Editor’s Note: During this period of social distancing, Student Group Tour magazine will continue to provide ideas for planning educational travel. Many attractions and destinations are closed at this time; please contact them directly for updated information.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, advances creative thinking by connecting today’s artists with individuals and communities in unexpected and stimulating ways.

Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is dedicated to fostering the work of pioneering artists whose interpretations of the world serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking. The Aldrich is one of the few independent, non-collecting contemporary art museums in the United States.

The Aldrich’s educational programs are designed to connect students to contemporary art through innovative learning approaches in hands-on workshops, tours and presentations.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Conn.
Credit: Caitlin Monachino

“School groups engage with our tours primarily through one of three tour models — ArtWrite, STEAM, and Contemporary What? Tours,” said Namulen Bayarsaihan, the museum’s director of education. “Inquiry-based learning privileges the experience of student learning and self-discovery over traditional lecture or art historical tours that privilege retention of dates, -isms and dry facts.

We share the fun, confounding, exciting and unusual facts that we have unique access to as Aldrich educators.” Bayarsaihan said. “Looking at contemporary art this way empowers students to access new perspectives and ways of engaging with the world at large.”

The Aldrich serves as a laboratory for artists to engage with groundbreaking ideas and techniques — which students are privileged to experience with new exhibits regularly being featured at The Aldrich.

“The biggest draw for students and educators is that if they come back year after year, they will never experience the same thing twice. We are constantly changing our exhibitions throughout the year and there is always something new to experience,” Bayarsaihan said.

In addition to guided tours, The Aldrich’s Studio offers students a hands-on creative outlet, adding fun and experimentation into the visit.

For more information, call 203-438-4519 or visit aldrichart.org.

Article by Michael McLaughlin