Art Students Gained Valuable Insight through Experiential Learning in the Big Apple

February 25, 2013

CLEMSON, S.C. – Seventeen Clemson University art students visited New York City Feb. 21 through Feb. 24 and toured art museums and galleries around the city as part of the senior seminar class.

Clemson’s senior ART 473 class viewed art firsthand encompassing mediums and time periods from artists known all over the world. Traveling to New York City is part of the undergraduate curriculum and prepares the students for entry into the professional art world. The class taught by art department faculty member, Joey Manson, focuses on issues concerning visual artists in the early years of the student’s professional activities.

The vision statement of Clemson University focuses on the importance of creating experiential learning opportunities for students. The New York City trip is a great example of how this valuable experience expands insight and shapes learning. The student undergraduate curriculum is further enhanced by informal professional activities with faculty; additional field trips to art centers in Charlotte, Columbia, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.; interaction with visiting artists; and opportunities to participate in local and regional exhibitions.

“This is a unique opportunity for our students to further understand the field that they’d like to pursue” said Manson. “The best thing I can do as a teacher to expand their view of art is to take the students to the art that they’ve previously only experienced in photographs.” The students kept a sketchbook which counts toward their final grade. Some students received a behind the scenes private tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Manson spent many years working in New York City for several museums, galleries and internationally recognized artists before teaching at Clemson University. Some of his employers include Dennis Oppenheim, who is one of the most internationally recognized American conceptual artists in performance art, earth art, sculpture and photography; top Japanese fashion designer, Issey Miyake who is known for his technology-driven clothing designs, exhibitions and fragrances. Manson also spent time overseeing a collection of one of the board members of the Guggenheim Museum and the Dia Center. His vast understanding of the New York art world made him an ideal guide to help students understand this world and navigate around the city.

To view the art students experience in New York City, visit This web resource provides the trip schedule as well as links to YouTube videos, a Facebook fan page, a Twitter feed, student blog posts, and a Flickr photo slideshow. For more information about the trip, contact Joey Manson

About the Clemson University Art Department Curriculum

Art students begin to concentrate studio coursework during their junior year into a specific area of the visual arts in preparation for their senior studio. The senior studio is the most significant course work in the undergraduate curriculum. It reflects a time in which concepts and skills are focused and developed to produce a cohesive body of artwork and a portfolio for graduate study or professional applications. This experience presents career options and practical information for the graduating senior like portfolio development.