“Art in the Metropolis” is a sophomore seminar offered in conjunction with the annual “Arts Immersion” trip to New York that takes place over spring break and is organized by the Stanford Arts Institute. The trip, now in its fourth year, provides a group of students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cultural life of New York City, where they experience a broad range and variety of art forms (visual arts, theater, opera, dance, etc.) and meet with prominent arts administrators and practitioners, some of whom are Stanford alumni. Said one of the students on returning to campus from New York, “Arts Immersion jumpstarted a cascade of thoughts that have changed the way I view the world and myself.”
The seminar, led by Sarah Curran (the Arts Institute’s program director), Stephen Hinton (faculty director and Professor of Music) and Ellen Tani (a graduate student in Art History), represents a new partnership between the Arts Institute and Stanford Introductory Seminars. During the class meetings, students reflect on the plethora of experiences that the trip affords and develop individual projects related to works of art, exhibitions, and performances encountered during the stay in New York. The urban setting in which the various art forms are created, presented and experienced constitutes a special point of focus. A principal aim of the seminar is to develop aesthetic sensibilities through writing critically about the art that particularly interests and engages the participants. After developing their projects during the spring quarter, students present their work in the symposium with which the course concludes.