The Great Design Exchange

Stacy Slaten, our Alexandria 2-D Faculty Arts Professor,  put together an incredible opportunity for our students with the Chinese students of Xingtai Polytechnic College.

Stacy Slaten describes the artistic elements from the Xingtai student works to the Alexandria Provost, Annette Haggray and Associate Dean, KV White, during the Reception for The Great Design Exchange at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

The exhibition, titled The Great Design Exchange is helping forge international ties between our two countries.

Artwork from students at Xingtai Polytechnic College in China.
The Reception for The Great Design Exchange at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College.
The Reception for The Great Design Exchange at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

Stacy explains, “The art exchange started with a Alexandria Campus, group visit, by Xingtai’s administrators and professors last Spring 2018. Using an English translator, I started talking to the art and media professors, discussing similarities and differences in our programs and sharing images of NOVA student work. We started a conversation on how our students and colleges could participate in potential projects with economical means. We continued the conversation through email and received an invitation from XPC to share student class images digitally through OneDrive to exhibit at Xingtai in one of their student festivals during summer 2018, eliminating the cost of shipping artwork and keeping the cost to ink and paper at the exhibiting college. I sent ART 131, Design I, 2D collage images to the Xingtai festival and invited the equivalent 2D class at Xingtai to respond to the work and create and send back through OneDrive collage images to exhibit summer 2019. We printed out the Chinese student artwork and hung the show in the Fine Arts Gallery.”

Artwork from students at Xingtai Polytechnic College in China.

The students have even exchanged feedback and comments on their respective work in critiques.

Artwork from students at Xingtai Polytechnic College in China.

The students also worked with Lisa Hill in our Graphics program to exchange works between her illustration class and Xingtai’s.

The Reception for The Great Design Exchange at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College.
Artwork from students at Xingtai Polytechnic College in China.

Lisa Hill explains, ” Designers worked with NOVA’s Chinese professor, Dali Tan, in connection with the Department of Arts and Media of Xingtai Polytechnic College to illustrate/design book covers for two compilations of poetry by Emily Dickinson that were translated into Chinese.  The books the students could select from were either I Dwell in Possibility or Bring me the Sunset in a Cup.   The process included research, thumbnail and refined sketches, final artwork, the typography for the book’s title, author, and relevant information in English and Chinese.

Artwork from students at Xingtai Polytechnic College in China.

The student work from China was beautifully conceived and produced.  Gallery visitor conversations were ongoing as visitors marveled at the beauty and overall aesthetics of the Chinese students.  The project is a perfect pairing between two cultures.

Thanks to everyone at Xingtai Polytechnic College!

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