Armory hosts exchange program for budding Chinese artists
Chinese art student Bailli Zou, 11, left, shows her oil pastels artwork made during visit to the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / August 24, 2012)
The eight visiting students took lessons in collage and worked with clay for the first time under direction of Armory teaching artist Meriel Stern, who is also chair of the Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission.
As it turns out, the Armory program isn't all that different from their classes at the Yang Zhiguang Fine Arts Center in Guangzhou, China, several of the young travelers said.
Danhong Huang, the center's vice president, said the Guangzhou program is modeled after its founder's experiences in the United States and is unique among Chinese art schools in that it prizes student creativity over artistic skill.
Ziyin Huang, a 12-year-old who also goes by Jiji, said that while Chinese teachers always lay out explicit instructions for each lesson, “sometimes [Stern] asks the group what we should do.”
Visiting students also discussed differences in lifestyles outside the classroom, remarking that California has cleaner air, more trees, bigger yards and lots of people with tattoos.
-- Joe Piasecki, Times Community News