ArtStreet Presents 'Citizens of the World' Exhibit

11.08.2013 | Fine Arts

By Samantha Cook ‘16 with additions made by Lauren Glass ‘13

The Citizens of the World exhibit, which opened yesterday, Nov. 7, showcases student and faculty photos from various out of the country experiences around the world.

ArtStreet and the Center for International Programs at the University of Dayton have collaborated for the 9th year to create this exhibit. Students were encouraged to submit unique photos of their study abroad experiences for a chance to have their photos selected to be put on display at the exhibit. Only 24 of over 60 submissions were chosen for the exhibit.

The Citizens of the World exhibit opened yesterday with a public reception and the announcing of the finalists of the exhibit. The award for best faculty photo went to Susan Gardstrom of the Music Department, for her photograph, “Toilets at Sachsemhausen.” Susan’s photo depicted a row of toilets in a dingy bathroom of a Nazi concentration camp.

Explaining a little bit about her photo taken in Berlin, Susan said, “The most stirring experience of my journey to Europe with the UD Chorale this past spring was a side-trip from Berlin to Sachsenhausen Museum, once a Nazi concentration camp. From 1936 to 1945, approximately 105,000 Jews died here, many from the horrific “living” conditions revealed in this photo and many more from a gunshot to the back of the head at the whim of camp officials.”

Awards also went to the first, second, and third place student photos. The first place holder was Lauren Glass, Journalism major, for her photo “Locks,” taken in Paris, France; second place went to Alyssa Bovell, International Studies and Political Science double major, for her photo, “Simple Joys,” taken in Chilumba, Malawi; and third place was awarded to April Pleska, Mechanical Engineering major, for her photo “Bellissimi Fiori,” taken in Florence, Italy.

Alyssa’s photo, depicting a group of Malawian children playing with a ball, had a particularly touching story behind it:

“Children in the Northern region of Malawi play with an American volunteer with laughter and happiness visible on their faces. Despite the language barrier, kids quickly overcame the shyness of interacting with a “Mzungu” (Westerner) and were able to bond and share a moment of joy together,” she said.

The Citizens of the World exhibit was started nine years ago by UD students who were looking to publicize international studies in a more creative way. This exhibit is now one of the most popular exhibits ArtStreet has to offer, and one of the only exhibits that include student work.

Adrienne Niess, Associate Director of ArtStreet, works with other members of ArtStreet and the Center for International Programs to select the best candidates for the exhibit. Each picture is chosen based on how well it represents a unique aspect about the country it is from. Pictures are also accompanied by a description, giving a deeper explanation of the significance of the picture.

“ArtStreet produces a lot of traffic in general, so this exhibit will be fairly popular and easily accessible for students and faculty, even if just passing through” Adrienne Niess said.

This year the guidelines for submitting pictures were changed to allow students to submit pictures from anywhere other than their home country. In previous years, pictures were only accepted if they were from outside the US. This new rule allowed for some international students to share their pictures of the US, giving Americans an interesting perspective of their own country from the eyes of someone not from the US.

Lauren Glass found the exhibit to be very beneficial to her own experiences in the past, both because of the messages the pictures portrayed to her, and the excitement she then felt to travel the world.

“The description provided goes beyond the picture, allowing you to see the personal experiences of others and that’s what makes the exhibit so unique,” Lauren said.

This year, two of Laurens pictures, one from Trinidad and another from France, have been selected to be put on display. One of the photos was chosen as the first place student winner of the exhibit.

Chinyi Chen, an International Studies major at UD from Singapore, also had two pictures selected for the exhibit this year. Chen gained a lot of interest by attending this exhibit her first year as a student, and hoped that one day she would be able to share pictures of her own experiences. Chen has been fortunate enough to study abroad three times through UD’s programs. Her photos on display include a picture of the Sahara Desert and a picture of a merchant stand, both taken in Morocco.  

“I have always enjoyed this exhibit, and I am very excited to be able to share my picture this year” Chen Said.

The exhibit is open to the public and will be on display at ArtStreet Studio D Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 12 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. For more information, visit: http://www.udayton.edu/international/events/cotw.php

Samantha Cook is a sophomore at the University of Dayton who is studying Public Relations and Marketing. She enjoys writing, photography, and music.

Lauren Glass is a senior at the University of Dayton, where she is studying journalism. Currently working as a social media assistant for ArtStreet, she enjoys music, writing, and photography.

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