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Freshman Muses kick off an arts-filled semester

Halfway through their first semester at Hunter, the Muse Scholar Class of 2017 has already hit up many of New York's premier visual and performance arts venues.

The semester kicked off with a visit to MOMA, where students viewed and reflected upon works by Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Barnett Newman, and Jackson Pollock. A class visit to the Guggenheim Museum was next on the agenda, where the Muses experienced James Turrell, which transformed the museum's iconic rotunda with a custom-made light installation by the eponymous artist.

A week later the freshman Muses hit the dance floor with Lannette Alvarez, a student in Hunter's Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program, which has a special teaching partnership with the Muse program. Alvarez led the students through a series of dance moves and a drawing session in which the students tried to capture the visual elements of movement.

That hands-on practice was complemented by a trip to New York City Center's annual Fall for Dance Festival, where the Muses saw world-class dancers perform routines similar to what they had practiced and discussed in the studio. "This class has completely changed my perception of art as a whole," freshman Muse Kim Hamadani wrote in a reflection on the experience. 

Next up was a visit to the Judd Foundation in lower Manhattan, where Judd's art-filled living and working spaces have been preserved and opened to the public. Seeing where Judd lived and produced his art helped deepen the knowledge the Muses initially gained while viewing Judd's work at the MOMA.

After a steady diet of Western artists, the Muses had the chance to contemplate Eastern perspectives as well. During a trip to the Asia Society, one of Hunter's cultural partners, students toured Iran Modern, "the first major museum exhibition mounted with loans from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East to focus on Iran’s dynamic modern art scene" (Source:

The second half of the semester promises to be as exciting as the first, with trips scheduled to see The Glass Menagerie on Broadway, an on-campus performance of Mystery!, and "William Anastasi: Sound Works, 1963-2013," an exhibition on view at Hunter's Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery until Nov. 30, 2013.

(Photo: James Turrell's "Aten Reign" at the Guggenheim)