.

His response was quick: “Yes. I love it there.”

Thanks AIC! We’ll be back again, soon.