Seymour students visit Van Gogh exhibit

By Caley Monnier

With Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” surrounding them on all sides, streaming out of state-of-the-art projectors, a group of around 30 students fill their surroundings with gasps and whispers of excitement.

Earlier this month, the advanced foreign language classes at Seymour High School visited the Newfields art museum in Indianapolis. The upper-level courses of Latin, Spanish and French were all in attendance.

They were assigned questionnaires to complete over the course of their time at the museum, sending them to find different paintings and artists across the European and American art exhibits.

With limited opportunities to fully experience the arts, Seymour students found this trip to be an unforgettable and enriching one.

“I believe it is very valuable to be exposed to the arts and different cultures at a young age,” junior Lydia Monroe said. “Not only does it prepare young adults for their futures, but it also gifts them with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”

By using their previous education in artistry of their respective cultures of study, students were able to use knowledge learned in class and apply it to the excursion.

“From a language perspective, it really was a great learning tool as we have learned all about how to speak about art in class, but actually being given an environment to use it naturally was lovely,” senior Spanish student Riley Kinney said.

A current main attraction at Newfields is The Lume, a traveling digital exhibit showcasing the art and life of Vincent van Gogh, an iconic Dutch Impressionist artist and keystone figure in all of Western history.

With projectors lining 30,000 square feet of open space, some of the most famous art pieces in the world fill the exhibit from floor to ceiling, creating an immersive experience surrounding Van Gogh’s life of artistry.

“In August of 2021, I was able to visit The Lume exhibit shortly after it first opened. It was a fun, exciting experience. Immediately, I knew I had to get my French class up to see this,” SHS French teacher Melissa Wagner said. “The absolute best work of art to see is our students. Watching them react to the Van Gogh exhibit and hear the gasps and ‘Oh wows’ is one of the best sounds a teacher can hear. Hearing them talk about it in class is a close second.”

Due to the prior difficulties of COVID-19, the student body saw little to no trips outside of school, and they’re now welcoming them with open arms.

“I have been on a total of two field trips ever since I started my high school career … Due to COVID, both field trips were organized by my language class. I wish more classes would organize trips. They help the student understand the topics more in a fun way,” French student Delaney Delgadillo said.

This field trip will be one students will remember for a while.

“I valued obtaining a different mindset and a newfound appreciation for looking at art in a meaningful manner,” Spanish student Olivia Schrink said. “I walked away with the new knowledge on how to view the complexity and the profundity that artworks display.”

Caley Monnier is a junior at Seymour High School. She plans to minor in journalism in college. Send comments to [email protected]. 

On the Web 

The Lume at Newfields in Indianapolis is open through May 30. For information, visit