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2012 Travel-study to China Art Exhibition Opening

Posted Apr. 12, 2012

The post-travel art exhibition to showcase how participants anchored meanings and embodied the complexity of their study-abroad experience was held in the NEST (formerly the Music and Listening center) on the second floor of the Student Center on the Kent campus from April 12-25.  At the opening reception on the evening of Thursday, April 12, family members and friends of the participants came to the show to further understand their experience in China.  It was a meaningful vicarious experience for the audience as the small-scale social endeavor encouraged more interactions and further sharing.  The School of Art generously sponsored light refreshments ordered from Campus Dining Services for the attendees.

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One mission of the course is to broaden the horizons of KSU participants by embracing diversity at the global level in preparation for becoming global citizens.  Course activities and assignments are specifically designed to provide multiple entry points to Chinese culture and the arts through both short-term immersion and experiential learning.  Art making in this course provides an exploratory platform for all participants to demonstrate learning outcomes with connections to personal and cultural identities development.  Participants put together their research and artistic interpretations for display with emphasis on visually communicating and sharing their experience instead of merely writing a report or paper for instructors to grade.

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Art Education graduate student Carolann Mitchell explained her work in the show: “I took what I learned while in China from the ink-and-wash workshops at Beijing Normal University, from viewing traditional Chinese works as references and used all the materials that were bought in China.  One thing that stuck with me is that [we were told] Chinese traditional paintings are mental composites of photos, sketches, and mental images so as to make original landscape paintings that draw the viewer in like a path leading the way through the painting.  Hence, I used some of my photos I took and constructed this new image of a landscape.  I also tried out a little calligraphy as well. While in Shijiazhuang at Hebei Normal University, I made a great friend with one of the Chinese students. He translated Art is Life for me into Chinese, which I used at the top of my painting.”

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A post-travel survey revealed that the collaboration with Chinese university students through videoconferencing and face-to-face meetings plus the exhibition has been rated highly by all the participants, who can also add highlights to their resumes when they search for jobs in the future.  No other programs at KSU currently offer such unique components in their travel-study courses or programs.