The Ludwick Center held an “Around the World” photo exhibit and reception in honor of International Education Week on Monday.
Over 75 people attended the event, with over 60 participants and 300 submitted photos to be presented and judged.
Both students and faculty members were allowed to submit photos, each of which were taken across various places around the globe from as close as Orange County to as far as Australia.
With over 40 different countries represented, most of the photos were presented in the form of a collage with up to six or seven other photos.
Nancy Newman, assistant director for international services and engagement, curated the event and said she wanted a way to represent and celebrate the many cultural backgrounds that so many people bring to our campus.
“Photography inspires people and I felt this was a great way to bring people together and celebrate the spirit of International Education Week,” Newman said. “I think this makes the world a little smaller as all these photos are a microcosm of the world.”
Three winners from the participants who submitted were chosen from a panel of judges, with 10 individuals given honorary mention. Those 10 photos were then isolated from the rest and placed on their own board in front of the exhibit.
The first-place photo was captured by Lee-Volker Cox, adjunct professor of business and public management, for the image he captured within the Arctic Circle in Greenland of a family having a potato sack race on solid ice.
The second-place photo was captured by Zion Grant-Freeman, sophomore psychology major, for his black and white self-portrait taken in Canada, with a bay and the skyline of Vancouver in the background. The only color present was his vibrant red Angelina-patterned dashiki.
“I loved the way the bay looked and I was wearing my dashiki, which I wore by accident, but I thought that it would be the perfect time to take a picture,” Grant-Freeman said.
The third-place photo was a tie between Amber Bechard, associate professor of education, who captured a view of the city of Cape Town in South Africa, and Anne Battle, adjunct faculty member of photography, who captured a woman gazing across a vast grassland in Africa.
Grant-Freeman said he appreciates the inclusiveness of events like this going forward.
“I think this is a great way to include all cultures and ethnicities. Events like this celebrate people and it brings us closer together,” Grant-Freeman said.
Reed Gratz, professor of music, received an honorary mention for his photo of a tall ship in Amsterdam.
“I was visiting Amsterdam because that is where I am from and I just happened to capture this photo when the sun was just right. I wanted to participate in the event because this brings both the faculty and students from different areas and life on campus together to celebrate beauty,” Gratz said. “It is a great thing.”
Ariana Robles, senior art history major, said she was excited to not only participate, but to see so many different cultures as well.
“I love that the school acknowledges our work and our creativity. As an art history major you are usually analyzing art, but this was a great opportunity to get my creative juices flowing and get a piece of myself out there,” Robles said.
Jacob Barriga can be reached at email@example.com.