STA 112: Chicago Trip Blog

On October 22nd, 2010 I (Eric Musser) and probably 100 other art students from Michigan State University caught a 7:00 AM bus to Chicago. We were required to go on this collegiate field trip by our class – STA 112. While in chicago we were assigned to do and to visit the following:

To visit:

One public work of art

Five Galleries / Boutiques

One Art Store / Fabric Shop


To do:

Document your day in photographs (30 for posting) or video (optional)

Record observations, questions, rants in writing

Record observations about the venues

Sketch in your Process Book


Our group visited:

Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago Cultural Center
Museum of Contemporary Photography
Millennium Park
Stephen Daiter Gallery
Gruen Galleries
Carl Hammer Gallery
Ann Nathan Gallery
Schneider Gallery


30 Blog Images

First Interesting Sight

This is the first thing after we got off the bus that we saw, pretty good start to the day.

Millennium Park

This would be an awesome place to hangout for a few hours.

Full Bean

You have to see the bean when you go to Chicago, it’s amazing.

Our Group

Our lonely duo that traversed the streets of Chicago together. 

Inside Bean


The bean got pretty complicated on the inside, my eyes started to hurt. 

Side Bean


There were some amazing views to be seen when you looked a certain angles of the bean. 



It would be hard for someone to sneak up behind you with a piece of art like this. Look at that Chicago skyline! 

Public Work

One of the many interesting works of art in Millennium Park. 

Ornate Ceiling


Ornate ceilings just impress me. The ceiling at the Chicago Cultural Center was awesome. 

Look Familiar?

This is the fencing at Kresge and was in an exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center. 

Horse Statue


There were many random and impressive statues in Chicago, this one of what looks to be a Native American is pretty epic.

A Closer Look

A closer look at the exhibit below – at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

Museum of Contemporary Photography

This museum was interesting, many of the images were quite powerful. Here was one of the few non-photograph works of art.

Chicago Water

I don’t really associate Chicago with water but there was definitely a lot of it around.

Schneider Gallery

One of the five galleries we visited.

Interesting Advertisements

They had some interesting advertisements in Chicago.

Lego Indiana Jones

Some art in Chicago is found on the street, Lego Indiana Jones was definitely a highlight of the day.

Chicago Skyline

Chicago is a beautiful city.


This pizza we had for dinner at Giordano’s was definitely a work of Art that deserved to be in a gallery but ended up in my stomach.

Face Fountain

After hearing about this fountain tower image thing I was pretty excited to see it but they had shut down the fountain part so kind of disappointing.


Some of the art in Chicago was just weird.

Art Institute

The entrance to the Art Institute is as if not more impressive than the art inside the museum.

City Life

Chicago was such a busy city.

Neon Text Stairs

How cool are neon text stairs? The Art Institute would have these.


The museum had a theme of BIG and small things bringing awareness to scale when viewing art.


Asian Art

Viewing Asian Art in the Art Institute made me realize that Asian Art is weird – look at that face.



Glass Balls

I’m a big fan of optical illusions and “trippy” looking things – these glass balls filled with various flowers and other things were interesting.


Amazing Miniatures

The Art Institute had a whole exhibit dedicated to these incredibly detailed miniature rooms, some of which had outsides!


Comfortable Art

I wasn’t aware that art could look so comfortable, this “couch” caught my attention at the art museum.


Grant Wood's "American Gothic"

I was pretty excited to see this painting at the Art Institute as it is one of the more recognized paintings in the art world.

Process Book Entry
Couldn’t get this to flip upright for some reason but these are kind of my ramblings for the first part of the trip. I just quickly sketched anything I thought was interesting and wrote down anything I thought was notable or was a general theme for the day. This applies to my next two pictures as well, no specific topic in any of them but you can kind of follow what I did during my day by looking at the pictures and reading my thoughts. I did four pages so one is missing so if it seems incomplete the rest is on that page.

Research Entry
#1 Dawoud Bey

I saw Dawoud Bey’s photographs at Stephen Daiter’s Gallery. He specializes in portraits and the two photographs I’ve included above are from the Class Portraits series where he takes pictures of urban school students. I think that Dawoud Bey’s photography is extremely powerful and that each of his pictures tells a story. He captures the image of each person in their portrait.

#2 Peter Roth

All of Roth’s images are similar to the one above. I saw one of Roth’s works at Gruen Galleries and was captivated. I love it when artists create optical illusions and Peter Roth captured this beautifully. The coolest thing about Peter’s images is that they are constructed, the walls that appear to be moving out actually recede into a board that peter has carved out and painted over. The effect becomes that the painting “follows” your eye and remains 3d from most angles you look at it. Awesome artist,  his full bio is on the website I linked above.

#3 Pavel Amromin

Pavel Amromin crafts sculptures that caught my attention while I was viewing art in the Ann Nathan Gallery. I normally don’t care too much for sculpture but these caught my attention. He did not intend for them to mimic the three little pigs, but that’s what I thought as I viewed them. Which made the work much funnier to me than the intended purpose of representing a Boy Soldier. I enjoy funny works and making the three little pigs soldiers was funny to me. The level of detail in the works impressed me also.

Context Entry

After a long day of viewing hundreds of artworks I would have to say that the venue I was in while viewing the art had little effect on how I liked the art, or how I viewed the art. The bean would still be awesome if you placed it anywhere, as long as you are able to be seen then the bean is an awesome work of art. Other public works might benefit from being inside versus outside because they would look larger than life inside while outside they look normal. Just because a piece of art was in a specific venue, like the Art Institute, didn’t mean that I thought it was legitimate. It just made me wonder why it was in the Art Institute. The venues did nothing but present the artwork to me, which is how it should be.


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