WHSAD is blessed to have so many community partners that help make our students’ years in high school more dynamic and connected to the real world. Because of these partners, students enjoy opportunities that develop their learning, provide them with a greater understanding of the world, and, oftentimes, give them a leg up by providing internships and even careers beyond high school. One such partner, The Park Avenue Armory, has helped enrich our school in the past and will continue to do so this school year. One particular instance of such enrichment is when WHSAD students traveled to the Armory this past Tuesday, September 17 to witness the work of artist-in-residence, Rosa Barba. In the following narratives, students provide their perspectives regarding the trip.
On September 17th, 2019, I traveled to the Park Avenue Armory with my peers to learn about different art forms and installation art. We discussed and defined terms we would be hearing throughout our time there, and talked about different art forms and styles. We ended up talking (and watching a few video clips) about Rosa Barba, a visual artist who likes to push the limits of what most people consider cinema. Her works revolve around ancient civilizations and landscapes and the traces we have left behind on said landscapes. She also observes how certain things can make people feel certain things using cinematography. She demonstrated this on our visit to the armory when she performed, stating afterwards that the projectors in the room were rigged to respond to certain pitches and noises they made. We learned about the importance of looking around us, and of being aware of the world around us.
During our visit, I learned many things. I learned that not all art forms have an explicit meaning. I also learned about the value of interpretation, which came into play during our final activity: interpreting pictures without any context. I learned that art can take many forms, and while some are more popular than others, they’re all beautiful and inspirational in their own unique way. I was very intrigued and am most certainly interested in learning more about different art forms. Going to the Armory taught me that, as well.
–Brianny Estevez, WHSAD Freshman
On September 17th, 2019, a group of students from my school, Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design, went on a trip to the Park Avenue Armory. On this trip to the Park Avenue Armory we went specifically to the Veterans Room to experience Rosa Barba’s Artists Studio.
In her studio, Rosa Barba explored film, lighting and sound. She set up her room so that the viewer, such as myself, could watch light being projected through different pieces of glass onto different screens around a darkened room. While this was taking place in the room, Rosa Barba and her art partner, Chad Taylor, were playing the cello and the drums. They were playing these instruments in a way that would bring up many emotions in the viewer, while they were also fixated on the flashing screens. This is why this exhibit was so interesting to me.
This trip was one of the most interesting and entertaining trips I have been on in awhile. I would totally recommend it to anyone who is interested in art, sound and film. I would also recommend it to anyone who would like to experience a different kind of “museum” (it felt more like a show). I felt as though it was a form of art that is not found very commonly in New York art museums. It didn’t use forms of art that are popular today, instead this exhibit used many elements of older forms of art while still drawing interest in younger viewers.
–Amelia Velez, WHSAD Freshman
On a school trip to The Park Avenue Armory, students were able to learn what The Park Avenue Armory is, experience the process of creating art, and meet Rosa Barba, an artist with a unique sense of art that consists of many different art forms. Once we arrived at the Armory, we were met by large beautiful doors. When we entered the building, it was spacious and decorated with pieces of art dating from decades ago to now. The work showcased a range of different types of art. While touring The Park Avenue Armory, I had a great experience with the staff and the environment; it was very informational and an interactive experience.
We met Rosa Barba, an artist who uses cameras, film, stained glass, and music in her work. All these combined media made a great interactive piece of art that allows the audience to be part of the attraction. Her art pieces are all started from her view on the world. We also got to personally speak to the artist about her work and learn more about them. Staff also had us explore the space using an app called Skyview and go outside to learn more about the world and space around us. This helped with an activity later on where we would make a scene to represent how we see the world. For example, my group used the words deserted and dry to make a scene to represent those words through poses to represent a place that is deserted where you can’t find anyone or anything and the air is dry and hard to breath. My partners were pretending to farm and feel hot while I acted as if I’m trying to navigate to find something. This was an overall fun trip that made learning about our world and viewing others work fun and interesting, I would recommend to go and check it out.
–Jordan Gonzalez, WHSAD Senior
The Park Avenue Armory was an educational and an eye opening trip. We students were able to see and learn the history behind the building and the people who help keep it alive. We met two musical players who put on a project for us to see. At first, when the lights were on it seemed to be just abstract art, but once the lights turned off, it was a visual art show. We became a part of the show, the lights, colors, glass, and projectors were put there waiting for a finishing touch. We the students are the finishing touch.
The history behind the Armory was told in a way where we could envision the process behind it all. The carvings, sketches, etc. were shown to us and how sound was the base of it all. I was able to capture many pieces of work such as the colorful glass. When it came to the Q and A for the two musicians, we got to learn what inspired them, the difficulties when making the projects, and how well they work together. When using the sound of the cello and drums, it helped create a bigger story behind the colorful glass. The different points of view made me think about the different views in life. It was an amazing experience and I hope other people can see the beauty behind sound and visual art.
–Genavieve Ramirez, WHSAD Senior