skip to Main Content
Make Better Art:  Visit Museums

We artists, art lovers and art students are incredibly fortunate to have a thriving DC Art Scene to inspire us. Most museums here are free, unlike those in New York or Philadelphia. But sometimes a change in scenery is just the spark we need to revitalize our museum-going experiences to see what artists throughout the ages have accomplished, and make our own MC art classes more meaningful. I had such an opportunity last weekend during a planned trip to NYC.

You see, I was lucky enough to be invited to a special event at the Guggenheim Museum last night. It was a celebration of a very talented New York architecture firm: Gwathmey, Siegel, and Kaufman. The event was held in that famous Frank Lloyd Wright-designed round landmark museum on East 89th Street and 5th Avenue, and it was attended by architects, artists, critics and other invited guests. Imagine sipping champagne and eating hors d’oeuvres in a very cultured setting, surrounded by works of famous artists from around the world (I even wore a dress, high heels and makeup! How quite unlike my normal attire on Tuesdays and Thursdays — clad in paint and plaster stained shirts, pants and shoes — if you see me in Figure Drawing or Sculpture class you might think that I look like that all the time.) Well it was all very inspiring and I got a great idea for my next painting.

Earlier that day, with a free afternoon in New York, I went to the New Whitney Museum on Gansevoort Street, right at the bottom edge of the High Line. The Whitney collection is more contemporary than the Guggenheim’s, so one has more of the ‘But is it Art?’ moments. Nevertheless, two museums on one day was a special treat and I’d encourage all MC art students to hop on the Metro and get down to the Smithsonian Institution, or for a change of pace, take the very inexpensive Peter Pan bus to New York or Philadelphia for an inspiring experience which will enrich your studies. Don’t forget your MC student ID for a reduced entrance fee at all the museums, and enjoy a slice of pizza in the Big Apple before coming home to make better art. And if you don’t want to make the trip, you can visit MC’s own King Street Gallery on the TP/SS Campus which offers a rotating featured artist. You can view the exhibition schedule here.


Arleen Seed

Hi! My name is Arleen Cannata Seed and I’m studying Fine Arts here at Montgomery College in Takoma Park/Silver Spring. Originally from New York City, I studied Art as an undergraduate years ago, but chose to spend my career in a totally different field, working for the United Nations and traveling all over the world bringing technological solutions to global problems.

Once I retired, I had the time and mental space to practice Art again, but I knew I had forgotten the fundamentals. So, I enrolled in 100 level courses in drawing, painting, and sculpture at MC. This was just the catalyst I needed! The professors at MC, in both the Community Arts and the regular credit courses, provided a course of study and opened my eyes to the different ways in which Art is taught in the 21st Century.

This blog is about my journey, my transition from working adult to pursuing an earlier dream, and I’m hoping this story resonates with young people thinking about their career choices and older people yearning to rekindle pursuits which have always interested them.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. There are so many amazing museums to visit in the DC area, and on the east coast. Sounds like you had a great trip to the Guggenheim. I look forward to seeing the painting that is inspired from the trip!

  2. Thanks Emily. Inspiration came from the interior of the Guggenheim Museum, looking up to the center of the dome! It was at night, and all lit up in a cool blue, just extraordinary!

    BTW, last year I took a great course in the Community Arts program, called “Art in DC”, where we visited museums and galleries, all in the area. Each week we went to a different place and I learned so much about the Art scene here. I do hope it is offered again sometime soon as we are sure to visit different places.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top