In February – March 2016, an extraordinary event brought women students and educators to Paris.
The Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition, held at Columbia Global Centers at Reid Hall (Columbia University’s Paris facility), was the inaugural event for the Wells International Foundation (WIF). It combined art, study abroad, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education in educational programming built upon the abstract expressionist art and portraiture of painter Beauford Delaney (1901-1979).
Students from the University of Arizona traveled from Tucson to Paris to create an Augmented Reality app that allows users to access videos about numerous works in the exhibition. Four of the six students were women.
American K-12 educators traveled to Paris to experience the Global Educator Program for professional development organized by WIF and the social entrepreneurship J Rêve International. Founded by Jacqueline Cofield, J Rêve brought 7 teachers to the City of Light – six from the U.S. and one from South Korea. Six of these educators were women.
In addition to students enrolled in Columbia’s study abroad program, students from Virginia Commonwealth University, the Vassar-Wesleyan program, and Stanford University experienced the exhibition as well. Again, the majority of them were women.
As a result of attending a guided visit to the exhibition and meeting WIF founder and CEO, Monique Wells, Stanford University’s Sojourner Ahébée applied for a fellowship to pursue a 9-week internship with WIF in Paris. She was awarded the fellowship and will begin her project in mid-July 2016.
WIF now wants to have museums in the U.S. and Europe host the exhibition. It plans to organize educational and cultural programs similar to those that were associated with the Paris exhibition – including travel abroad to the European venues.
WIF is currently conducting a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money to create a video documentary of the exhibition. This video will accompany the marketing proposal that WIF will send to museums on both sides of the Atlantic to encourage them to host the show.
The crowdfunding campaign runs through May 24, 2016. Help WIF place the Beauford Delaney exhibition at European museums and provide study abroad opportunities for university students and K-12 educators by clicking on the link below to make your pledge today!