November 4th, 2011
Global Studies Workshop
Friday, Nov. 4th
Mr. Foreman and Ms. Wilson waited on a park bench one cold, gray, windy Friday morning in Queens.....they jumped with each cacophonous clank as the 7 train passed overhead. They feared they may face this field trip alone. But, then the clouds broke, the sun shone through and.....the CUNY Prep students arrived!!
An amazing mix of first semester Hostos, second semester Hostos and CTA students - all of whom are navigating school exceptionally well - showed up in Long Island City, Queens for the first Global Studies field trip adventure.
First, the group met Meres - Director of Five Pointz Organization - in front of the 'Space Womb' gallery and proceeded around the corner of a non-descript building only to be confronted with a massive palette of international graffiti art. Meres toured CUNY Prep from one corner of the block to the other as he described the pieces covering the 6 story high/1 block long building from the hand of artists from Japan, Australia, Holland, Berlin and more!! The students were captivated by the variety of styles, colors and complexities.
We passed through a parking lot, climbed a fence and could see Biggie's face looming on the horizon the building overhead, while around the corner, the most impressive collection of graffiti art pieces amazed us all. The interior parking lot.court yard of the Five Pointz building contains "tags" and murals from hundreds of artists, most of whom are internationally acclaimed for their talents. The students were particularly engaged with the 'interactive' piece which spanned a 30 foot long wall and extended down onto the pavement. From a particular angle, as the students stood "in" the piece, they appeared to be standing on the edge of vast canyons. You've got to go check it out to understand....
After Five Pointz, we ventured around the corner, to a less "urban" and more contemporary/minimalist artistic landscape: MoMa p.s. One. We were the first to arrive, so basically had the entire 3-story, converted school building to ourselves. The pieces were really spread out throughout the building, so we spread out and each student was asked to identify their favorite and discuss it back in the cafe.
The two most impressive installations were 1.) a 30-foot long pile of ashes, on the floor, in the center of the room that was actually ashes from the Twin Towers, and 2.) an enormous room with floor to ceiling windows in which a circle of about 40, seven-foot high speakers were arranged. Each speaker emitted either the voice or instrument from a gregorian church choir. While some museum-goers sat quietly and pensively on the benches in the middle of the room, CUNY Prep was inspired to leap, pirouette and tango across the room.
As always, CUNY Prep does it differently.