Art students share Peruvian experience through photo exhibit

Corey Perkins

Ten Washburn art students participated in a trip to Peru through the art department May 18–28. The students visited places such as Lima, Machu Pichu and the Amazon Rainforest.

Some students received funding for the trip through the Washburn Transformational Experience for their study abroad. For credit, the students took a semester course worth three credit hours. The class met a few times before the trip, where they prepared a few presentations, completed a few assignments and did additional research.

Kelly Watt, assistant professor of art history, said that students who took the class had an option for which credit the class would count towards.

“Some of the students were taking it for studio credit, meaning they were going to produce an artwork at the end,” Watt said. “Other students took it for art history credit, meaning they were going to produce a research project at the end.”

Though the class and trip were provided through the art department, the opportunity to participate was open to anyone, Watt said, even auditors.

For some students, this trip was their first time out of the country and when they arrived in Peru, the group experienced a type of culture they had never seen before.

“I think the diversity, in terms of the culture of Peru, was really astonishing,” said Watt. “We were encountering people, for example the Aymara-speaking and Quechua-speaking people of the Uros … who live on islands that float around [Lake Titicaca].”

Students who went on the trip felt particularly impacted by their experiences in Peru.

“It was an incredible experience; I’ve never had anything like it,” said Adam Rankin, sophomore biology major.

Many of the students returned with a new sense of what the world can offer.

“For the students returning, I think, if nothing else, they bring an enormous sense of enthusiasm for what study abroad can do,” Watt said. “A lot of the students had never been out of the country before.”

Watt said that just hearing about the students’ adventures on the trip makes these experiences much more accessible and relatable to others, which is why students’ photos have been collected for an exhibit in the Art building.

“To be in that space, it just completely changes your perspective,” Watt said.

Photographs taken by students on the trip are currently on display in an exhibit located in the John R. Adams Gallery in the lower level of the Art Building. Entitled “Peruvian Dreams,” the exhibit features pictures from each stop on the group’s trip. The exhibit is open until Sept. 15.