Monday, September 20, 2010

Loyola Student or Baltimore Resident?

On Sunday, I sought out a trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art. I have always enjoyed art galleries and museums during my high school years, so I figured I would enjoy this new gallery. While my experience with viewing and analyzing art remained relatively unchanged, my journey to the museum opened my eyes to a new perspective of our campus, the city, and public transportation. This was significant for me because I had never previously immersed myself in a city’s resources (especially not alone, my parents or relative had always accompanied me in my past endeavors). Now, I hope to seek out much more that Baltimore has to offer. Additionally, the art on display at the BMA was both intriguing and spectacular.

The night before I had planned my trip, I went through my agenda, noting to myself the many options of transportation available at my grasp – or so I thought. As I went through numerous websites, schedules, and time sheets, I realized my choices were fewer than I had thought. Apparently, the Collegetown shuttle ran later on the weekends, and I wanted to get to the museum earlier in the day. Walking was always an option, but I felt as though I didn’t know the area well, and taking a taxi would be an unnecessary expense. Cornered, I eventually realized that I would have to expand my horizons and take the MTA bus. At first, I was apprehensive with my choice – I had never traveled by public bus alone – but I went to bed knowing that my decision was final.

Despite my reluctance, I woke up the next day, ready for my venture. I walked to the North Charles Street/Cold Spring Lane stop, intently waiting for the bus. Finally, it arrived and I got an all-day pass. As I located my seat and sat down, I realized that I had thrown myself through an obstacle course of mind-games for nothing; it all seemed so easy after that initial step. Even the people were even friendly too – when I realized that I didn’t know how to open the rear door, an older man reassured me. I arrived at the museum around noon, ready for some magnificent art. I choose to view two exhibitions: “Advancing Abstraction in Modern Sculpture,” the featured exhibition, and “A Grand Legacy: Five Centuries of European Art.” I had always enjoyed abstract art – it is my favorite style (and, Dali is my favorite artist), and I decided to view the European art gallery because I had always enjoyed older European pieces in the past.

The first exhibition was amazing – I love abstract art, but in sculpture form, the term ‘abstract’ seems to take on a new meaning. David Smith’s Head with Cogs for Eyes was my favorite piece. The metalwork was so intricate: an elongated face-like feature was fixated with gears – a common attribute of abstract art – and placed on lanky legs, completing the elaborate sculpt. In the “European Legacy” exhibit, I encountered many astounding art pieces. I particularly enjoyed the works by Francisco Goya, but also found a unique interest in Botticelli's "Virgin and Child" and other Renaissance art pieces – in my Western Civilization class we had studied the contrasting paintings of Mary and Jesus throughout different centuries, and in the gallery I noticed themes analogous to the ones in my class. In addition, each artist seemed capture moments in history with a perfect mix of detail, precision, and beauty – whether their painting(s) consisted of tragic events or just a simple portrait of a monarch.

By expanding my horizons through my trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art, I was able to learn more about both the city and myself. I now know that I am truly capable of being an independent member of Loyola and the city. Furthermore, my time on the bus made me realize that public transportation is much more accommodating and easy to navigate than I had ever imagined. I have learned that it is necessary – no, imperative – for everyone to bridge the gap between ‘Loyola student’ and ‘Baltimore resident’ to fully savor everything that is offered in Baltimore. With this in mind, I will definitely utilize my resources as a Loyola student and a Baltimore resident to seek out new opportunities off campus.

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