Loyola University students, faculty and staff members can now visit the Art Institute of Chicago for free under a new partnership between the university and the museum.
To celebrate the partnership's official launch, the Art Institute is hosting Loyola University Night at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, featuring a tour of the museum's European painting galleries and an introduction to the institute's 20th Century art collection.
Justin Daffron, associate provost for academic services at Loyola, said he is excited the partnership will give students and faculty more of an opportunity enjoy the cultural riches at the Art Institute.
"Art challenges us to reflect, and reflection is a critical skill that Loyola students are encouraged to develop as a foundation for lifelong learning and spiritual growth," Daffron said. "The partnership will add to the vast array of programs and services the university provides our students to help foster reflection in their daily lives."
Daffron said Loyola's partnership with the museum will continue as long as students continue to use it, and that so far student reaction to the news has been very positive.
Ashton Mitchell, a 21-year-old communications major, is one Loyola student who is thrilled she can now visit the museum for free anytime she wants.
"When you're a student, you're getting pulled in a thousand different directions-- so a lot of times, even when there is a free day, you don't have the chance to go, or it's too far downtown, or you're doing other things," Mitchell said. "Being in the city is awesome, but sometimes you can get stuck in your little niche and you don't always get to go out and experience all the awesome stuff that the city has to offer you."
The American Academy of Art, National Louis University, Robert Morris University, Shimer College, Trinity Christina College, University of Chicago and Wheaton College also are involved in the museum's University Partners Program.
For information, visit http://blogs.luc.edu/ilweekly/2013/01/25/loyola-night-at-the-art-institute-of-chicago/
Erin Vogel is a RedEye special contributor.
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