AP Art, Photography Students Visit Chicago


Lauryn Lieske

AP Art and Photography students recently took a class trip to Chicago to explore all of the different sites to see the different types of art. While at Chicago, art students participated in the following: taking the Metra Train to Chicago, walking in downtown Chicago, examining works of art at the Chicago Art Institute, visiting Millennium Park and The Bean, eating lunch at the Water Tower Place mall, and finally, visiting all of the small, festive shops at the German Christkindlmarket.

Although the weather was dreary and freezing, the architecture was eye-catching, innovative, and so distinct from New Berlin. It’s so easy to lose yourself and fall in love with the architecture and art because it is so alluring, and there is so much to look at!

There are so many sites to see in Chicago, and the streets are very busy. With people walking, biking, driving, taking a train, or taking a taxi, it’s very easy to get around the city. The Metra Train is an efficient, quick, and tranquil way to get around the different zones in the Chicago area in a short amount of time. These trains run about every hour on and off even during rush hour traffic, weekends, and most holidays.

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most excellent and and well-known museums in the world. This museum also has an extremely large amount of art styles in many different forms such as Medieval, Renaissance, Contemporary, Impressionist, Photography, European, Modern, Asian, and Indian. If you enjoy art, then this institute is definitely a place to check out. You could spend all day in this art institute and still want to come back because there’s lots of different works of art to look at!

There is something for every person who loves art, too. The art is very classical, iconic, and incredible. It is easy to get lost in the different halls, levels, and wings where the different types of art are located, though. Although this museum is always crowded and busy, it’s a nice place to go to for inspiration and spend time in Chicago.

Millennium Park is also a very popular tourist attraction in Chicago, and is an admirable, clean place to take a stroll through and enjoy the pretty decorations, gardens, and scenery. It has an ice skating rink, an outdoor music gazebo, and a wide lakefront for walking and looking around. Although this park is swarming with people year-round, it’s definitely a must see if you’ve never been to Chicago before.

The Bean, which is a large, mirroring bean-shaped structure, is the star attraction in Millennium Park. It’s a unique piece of art to look at and take pictures with; it gives a remarkable reflective view of the tall buildings in the city also. The Bean is the type of tourist attraction a picture of just wouldn’t give justice to. A picture just doesn’t capture what’s it’s like to see in person and stand in front of.

Water Tower Place mall is a typical shopping center filled with tons of well-known stores to shop from. From shopping for infants, children, teenagers, adults, or seniors, you can find absolutely anything you are looking for. The food courts in this mall are very different from the food courts in the malls near New Berlin as well, and there’s always free food samples and dessert samples to try from! The food ranges from more healthy cuisines to more fast food cuisines, so there are options to choose from depending on what you feel like eating that day.  

The German Christkindlmarket is a Christmas outdoor festival which includes little stands customers can walk up to and order food and beverages ranging from stuffed gourmet pretzels, crepes, chocolate covered fruit, and other sweet treats to hot chocolate, apple cider, and eggnog. Each year, there is also a new mug souvenir made and sold to customers in this holiday market usually in the shape of a snow boot or snowman. Some of the other stands in this market also sell glass ornaments, jewelry, candles, soaps and lotions scarves, and sweaters, but they are expensive and the you have to wait in lines for a long time if you plan on buying anything.

Overall, the Christkindlmarket has a very joyous and heart-filled atmosphere as well as fun-loving energy and spirits. It’s intriguing to see the authentic European and German traditions and culture that are brought about in this market. This is an ideal attraction to go to during the Christmas season, spend time with family and friends, and create your own memories and traditions on what the spirit of the holiday season is all about.

All in all, taking a class trip to Chicago was definitely worth visiting.  There are so many things to do, the options are endless, and the lively energy buzzes throughout the city. However, if you visit Chicago in the winter, make sure you bring and wear warm clothes because it is much colder there than it is in New Berlin.

Taking a class trip to Chicago gave AP Art and Photography students a chance to see what the faster-paced life of Chicago is like and how different city living is from living in New Berlin. Students toured some of the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago, saw exquisite architecture and art, and were able to capture the beauty of Chicago. Overall, in order to see its one-of-a-kind, diverse environment, Chicago it a remarkable city to tour for a school-led trip.