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Chinese visiting scholar shares work with GSW campus, community

AMERICUS — For the last two years, Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) has infused great emphasis on global awareness throughout its curriculum by way of (but not limited to) international programs and study abroad opportunities. As such, the practice of inviting visiting scholars to work and teach on campus is equally important.
Shasha Wang is a professor of art at the Hua Qing School at Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology (XUAT) in China. Serving as a visiting scholar at GSW this semester, she has been doing research in studio practices, art history, and western approaches to art education, and she had an exhibit on display earlier this month in the Fine Arts Building that included artwork from her husband Ming ming Song – also a professor of art at XUAT.
Keaton Wynn, GSW associate professor of visual arts, first met Shasha while taking GSW students on a study abroad trip to China in 2013.
“At that time, Shasha expressed her desire to develop her work through further study,” said Wynn. “We decided that she should visit GSW, and we could work together. Now three years later, she is finishing her visit having completed a very productive time in the studio.”
Shasha has passion for art, and like many of us, her interest was stoked at a young age.
“When I was a child in school, I always liked to draw,” she said. “My first-grade teacher discovered my ability to paint, and she encouraged me to attend painting classes. Since then, I have not stopped practicing art.”

From left are Justin Hodges, lecturer of photography and digital arts; Shasha Wang; Lynda Lee Purvis, interim associate vice president for Academic Affairs; Keaton Wynn, associate professor of Visual Arts; Chuck Wells, associate professor of Visual Arts; Laurel Robinson, professor and department chair for Visual Arts; Charles Patterson, GSW interim president; Jordan Walker, GSW Visual Arts graduate with an MFA from Long Island University; Ralph Harvey, professor emeritus of Visual Arts; and Elise Beatrice, studio technician in 3D Studio.

From left are Justin Hodges, lecturer of photography and digital arts; Shasha Wang; Lynda Lee Purvis, interim associate vice president for Academic Affairs; Keaton Wynn, associate professor of Visual Arts; Chuck Wells, associate professor of Visual Arts; Laurel Robinson, professor and department chair for Visual Arts; Charles Patterson, GSW interim president; Jordan Walker, GSW Visual Arts graduate with an MFA from Long Island University; Ralph Harvey, professor emeritus of Visual Arts; and Elise Beatrice, studio technician in 3D Studio.

From September 2007 to June 2011, Shasha was a student at XUAT working toward an art degree in sculpture. In 2014, she earned a master of fine arts from XUAT in urban sculpture design and application.
Shasha’s time as a visiting scholar at GSW has served her well professionally.
“This has been a great experience for me, here,” Shasha said. “I have not only listened to Keaton’s art history courses, which are very interesting, but I have also completed the creation of more than 20 pieces of work and added 40,000 words toward scholarly papers.”
“During Shasha’s first week here, we had many conversations about developing a conceptual direction,” said Wynn. “In the following month it has resulted in the development of new work, her introduction to new techniques for working with clay and even performance and video.”
In addition to Keaton Wynn, she credits the entire Visual Arts Department faculty with helping her during her stay. In particular, Justin Hodges, lecturer of photography and digital arts, helped record and edit the video for her exhibit.
Shasha is also appreciative of the opportunity she has had to gift her work.
“I am most gratified that President Jimmy Carter has accepted my work,” she said, “and President (Charles) Patterson has also collected one of my works.”
“This has been a very pleasant experience,” Shasha added. “Most of my time was spent on campus to create works for my show, and I like the time when I do the creation; it makes me feel full. I like the beautiful campus here, too, and the kind people I have met. Everyone makes me feel warm and at home.”
For more information about the Visiting Scholar Program, contact GSW Academic Affairs at (229) 928-1361.