Students Get Art, French Connection

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Byline: Parinda and Sheetal Parikh

When the Illinois State Board of Education proposed goals in improving fine arts, many schools looked to widen their curriculum to include dance, drama, music and visual art. They hoped to provide students with a different perspective than the textbook material by emphasizing artwork, videos and class discussions.

On Nov. 1, Conant High School's Susan Craft implemented fine arts techniques by taking her AP French classes to the Art Institute to study the Degas exhibition. Students got the full effect of the French culture when they dined at St. Germain on North State Parkway, where they were required to speak French. The primary purpose of the trip was to teach students the importance of art beyond the classroom replicas.

"It is important for students to learn about art because it is a significant part of the French culture and history. This was a great opportunity because there is a strong connection between Chicago and French art," Craft said.

"By going to the Art Institute, we were able to experience the French culture, instead of just hearing about it," senior Todd Burzynski said.

Students observed a variety of artists including Caillebotte, Gauguin, Monet, Degas and other Impressionists. …