Art Now

Christie’s Auction House, Elizabeth Foundation, Phantom!

Wow! What a busy but fantastic day today was! Students started off the day with a guest speaker sharing about the auction house world. Then, they got to visit both the galleries and the super exclusive underground level of the Christie’s Auction House! There were aisles upon aisles of art from the most famous of artists. Everyone was a little taken aback by the experience!


After Christie’s, students visited the Elizabeth Foundation. The Elizabeth Foundation is a public charity that provides artists with the space and tools they need to create art. It also gives artists the opportunity to interact and collaborate with others in the art field. Students were able to tour three very different studios during their visit. And what’s more, the artists themselves were present for a little Q&A with students!


Besides the artists’ studios, the Elizabeth Foundation is also home to the Blackburn Printmaking Workshop. This workshop provides high quality printmaking facilities to artists and printmakers at all levels. It is designed to be a community printshop. After a tour of the facilities, students had the opportunity to create a collective stone lithography print! It was a laborous process, but the result was well worth it.


Students finished the evening with something that should be on everyone’s NYC bucket list: seeing a show on Broadway! Phantom of the Opera was the show of choice and students were able to see first-hand that the Majestic Theatre truly lives up to its name.

Materials, Materials, Materials!

The focus of today was materials: what artists are using in contemporary art and how it’s preserved. After a couple of expert guest speakers on the subject, students traveled to Queens for a peek inside Materials for the Arts. Materials for the Arts is a reuse center that collects supplies from various companies, individuals, movie sets, etc. and works with nonprofit organizations and schools to get people to make art using these leftover goods. They also bring in artists to get creative with their extensive collection of supplies. Students took a tour of the building, including the gallery, artist’s studio, classrooms, and massive warehouse. Then, they had the opportunity to give new life to some of the materials themselves. Students created all different types of masterpieces–from a hat, to a sword, to a chandelier!

Whitney Museum, Meatpacking District, High Line

Today’s class focused on mapping the art world, from artists to auction houses. Students also learned about what their final project would be: to create a collection of pieces around a theme of of their choice! Now the question is: what to pick?!

After lunch, students traveled to the Whitney Museum for a guided tour of the permanent collection and then some free time to explore on their own. “An Incomplete History of Protest” was a particularly popular selection for the group. 

Students continued the day with a tour of the High Line and it was a huge hit! Although it was quite warm, they managed to find some shady spots to stay cool and snag some pics for Instagram. After the High Line, students had dinner in Chelsea Market or the greater Meatpacking District.


Up next: materials, materials, materials!

Christie’s Education, MoMA, Times Square!

Today was our first day at Christie’s Education New York! Students started off by debating the age-old question: What is art?  Later, they moved into an exploration of modern vs. contemporary art.

Next, it was time to get outside and discover the art around us! With Rockefeller Center as our home base, students participated in a scavenger hunt to locate a variety of buildings, murals, sculptures, installations, and even food institutions.


We rounded out the day with a visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Many students said this was one of the museums they were most excited about, and it’s easy to see why! Students delved into Agnes Gund’s collection under the direction of our expert guide and then had some time to explore further on their own, eventually settling on one piece to describe to the group in a guessing-game activity. Out of all the pieces in MoMA, two students even ended up settling on the same piece! After MoMA students had some free time to eat dinner and explore Times Square. Up next, the Whitney and the High Line. Tune in tomorrow!


Arrival day for Christie’s Art Now!

All students have arrived safe and sound at Columbia University for the Christie’s Art Now program! After students settled in and unpacked, we had a brief introductin to the program, a tour of campus, and then a couple rounds of “would you rather.” Let’s just say we learned some interesting things about our new friends! We finished the evening with some New York style pizza and cookies from the famous Levain Bakery in the Upper West Side. Tomorrow morning we head to Christie’s Education and then it’s off to MoMA in the afternoon!




Meet the program coordinator

Program Coordinator Jamie Rodda is originally from Michigan and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. As an
undergraduate she completed a BA in Secondary Education at Central Michigan University with a major in Spanish and a minor in ESL. She completed her MA in Spanish Language and Culture at the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. Jamie just finished her 7th year of teaching high school Spanish in Washington state. She has previously worked five summers with Summerfuel as a Resident Advisor in Oxford and Barcelona, and later as an Assistant Director for programs at Columbia University, University of California, Berkeley and Tufts University. In her spare time, Jamie enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking (and eating), kayaking, and reading. She is thrilled to lead the Christie’s Art Now program and to learn right alongside the students.

Countdown to Christie’s!

Greetings students and families,

My name is Jamie Rodda and I am thrilled to be the Program Coordinator for Art Now at Christie’s New York. Summerfuel and Christie’s Education have teamed up to offer an amazing, one-of-a-kind glimpse into the art world of today with New York City serving as the classroom. Our days will be filled with visits to various museums, galleries, and private collections, as well as classes with the experts. We also have a variety of other activities planned, including trips to Storm King and Point Pleasant! Be sure to check this blog for daily updates and photos of our activities.

Lodging and Staff

During the program, students will reside in John Jay Hall on the campus of Columbia University, conveniently located in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  Students have single rooms and will share floors with another Summerfuel program—Leadership and Innovation. We will link up with this program for various activities when our schedules coincide. Additionally, staff from this program will work closely with the Christie’s Program staff and students. For your reference, the staff members for the Leadership and Innovation program are Lawrence Alexander (Director), Shanita Ray (Assistant Director), and Resident Advisors Kordell KeyAndre, Kathryn Lige, Kaity Beaumont, and Jacquelynn Akins.

Arrival Day

We are ready to welcome you on Sunday, July 8! Students can begin checking in at 3 PM. We will have staff out at the airports to meet and transport students to campus. Students should look for staff in blue Summerfuel t-shirts in the baggage claim area (for domestic flights) or in the arrivals area (for international flights). I will be here at John Jay Hall meeting students and families as they arrive. If you’re traveling by car, use 514 West 114th street, New York, NY 10027 as the drop-off location.


In the event you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Starting on July 5, you will also be able to contact me on the program cell phone that I will have for the duration of the program. That number is 1- 917-861-8894.

Looking forward to meeting you and having an awesome summer!

Jamie M. Rodda

Program Coordinator

Art Now at Christie’s New York

Welcome to Art Now at Christie’s New York!