DSC students leave St. George by bus and travel to Los Angeles for a memorable journey in art.
Each semester the fine arts department at DSC sponsors a four-day trip to Los Angeles. It is open to students, alumni and anyone in the community who has the desire to enrich their own perspective through art.
The cost of the trip is $290-$498, plus a $75 registration fee, and does not include food. DSC students also receive college credit for their participation.
Professor of Art Glen Blakley hosted his first group of students in the spring of 1977. By 1986 the trip increased to two buses a year, and by 1992 the trips were so successful that they were running two buses a semester.
The trip takes them from St. George to The Norton Simon Museum, The Getty Center, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Getty Villa, and the Sculpture Garden at Forest Lawn.
His most recent trip was on Oct. 25. Students departed early from DSC on Thursday, and returned in the evening on Sunday, Oct. 28.
The excursion is packed with an education in art long before students arrive in California. There is a 10-week orientation once a week for an hour that participants are encouraged to attend before leaving on the four-day trip. Once on board the bus, passengers watch videos and listen to lectures about the art they are about to experience.
Blakley said, “The trip is absolutely essential to art students because they need to see that they can make a living in the field, and they won’t see that unless this city and this school would build a big museum.”
Fran Meldrum is a former student who took the trip when she attended Dixie, and attended this last one as well.
“I don’t think I realized how much the trip 20 years ago would impact my life, but coming back now I understand how I was influenced,” Meldrum said. “My house is decorated with statues and art; I recognized the Gardens at Huntington are in my backyard!”
The trips are paid for individually by participants.
Blakley said the department and its staff have 35 years of experience making reservations for the bus and motel and seem to have it down to an exact science. The relationships that have been developed and nurtured through years of planning allow the department to keep costs low.
By using the Dixie State buses and staff members as guides, Blakley is able to cut out the middle man and save passengers money on travel expenses.
The trips are not exclusive to students alone. Many people attend each semester.
“We have many elementary and high school teachers who use it to re-certify,” Blakley said. “We also take artists and community people.”
There is no need to advertise outside of campus, there is definitely not a shortage of participants. Anyone is welcome and Blakley said he feels strongly that all who attend would benefit greatly.
Written by Tina Reynolds