DIRECTOR OF SUMMER ART IN CHINA STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM
The Summer Art in China program at William Paterson University， founded by Professor Zhiyuan Cong in 2001, provides students with the opportunity to participate in a carefully organized study tour focused on viewing and investigating the complexities of China through the lens of visual art. This tour gives students the opportunity to study with actual Chinese artists and lecturers and to learn about new and old characteristics of Chinese culture in general and art in particular. Course credit is earned along with an invaluable cultural immersion experience. The Summer Art in China program has been in existence since summer 2001. This study abroad program offers five weeks of intensive classes (two weeks prior to departure at the WPU campus) with faculty from both American and Chinese universities.
The tours have included different lectures and demonstrations from artists in China and enabled students to view Asian culture with new perspectives. Students were able to absorb elements from different cultural traditions and different periods of Chinese history. At the conclusion of the tours, the faculty and students produced a book for each trip, Summer Art in China 2001, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2015, featuring essays and photographs focusing on the art, culture, education, history and content of China’s cultural institutions, including museums. These publications have been very well received and won Gold Awards in the Annual Educational Advertising Awards in 2012 & 2016; Ground Award for the 24th Annual Award for Publication Excellence Competition by Communications Concepts, VI, 2012 and two 2nd place awards from higher education institutions.
2001 Program Highlights
Twenty-five students and faculty from William Paterson University participated. The focus was on Chinese ink painting and printmaking through the lens of understanding, study, and interest. Each student focused on one of the following topics: 1) Chinese Ink Painting: Masters and Materials; 2) Woodblock: Jinling Sutra Publishing House, Suzhou Taohuawu Institute; 3) Education: Suzhou University, Anhui University, and Nanjing Arts Institute; 4) Culture: Suzhou Gardens and Yellow Mountain.
2005 Program Highlights
Nineteen students and faculty from William Paterson University participated. The focus was on Chinese history and art education through the lens of understanding, study, and interest. Each student focused on one of the following topics: 1) History: The Great Wall, Kaifeng City, 2) Art: Longmen Grottoes, 20th Century Chinese Art, 3) Education: Interviews of University Presidents in China and America, 4) Culture: Song Mountain and Yellow Mountain.
2008 Program Highlights
Thirty-five students and faculty from William Paterson University and Youngstown University participated. The focus was on Chinese art museums and self-taught artists through the lens of understanding, study and interest. Each student focused on one of the following topics: 1) History: From the Traditional to the Modern; 2) Museums: Art Museums in China; 3) Art: Folk Art and self-taught artists; 4) Culture and Education: Xian, Yangzhou, and Nantong.
2011 Program Highlights
Twenty-four students and faculty from William Paterson University participated. The focus was on 1) History: The ancient resource for Chinese; 2). Art: Religious Art; 3). Culture: Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces in China; 4). Education: Contemporary Art and Education. It is an ultimate journey that traces back to the sources from which Chinese art and culture are derived.
2015 Program Highlights
Twenty students and faculty from William Paterson University Study participated. The focus was on Chinese minority cultural in Guizhou and Shu culture in Sichuan. The emphasis was placed on Chinese culture from urban to rural, from Chinese to ethnic minorities, from ancient to modern, from the natural landscape to cultural landscape. The program led the group to many sites of historic interest such as Three-Star Piles, Miao minorities villages, the Emei Mountain, the Leshan Giant Buddha and the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base. At the conclusion of the tours, the group produced the book Summer Art in China 2015, featuring essays and photographs focusing on the history and art education, minority and art and culture as well as the functions of some relevant Chinese institutions.