Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree

Study Abroad Students Group Photo on Structure in Joshua Tree

January 6—14, 2020 in LA; January 20—21, 2020 in Chicago
*Note: Dates subject to change

Los Angeles is a city experiencing explosive cultural growth.  It is a nexus of popular and fine art, where television, film, music, design, and the arts meet.  Geographically it sits at a point where the cultures of the US, Latin America, and Asia meet. This blend of globalism, creativity, and sprawling space gives the city a vibrancy and relevancy that make it an attractive place for artists to live and work. In the last few years the number of artists and galleries has increased rapidly, and is reflected in the range of institutions and art work that can be seen, from small DIY spaces showing work from recent graduates to blue chip galleries exhibiting historical surveys.  

During this trip, students will gain a thorough overview of one of the art capitals of the world.  Students will visit all of the major museums, numerous galleries, and 5-6 artist's studios. The class will begin with seven days in Los Angeles followed by two days in Joshua Tree. Students who register for studio credits will have an additional two days of critique and studio visits in Chicago to end the class.  

Credits: 3 credits STUDIO and/or 3 credits ARTHI (4000-level) 

Andrew Falkowski, Painting and Drawing
Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, Los Angeles-based curator, writer and critic

Program fee: Approx. $840 (not including accommodation in LA, meals, or airfare)

PLUS Tuition cost per credit:
Undergraduate—$1,666 per credit hour;
Graduate—$1,730 per credit hour.

Accommodation in Los Angeles: Students are not required to stay in group accommodation in Los Angeles and may find their own accommodation from January 6—12 provided they can meet the group at the scheduled bus departure point each morning.

Accommodation at Joshua Tree: Group accommodation at Joshua Tree is provided and students will be required to stay with the group for the night of January 13. The group will return to LA on January 14 where the class will end.

Accommodation Option in LA: Students may opt to stay at the Miyako Hotel at 328 E. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012, where the bus departs daily. Two-bed rooms for seven nights from Jan 6—12 are approx. $1,456 ($728 each for two in a room). A single room is the same price as a twin room. Students staying at the hotel will pay for their rooms directly to the hotel.

Online registration begins: October 9, 2019

Deposit due at registration: $525

Information sessions:
Wednesday, September 11,  12:10-12:50 p.m., MacLean room 707
Friday, September 13,  12:10-12:50 p.m., MacLean room 112

From previous trip’s course evaluations:

  • Really great trip. Thoroughly enjoyed myself.  • Got to see LA and its art scene which is hard to do on your own considering the city is so spread out so this was a great experience! 
  • All incredible experiences. Wouldn't change any of it. If anything more would be great! I understand that time limits the amount of visits possible. 
  • I think the studio visits were the most important part of the trip. You could easily go to LA and go to all the museums and galleries on your own but I wouldn't have been able to set up the studio visits on my own. 
  • It generated in depth insight into the thinking behind artists processes, which in turn expanded my knowledge and exposed me to new and different ways of approaching an artistic practice and the lifestyle which it can accommodate. 
  • The schedule has can shift quickly depending on weather, traffic, artists, etc. The course organizers want you to have a full experience and will fill the days up, so take easy-to-eat-on-a-bus snacks and water everyday and be prepared for the days activities to take precedence over a lunch break! Take your swimsuit to Joshua Tree, there is a small heated pool. Get a good night’s rest and keep up with your daily notes. 
  • Sarah was great at providing tips and recommendations to students about anything in L.A. and happy to have more extended conversations on any of the places we visited and arts (and music) related topics. 
  • Helped me realize that I don't want to stay in Chicago after I graduate. Definitely interested in moving to Los Angeles in the future. Provided me with a network of potential connections for future work, exploration, and assistance. Also got me excited to make new work and have a studio. Provided me with a variety of ideas and an overarching theme that putting work out into the world can be done if you work hard enough and are passionate enough to find your way and carve your own path.
  • I liked the studio environment when we returned to Chicago and the critique structure. 
  • Highland Gardens Hotel was a nice location. Next to the Magic Castle and a few blocks away from Hollywood Boulevard. Near the train, near a bunch of Hollywood tourist attractions but with some distance so you're not having to go through the crowds. I stayed a few blocks away from the HGH and still really enjoyed the location, especially.
  • Definitely be prepared to save up money for the trip (it is, however, totally possible to save a lot of money being on the trip, it just requires planning). Also try to do the readings as much as possible before the trip when you have the most time, so you can enjoy the trip.