Candy Wei International Travel Award

The Candy Wei International Travel Award is a scholarship endowment fund created to support international travel for art students.

Allison Apprill: 2007

Destination: Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a very different and special place. I enjoyed traveling around the country, seeing cultural sites such as the stone churches of Lalibela, the supposed resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, and a monastery on an island in Lake Tana. The landscape was particularly inspiring. I am proud of the mural we left on a school in a poor area of Addis Ababa. We certainly left our mark in that little community. Our trip was very challenging but also very gratifying, and I feel lucky to have gone.


Caitlin Dronen: 2007

Destination: Ethiopia

Ethiopia is place that is very difficult to explain unless you’ve been there. It’s one of the most confusing and contradicting places I’ve ever been to in my life. The only thing constant was inconsistency. There were constant highs and lows, some of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen and some of saddest. In comparison to America Ethiopia would definitely be considered an impoverished country, but I found myself jealous of their lifestyle in many ways. Ethiopians have strong connections to each other, to their land, to their religion, and to their continent as a whole. The Ethiopian people from everything I could see were very hard workers that could utilize anything…left nothing to waste. Our travels ranged from the country to the capital city and each area had different things to offer whether it was the landscape, historical monuments, or simply images that contradict the negative connotations that come with African countries. It’ll be a long time before I fully get my head around Ethiopia, but this was a life changing experience for me, I’m just not sure how yet.

Yoshinao Nakano: 2007

Destination: Japan

I went to study abroad in Kyoto Seika University this summer where I studied under product design.

I took a drafting/rendering class, where we learned all the basic drawing skills you use in product design. This work is from our final project, where we designed our own bottles using the skills that we’ve learned over the semester.

Anna Browning: 2004

Destination: Ireland

This experience was one that was definitely life-changing. It has inspired me to live in other countries and learn new languages. I’m now planning on moving to France for 8 months and hope to continue traveling. It also renewed my interest in nature and wildlife because of the landscape’s beauty.

The town I lived in had a population of only 250 people. The school only had about 40 students total and was a 16th century castle that was reworked to be an art school. I was given my own studio and complete freedom to explore my artistic talents in whatever way I saw as my path with some small starting points given by the instructors, as well as one-on-one attention in my studio when it was asked for. It really helped me grow as both a person and an artist.

One never really can understand new and different things unless they are experienced first hand. And in the case of different cultures and countries, it is necessary to immerse oneself in it.

Aerien Kloske: 2004

Destination: Italy

[My trip] was a great way to experience a new country. I was with people that I could relate to – and we learned to navigate the foreign culture together. I came away with memories that I will never forget as well as some really great friends.

Being a designer, I have always struggled with my drawing skills. It was very beneficial to take some time out from the computer and really work on my skills. In the end, I found an interesting way to blend my two interests for the final project. The travel that I did while abroad gave me a wider perspective on Italy, as well as gave me experience with navigation and travel skills.

Elizabeth Pienton: 2005

Destination: Costa Rica

I came to Costa Rica on Jan 1st of 2005. I spent 2 months studying spanish at a language school, and during this time I lived with a Costa Rican host family. I still keep in touch with my host mother and sisters and I am very thankful that I was able to create such a great friendship with them.

My travel experience was rewarding both in my artistic life as well as my personal life. I was able to document (through photography) many new and culturally different situations that I never would have had access to were it not for the trip. Some examples being, different natural scenes and wildlife, traditional homes and communitites, families, “Fiestas” (parties put on by communities) that exhibit traditional foods, dancing, costumes and ways of celebration.

More personally, I grew to love this country and the people very much during my stay. The trip turned out to be absolutely lifechanging! I met my husband Andrey less than a week into my time here and he was a major catalyst for me deciding to start my life after college here. We were married on Feb. 18th of this year and could not be happier. I work for a very successful residential development and every day I can enjoy the beautiful surroundings that I fell in love with over a year ago.

Both Andrey and I are artists at heart and enjoy painting and taking photographs together in our spare time. Hopefully through future travels we will have more opportunities to experience different cultures and new inspirations for our work.

Elizabeth Tebeau: 2004

Destination: Denmark

The whole experience was really amazing. I had the opportunity to work with wonderful faculty in superb studios. The highlight of the trip was the traveling and exploring we did in Scandinavia. Our regular classes involved weekly visits to museums, galleries and working artists’ studios. The visits to the studios were by far the most inspiring, they provided a window into the whole culture of design in that part of the world. We even met with the artist who designed the textiles for the Queen’s yacht! We also travelled in Sweden and Finland and saw the ways in which textile design can affect peoples lives. A particular church in Finland stands out. The interior of the church was all white and the only hint of color was a series of printed textiles around the altar. It was subtle, but the impact was amazing. We gathered all we took in to create our own textile designs that hung in the school’s gallery alongside other students’ work in glass and furniture.

Living and studying over there gave me a new sense of cultural awareness and respect. It also gave me independence in a way that can only happen thousands of miles from the familiar. As an artist I defiantly grew and came to understand design in a new way. I continue to draw on my experiences for inspiration.