College gallery exhibition recounts journey to Japan

Art students, faculty members took memorable trip abroad to study


In late spring, 48 Arapahoe Community College art students and faculty members flew to Japan for the 2018 Study Abroad excursion, landing in Osaka, then onto legendary Kyoto, where they began a journey that included color, sound, food and lots of contrast between old and new in every direction. The Bullet Train whizzed them to Tokyo and a bus took them on a day trip to nearby Kamakura, an ancient capital, with a famous huge Buddha.

Participants had prepared with a spring quarter class about what they would discover — and for some, there was help with an effort to raise the necessary money to make the trip. All returned with a head filled with memories and images, with full sketchbooks and camera records — and a most satisfying experience with a different culture.

A new exhibit is open through Oct. 3 in the Colorado Gallery of Art at ACC, called “Japan … a Journey of Art.”

Third-year art student/traveler/photographer Jenna Cardenas was on a shift at the gallery desk when we visited and said she is already planning on the 2019 trip to Italy — and was included on last year’s trip to Italy, when there were only seven or eight people. She’s excited to return, and the two-week trip will cover locations from north (Venice) to south (Rome) and a side excursion to Athens and Greek islands … Group leader and photography teacher Trish Sangelo says she makes plans based on how many a tour bus can hold (48) and the next trip is close to full already. Information forms are at the gallery desk.

Cardenas is enthusiastic about the plan to offer travel to a wider spectrum of students. Journalism students will be included in 2019

Sangelo observed: “The Japanese people are very rooted — so different in approach — amazingly polite, silent, respectful, trusting (a scooter with the key left in the ignition) … I realized how to be at peace — being mindful about what you are doing.

“The whole point of study abroad is to learn about yourself in another, very different location,” she continued. “My goal is to eventually provide the opportunity school-wide.”

Other 2018 faculty included Angela Faris Belt, color photography; Nathan Abel, painting and drawing; and Katie Caron, ceramics. (Caron’s life-sized clump of bamboo trunks surrounded by rocks reaches almost to the ceiling — and grabs one’s attention, leading the way to student work on all the walls and on tables and pedestals throughout the gallery.

A visitor finds photographs of ancient and newer structures, markets — and people, including women in lovely, traditional kimonos. Sangelo said people are always taking pictures of each other and every so often, they would come across a woman in a gorgeous kimono, with a photographer recording images of her for posterity. “We would ask if we might shoot a few as well…”

The exhibit includes lots of ceramic works, both functional and sculptural — many no doubt produced in summer ceramics classes after travelers returned.

And take time to gently leaf through an especially inviting small sketchbook/journal that includes tickets, brochures and watercolors of special places. Makes one feel like booking a flight next week!

Additional works are exhibited at the Jantzen Gallery at the Art and Design Center, 2400 W. Alamo Ave., Littleton. (303-797-5958.)

An added note: Students can earn some funds for travel if King Soopers shoppers will pick up a Swipe Card at the ACC gallery and load money onto it at the checkout counter from your credit card, then swipe to pay your bill. No cost to you and King Soopers turns over a small percentage to the ACC travel account, which adds up for students. One can reload when it’s empty. Painless way to give a boost to a good cause!


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