iC Dingbat

Bridging Continents

Story by: Aliya Weiss '12
An exhibition of Polish posters in the Hong Kong University Museum of Art, curated by Petya Andreeva ’13, who won a Freeman Foundation grant for the summer internship. Photo courtesy of Petya Andreeva '13

Hailing from a country in which the term liberal arts education doesn’t exist, Petya Andreeva ’13 of Burgas, Bulgaria, came to Colby without really knowing what she was getting herself into. She arrived planning to study political science, and now, after just one year at Colby, her résumé includes being curator of two art exhibitions in Hong Kong.
Andreeva planned to double major in government and East Asian studies. But Colby’s academic requirements have a funny way of changing people’s plans. “I was reluctant and worried that I had to take classes outside of my majors,” said Andreeva. “Still, I had to take Asian Art with Professor Ankeney Weitz to satisfy my art requirement.”

It was Weitz’s art class that, Andreeva says, changed her life. “It made me rediscover myself and my strengths,” she said. “I just simply felt alive while learning about art.”  Halfway through her freshman year, Andreeva declared her majors: art history and East Asian studies.

Under Weitz’s guidance, Andreeva applied for and received the highly competitive Freeman Foundation Grant, which sponsored her internship at the Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery this summer. 

She spent most of her summer in Hong Kong writing press releases and doing extensive research in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese art. But, when the director of the gallery asked Andreeva to translate 50 Polish posters donated by the Polish consulate, she was given the opportunity of a lifetime.

"He actually gave me the responsibility to curate a whole exhibition with those fifty posters,” Andreeva said. She arranged the posters and wrote a caption for each. The exhibition occupied two halls of the museum and was open to visitors for a month.

Impressed by her work, the director asked Andreeva to curate another exhibition, this one about Japanese photography. Her second exhibit was viewed by the consul general of Japan and other diplomats from various embassies and consulates—quite an accomplishment for someone with only one year of college under her belt.

On September 1, 2010 at 6:00 am, Julius Tenev wrote:
Just want to elaborate that the term liberal arts education not only exists but is in fact quite well-known in Bulgaria. As a matter of fact, one of the best universities on the Balkan Peninsula, the American University in Bulgaria, a sister school of the University of Maine in located in Blagoevgrad Bulgaria. As for the rest of the article, it was well-written and comes to show that foreigbn students and especially those comming from less economically developed countries should not be afraid to study what they are interested in as opposed to the standard Economics and Computer Science. At least that was happening when I attended Colby but this article clearly implies that things might be changing.
On September 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm, Ankeney Weitz wrote:
Colby still has generous funds through the Freeman Foundation Undergraduate Asian Studies Initiative for student internships in East Asia (including the countries of: Brunei, Cambodia, China (including Hong Kong and Macao), East Timor, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam). Colby students can apply for Janplan, 2011 or Summer, 2011 grants. For more information, see this webpage: http://www.colby.edu/academics_cs/acaddept/eas/freeman-grant.cfm
Aliya Weiss '12
San Francisco, Calif.
Major: English with Creative Writing...