Owl News and Blog
Exploring Art in China
By Audrey Brown
"Mien-tiao...chur-faim...ta-QUIL-a!" A group of six, enthusiastic, Wakefield students and I chorused a list of various Chinese vocabulary words we had learned from our tour guide as we walked through the streets of Beijing, Xuzhou, Nanjing, and Shanghai. The seven of us traveled to China during this year's Discovery Days and Spring Break to experience "insights into Chinese art," amazing excursions to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and other well-known Chinese tourism locations along the way.
We students, as well as a few parents and Wakefield art teachers, Ms. Duke and Mr. Genther, spent nine total days in China. During the trip, we had the chance to visit the Summer Palace, a tranquil, fanciful retreat surrounded by a quiet lake and adorned with miles of decorated architecture; the Forbidden City, an endless parade of palace after palace, each of which had served a different function for the emperors of old; the Great Wall of China where we all became true Chinese heroes as we conquered a tiny section of the wall one uneven stone stair at a time; and several museums exhibiting Chinese art and history, from an excavation site of thousands of tiny ancient Han Dynasty-era sculptures to modern museums featuring bizarre rooms of mirrors and paintings intertwined with neon lights. In addition to this tourism, we also got to visit both our sister school, Xuzhou No. 1 Middle School, where we attended classes with 9th - 12th grade students; and the Nanjing University of Art where we created artwork with students at the college who were just older than us. When asked about her experience in China, Kate Vorder Bruegge, '17, stated, "I learned that although China may seem like a vastly different country than the US, the people in China still have lifestyles and value systems similar to ours. Also, it was interesting to learn about the history of China since the culture has been around for centuries longer than America. I was amazed at the crowds of people everywhere we went since I was not used to this compared to my suburban life in Virginia. I also learned the importance of understanding a different culture. Going to China allowed me to see my life here [in the US] with a new perspective."
Lee Perritt, '18 also commented, "Our trip was life changing. China opened my eye to the greater world around us with promises of new relations. There are so many different cultures out there that need to be explored, discovered, and shared because you never know how something might surprise you."
All the students who attended the trip to China were excited and inspired by the new culture that we got to experience and are grateful to Wakefield for providing these opportunities. We hope you enjoy the photo slideshow of our trip created by Ms. Duke: