First Year Experience

Class visit in museum galleries.

Art & Authenticity on Campus
This self-guided workshop uses celebrity portraits by artist and photographer David LaChapelle to challenge incoming students to consider their own modes of self-presentation on campus. Students will explore portraits of pop culture icons such as Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, and Travis Scott on display in the Benton Museum. Then discuss concepts of self-presentation and authenticity at work both in the photographs, and in the transition to life at UConn. You will receive detailed instructions for the workshop upon registration. Visit

Critical Looking Workshop
Sharpen observation skills, practice empathy, and engage in critical thinking at The Benton. This 50-minute workshop shows students how to tap their powers of observation and investigate a work of art through close looking and discussion. Offered in the museum and online (synchronous). The workshop is led by Benton Education staff. Use the Request Form to reserve your workshop early, as space is limited.

First Thursday
The Benton’s monthly open house takes place 4:30-7:00pm on the first Thursday of the month, beginning in October. The museum collaborates with campus partners to offer a variety of activities, including Student Health and Wellness for Pet Therapy playtime; WHUS DJs for live music in the galleries; and The Beanery for drink specials and an open mic. Hands-on activities change with our exhibitions and include crafts, art hunts, and more. First Thursday draws 100-200 students each month. It is a perfect introduction to the museum and a terrific outing for Learning Communities, dormitory floors, and other campus groups.

Suggested Activities for Self-Guided Visits
Explore the Museum with your class! Scavenger hunts are available at the Visitor Services desk and make for a fun way to look closely at the works of art on display. After the hunt, ask students to select one work of art and explain why they chose it.

Please note that advance reservations are required for all adult and student groups of 10 or more, and for any third-party guided tours, regardless of size.