One of the most important aims of a university is to create collaborative learning experiences for students so that they can appreciate and embrace the communities of which they are a part. This includes collaborations that transcend disciplines or debates and communities that extend beyond the borders of a local or regional residency. International exchanges, that is, the opportunity for students to spend a semester or two at an institution in a different part of the world than one's home, enable some aspects of these aims, even for the most passive participant. But, when that international study experience focuses on the arts, collaboration, and community it takes on a much deeper meaning and a more active orientation.
The partnership between the Academy of Fine Arts of Johannes Gutenberg University and the Department of Art and Art History of California State University, Chico is grounded in our recognition of the importance of the visual arts in our cultures and our responsibility to provide our students with provocative and challenging learning opportunities. It takes daring for a student to embark on an international exchange. It requires daring of another, but complementary, kind for a student to pursue his or her ideas and to present them through the stark forum of the visual arts.
This catalog is a celebration of a successful collaboration, connected communities, and the daring that we encourage in our students. I hope all who enjoy it will recognize the powerful commitment to our students and the visual arts which brought our institutions together and which continues to strengthen our bond.
Paul J. Zingg
California State University, Chico
Look for the German/English catalog celebrating five years of student work available fall 07.