WEC and BSU DIA Field Trip

Mackenzie Patenaude and Madison Singer

The Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) is a huge pillar of our community. Home to over sixty-five thousand pieces of art, the DIA is a museum that has a lot of variety on what kind of art they display. And, according to TripAdvisor, it’s the second-best museum in the state of Michigan. With 658,000 square feet of building to cover, the museum is split into many different sections that are spread across three floors of beautiful architecture. One January 13th, two of Dakota’s clubs went to this huge, beautiful building that presents even more stunning art. The Women’s Empowerment Club (WEC) and Black Student Union (BSU) travelled together by bus, lucky enough to spend the day exploring the art on the field trip. 

Both groups were able to see exhibits that appeal to their club’s focus. The Black Student Union got to go on a tour specifically of African American art, called “Africana”, which was established in 2000. The Center for African American Art is one of the first curatorial departments exclusively devoted to African American art in a major fine arts museum. It is committed to increasing awareness of the contributions of African Americans to the arts community and highlighting the history, society, and creative expression from an African American perspective. Meanwhile, the Women’s Empowerment Club was able to explore the museum and admire art of woman, and art created by women. Some club members also chose to go see the limited time Van Gogh exhibit, which was a great, once in a lifetime opportunity. This trip was many of the club members’ first high school field trip, and was an overall amazing experience for students to pursue their interests and appreciate art and history. 


We asked some of the students what the trip meant to them and what they think they gained from the experience: 

“It was such an educational experience at the museum! This was my second year going on this trip and I had such an amazing time. So glad I got to be surrounded with beautiful people and beautiful art! I would recommend a visit to the Detroit Institute of Art to anybody, there’s something there for every interest.” Eleanor Snodgrass, WEC, 12 

“I loved seeing the art! There were so many women artist on display that I had never heard of before, and I plan on looking into them some more. I feel like I gained a lot from the trip.” Lexi Cochran, WEC, 12 

“I wasn’t able to go on the trip last year, so I was very excited to be able to attend. I’ve never been to the DIA, and I genuinely think that by seeing art that showcases women and women’s work, I have more respect for their talent and beauty. I had a lot of fun and I am so grateful that being in Women’s Empowerment Club allowed me to go on my first and last high school field trip.” Mackenzie Patenaude, WEC, 12 

“I loved to see the stained glass and the different sculptures. I saw some art styles that I’ve never seen before from different cultures, it was very interesting and inspiring.” Sophia Milana, WEC, 12  

“Being able to experience art that is a part of my history is such a unique experience because of the personal connections that I have rooted towards it.” Kaiden Davis, BSU, 12 

“Being able to see and learn how my culture has influenced and is incorporated in art was such an amazing experience that impacted the way I view art and what art means to me.” Iyana Dalton, BSU, 12 


If you’re interested in paying our local art museum a visit, it won’t cost you anything if you live in Macomb, Oakland, or Wayne County. If you are from somewhere else, children under five can still get in for free! Not only does the DIA offer some great art already, but right now they are also offering the Van Gogh Experience, which has great reviews and is again, limited time only. The museum is a cheap and educational way to make good use of a day. Thank you to Mrs. Sarver for sponsoring and supporting our clubs, and a big thanks to the Detroit Institute of Art as well for providing our transportation, wonderful tour guides, and making a great day for Dakota’s clubs! 

Don’t forget to join the Women’s Empowerment Club every Tuesday after school, and the Black Student Union every Thursday after school! All are welcome, and both clubs are a great opportunity for community, activism, and a good time! 

Instagram: dakotabsu
Mackenzie Patenaude
Sophia Biondo
Mackenzie Patenaude