Star City High School art students recently toured Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville as part of an educational field trip involving art and United States history.

During their visit to Crystal Bridges students received a guided tour of the museum. The students were also the first school group to view the new exhibit American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell which opened that day.

The field trip also included a stop at Hobby Lobby in Fayetteville where students had the opportunity to purchase art supplies.

The objective of this field trip was to provide students with the opportunity to view original works of art from important American artists and help students to understand interdisciplinary connections between art and American history.

The visit to Crystal Bridges was arranged by Star City High School art teacher Roger Darren High and chaperoned by Star City High school American history teacher Phillip Holthoff, Star City Elementary School art teacher Suzi Davis, and Towanann Schatz.  Lynn Schatz drove the bus for the trip.

This is the second year in row that High and Holthoff have collaborated on an interdisciplinary field trip to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

“The field trip provided a wonderful opportunity for my students to examine original paintings, drawings, and sculptures created by some of the greatest artists in American history,” said art teacher Roger Darren High. “This is an educational experience that would have been impossible in a traditional classroom environment.”

Expenses for the field trip were funded by a $700 Target Field Trip Grant awarded to High. Transportation costs were covered by the museum through the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit Program.

This is the third time that High has been awarded a Target Field Trip Grant. He previously received the grant twice when he served as the art teacher for Dermott Elementary School.

High was selected from more than 25,000 applicants from around the country to be among the 5,000 teachers to receive a Target Field Trip Grant to help continue the learning experiences students gain from field trips.

Prior to the field trip, the students studied many of the artists represented in the museum, major art movements, a variety of media and processes, and important events in American history.

“Many of the paintings were of the Old West and fit well with Fredrick Jackson Turner’s theory that it was western settlement more than any other factor that developed the unique American character,” said Star City High School American History teacher Phillip Holthoff.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was founded by Alice Walton, the daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, and officially opened on November 11, 2011. Endowed by the Walton Family Foundation with $800 million, the museum’s permanent collection features American art from the Colonial era to contemporary work.

Notable works at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art include a Charles Willson Peale, Andy Warhol, George Bellows, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Norman Rockwell, Chuck Close, Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Georgia O’Keeffe and much more, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the full scope of American art.

High entered the teaching profession in 2005. Since then he has been awarded approximately $15,000 in grant money for educational programs. This was the 34th educational field trip he has implemented for his students.