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Art students explore NYC over spring break

Eric Hibit talks with students about his work at his NYC studio.

West Virginia University School of Art and Design students explored the art of New York City over spring break. Professor Nichole van Beek led the graduate seminar to the Big Apple, where the group visited famous museums and spoke with accomplished artists.

“It was exciting for me because I lived in NYC for 17 years and worked as an artist and art professor there, and this was my first chance to bring WVU students there and share places I love and have been inspired by for so long,” van Beek said.

Nine graduate seminar students and one undergraduate student attended the four-day trip. They visited The Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum and Museum of Modern Art, as well as galleries in Chelsea and downtown NYC. Visual artists Joy Curtis and Eric Hibit invited the students to their studios for tours and conversation, and painter Mike Ambron spoke to them about his current exhibition in the artist-run Ortega y Gasset.

Preliminary Master of Fine Arts (MFA) candidate Lindsay McCarty said the trip let her experience art in a new way.

“My favorite part of the trip was a specific exhibition we saw at Dia Chelsea,” she said. The artist of the exhibit is Delcy Morelos, and she uses earth as her primary material to create installations that engage the senses. Being able to experience her work in person was mesmerizing and transportive. I can still remember the smell of cinnamon and clove, and the feel of the soil, hay, and sand.”

When they weren’t delving into the art world, the students got to experience the city that thousands of artists call home. The group took time to sightsee, including walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, visiting Central Park, and enjoying dim sum in Chinatown. For McCarty, it was a spring break to remember.

“My top takeaway is experiencing the culture of the city; it is really unlike any place I have been. It was a valuable trip, and I am grateful for the experience!”

For more information about the School of Art and Design’s MFA program, you can visit