‘UConn in the World’ art exhibit captures global message
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 00:09
The opening ceremony of “Global Reflections: UConn in the World,” an art exhibit featuring photographs that illustrate global citizenship in action, was held on Monday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Having received over 100 photo submissions, the selection committee narrowed it down to 41 photos. These photos are now on display at the Art Gallery on the third floor of the Student Union.
The photos capture students actively engaging in programs, including the UConn Nursing in Puerto Rico and Cape Town and the UConn Social Entrepreneurship Corps in Guatemala. Also showcased are photos taken by several international students.
Some photos have a more serious edge and others may draw a few laughs. Yasemin Kutes’ picture depicts one of the Y-Think statues that used to be interspersed around campus, juxtaposed with a trodden orange cone tipped over in the background. “I thought it was a very simple way to draw people’s attention and to think about all the problems we have,” Kutes said.
Alisa Blidnert from Sweden snapped a photo of her friend Josefin contending with the travails of lugging shopping bags back from Walmart.
Bob Chudy, the director of the International Center, kicked off the event with a few words about what it means to be a global citizen. He also spoke about UConn students’ involvement within the greater community and the importance of global teamwork. He hopes that the photos will inspire viewers “to reflect on life and what global citizens can do, working together and helping each other” in all corners of the world.
Chudy believes that UConn students become true global citizens when they travel the globe assisting others in need. Not only does helping others around the world promote universal cooperation, it cultivates mutually beneficial relationships between various cultures. “As you can see from these pictures, learning and teaching is a two-way street,” Chudy said. “And learning comes in many forms…from eating exotic foods to learning a new language… and we all become better for it.”
Nataliya Plesha, who is photographed clutching the 2012 winner of the Graduate Student Teaching Award, stopped by the exhibit. With over 22 years of teaching experience, Plesha directed the greatest thanks toward her pupils. “I got it because of them,” she said.
Deeply committed to fostering an environment in which students can learn and progress, Plesha proclaims an intrinsic passion for teaching. “You have to be passionate about what you’re doing in life,” Plesha said.
The exhibit is sponsored by the International Center, Study Abroad and Immigration Services. “Global Reflections: UConn in the World” will be available for viewing until Friday, Sept. 14. Hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.