Global Scholarship: Next Stop Turkey
By Jennifer Hafer

  The artist (above) and his work.  

For graphic design student Kong Cheong, studying abroad is about more than just visiting new places; it’s about enriching his life and his art.

“As a student, study abroad gives me the opportunity to learn more about different cultures and how they view art, and I use those influences in my own art,” Cheong said. “I also love traveling and seeing different places and learning different languages.”

Cheong is the recipient of this year’s Visual Arts Study Abroad Scholarship, a competitive scholarship established with funds from the First Annual College of the Arts Benefit Gala; the $900 scholarship will help defer some of the $2,800 cost of the upcoming Maymester trip to Turkey.

“I know too little about Turkey, therefore, I want to explore the mixed arts that are in this unique country,” Cheong wrote in a required essay. “Winning the scholarship will have a great effect on my future works because I have a theory of art fusion. In Turkey, combination of different art into one is common and this will directly affect me in my own theory of merging arts together.”

During the 16-day trip, students will travel across the country studying the traditional arts of Turkey, as well as having the opportunity to see some of the world’s greatest architecture.

At the top of Cheong’s list of places to see: Hagia Sophia, one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architure. Hagia Sophia is a former Eastern Orthodox church that was converted into a mosque in 1453 by the Turks, then a museum in 1935. Its decorated interior is filled with mosaics and marble pillars, as well as Islamic pulpits and art.

“Since the day I knew how to draw, I loved art and as the days go by, my passion for art has grown larger and larger,” Cheong said. “I want to see more of this world and all the cultures that are available in order to discover more art and create new art.”

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