Georgia O'Keeffe once said, "I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." In the spirit of these words, the third and fourth-grade students challenged themselves to push outside their comfort zones and try new things on their spring experiential trip to New Mexico. The trip offered a sharp contrast between Abiquiu, New Mexico, a gem of rural landscape that inspired a large body of O'Keeffe's work, and Santa Fe, an urban epicenter of art in the southwest.
The goal of our time in Abiquiu was to immerse ourselves in the desert landscape of New Mexico. Georgia O'Keeffe fell in love with this region of the United States while visiting a friend in 1917. Students visited Ghost Ranch, where they hiked to Chimney Rock and spent considerable time sketching and painting the dramatic scenery, including Padernal Mountain, which Georgia O'Keeffe repeatedly painted throughout her lifetime.
Students also got a taste of city life in America's second oldest capital city, Santa Fe! Students began their visit with a sense of place by enjoying a walking tour through the city's Plaza. Next, they visited the Georgia O'Keeffe museum, practiced conversing in Spanish while ordering food at La Choza, experienced the immersive and interactive art installation at Meow Wolf, and participated in a cooking class where they made black bean tostadas from scratch.
This four-day trip to New Mexico marks the farthest and longest trip students have taken during their Mountain School experiential education journey thus far. Students immersed themselves in their artist study of Georgia O'Keeffe and pushed themselves to be conscientious travelers. As Georgia O'Keeffe would have liked, everyone did something a little scary and built their confidence.