Cross-Major Field Trip Provides Unique Learning in the City: Photogallery

Downtown Cross-Major Field TripStudents in studio art and communication arts classes recently took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather for a field trip to Chicago to study various forms of messaging in the city.

Dr. Craig Mattson, professor of communication arts; Ellen Browning, assistant professor of art and design; and Dayton Castleman, assistant professor of art and design, accompanied students to Chicago to examine and discuss public spaces and art, along with the plethora of advertising and rhetoric found in the city.

The cross-disciplinary field trip encouraged all students to reflect on the amount of advertising produced in our culture and what such public messaging does.

“We often don’t give daily attention to the advertising that surrounds us,” said senior business communication major Karlie Monsma ’12 of Pella, Iowa. “On this field trip, my eyes were focused on every piece of text and image that surrounded us downtown, all trying to sell or persuade us in some way.”

“Our communications class works to find symbols and words that arbitrarily connect a symbol to our mind, creating a specific meaning,” added business finance major Zachary Thomas ’14 of Bradenton, Florida. “In downtown Chicago, there are millions of these symbols and words.”

For students, the field trip provided a strong connection between classes at Trinity and the Christian worldview and their application in the professional arena.

“While in Chicago, I recognized that our faith-based opinions and knowledge can allow us to apply our meta-narrative story of creation, fall, redemption, and new creation to messaging around us,” said Monsma. “We can all be redemptive in recognizing issues or problems with the messaging around us and try to redeem messages to be more pleasing to God.”