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Field Trip to SAM! Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series

Kamiya, Phoenix, Satpreet, Gwen, and Noah enter the SAM’s lobby and admire the new installation hanging from the ceiling. Amazing!

“John Grade’s large-scale sculpture, Middle Fork, echoes the contours of a 140-year-old western hemlock tree located in the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle.”  http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/middlefork

The group has tickets provided at reception. We check bags and head up to the 2nd floor. The Migration exhibit is comprised of one room. Each painting is numbered and sequenced in clockwise order around the room. There is a full line of spectators that we join in sequence. Satpreet provides commentary about color, emotions, ideas, and history. These are important things to think about when viewing the craft of Jacob Lawrence. After leaving the exhibit we discuss migration, racism, agriculture, economics, and the events that inspired Lawrence’s work.

“Acclaimed as Lawrence’s masterwork, this epic series chronicles in words and pictures the exodus of African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North in the decades after the First World War.”  http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/migration

Next we wander through the many galleries and exhibits within the SAM. “Mann Und Maus” by Katharina Fritsch displays a striking sculpture of a giant mouse standing on the comforter of a person in bed. The sculpture is in the middle of a large room and quickly draws Kamiya and Phoenix’s attention. They are curious and unsure of the intended meaning. I am unsure myself. There is a common understanding within the group of the entertainment value involved in the piece.

On we wander on through the Pacific Currents, Jennifer West, Views From Venice, African Renaissances, and Big Picture exhibits. Kamiya and Phoenix quietly continue to view each display, installation, and painting with curiosity. We take a break and sit for a while. Phoenix tells me about their interest in drawings, creative video games, and expressive outfits they put together with their brother.

Upon preparing to leave, Lindsay (one of our programmers and an employee of SAM) meets us in the lobby and takes our group photo beneath the John Grade sculpture. We drive back to our home at the Bitter Lake Community Center. In transport through the cityscape, passing murals, sculptures, buildings, and parks, Kamiya expresses her interests in art and design. We are so excited to have such engaged students involved in the DYH program.

 

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