Exhibition on China’s Silk Road at Tunxis Gallery

June 29, 2011
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June 29, 2011 James Revillini

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The public is invited to “The Silk Road,” an exhibition on the culture and people of China’s western Silk Road by Tunxis professor Christina Gotowka in the Wallace Barnes and Barbara Hackman Franklin Art Gallery at Tunxis Community College July 6-30. The opening reception is July 13, 4-7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

The professor of psychology will share a montage of over 100 of her large-scale photographs of western China cultures that she took during a field study in 2010 led by MacMillan Center’s PIER Summer Institutes at Yale University. The exhibit will be complemented with objects found in western China cultures, some of which Gotowka collected during her trip.

She traveled to the Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan provinces where she studied the daily life of these groups and visited a number of markets, temples and museums. “We were allowed in parts of the country that most Americans can never see,” said Gotowka, who funded her own trip, and was among a select group of educators chosen for the PIER course. When she returned, Gotowka enlisted the help of David Archambault, graphics specialist and a lecturer in photography/fine arts at Tunxis, who enhanced the digital images, and lent visual expertise in creating a plan for the installation.

Gotowka spins a Buddhist prayer wheel at Kumbum Monastery in Xining, China.

The course, which explored how current social, political, economic and environmental conditions will affect the future development of the region, is the eighth Gotowka has taken in more than 10 years through PIER. She has also included information from the field study in her “Cross-Cultural Psychology” course curriculum at Tunxis, one of the goals of the PIER course. PIER stands for Programs in International Educational.

Gotowka, who has been a professor at Tunxis for over 30 years, holds an Ed.M. from State University of New York at Buffalo and an M.S. from Saint Joseph College. Formerly of West Simsbury, she resides in Old Lyme.

Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and by appointment. For more information, call 860.773.1621 or email William Kluba at wkluba@tunxis.edu.

The exhibit is one of a series at Tunxis Community College celebrating 40 years of education in the Farmington Valley and beyond. The College first opened for classes in October 1970 and currently offers over 60 associate’s degrees and certificates, providing critical thinking and problem-solving skills that prepare students for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs and employment in areas with industry need.

Tunxis is located at the junction of Routes 6 and 177 in Farmington.

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