Last year, I had the chance to visit Cleveland with a small group of Chinese Conversation Club members from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Volunteers of the Club used this trip to introduce Chinese culture to others through food and art. We drove to Cleveland to enjoy dim sum, a traditional Chinese cuisine, for lunch. Then we visited the Cleveland Museum of Art to study and appreciate some of the Chinese art.
Since I was not traveling with a bunch of architecture students like my past field trips, I did not go crazy with my camera to “capture the moment.” Instead, I captured the moment through my own experience of the spaces. It was nearly impossible to explore the entire museum in just two hours, but we were able to see many different forms of art from the past to the present.
Before we left the museum, we had the chance to rest our feet inside the atrium, the most recent addition to the museum. The atrium was bright and inviting. It was a nice contrast to the individual art galleries and gives the visitor a sense of connection to the outside world. The atrium also becomes a great resting area when visitors get tired from walking through the galleries and gift shop. For me, it was a special way to end the trip—with 10 minutes of relaxation sitting underneath a patch of bamboo while enjoying the late October sky inside this well-conditioned space.
I-Shan Tam is a graduate of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture. During her free time, she volunteers at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. I-Shan is part of the Chinese language volunteer team, which coordinates the Chinese Conversation Club schedule. I-Shan teaches the class herself on occasion.