Zi “Elva” Ye’13 was featured in a “The Bigger Picture” article of the Finger Lakes Times. The regular column written by the paper’s photographer Spencer Tulis focuses on the stories of individuals and groups. Often he has photographed the subjects or their work; other times he takes a photo as part of telling the story.
In writing about Ye, Tulis describes the independent drawing project in which she produced roughly 75 drawings, prints and photographs representing a student’s view of Geneva. The artwork was displayed in the atrium of the Melly Academic Center of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.
In discussing the project, the article quotes Assistant Professor of Art and Architecture Kirin Makker, “… college is as much about becoming an adult citizen who can navigate the ‘real world’ as it is about post-secondary education and professional development. What better way to become an engaged member of society than through active participation in an adopted community …”
Ye earned her B.A. in architectural studies and studio art magna cum laude from William Smith. As a student, she was the recipient of Arthur Dove Award, Judith Lowe Hyatt Award, the Senior Architecture Prize for Leadership, Service and Academic Achievement, and was the recipient of the Eric Cohler ’81 Award.
The full article follows.
Finger Lakes Times
The Bigger Picture
Spencer Tulis • April 22, 2014
In about a month Hobart and William Smith Colleges will hold their graduation ceremonies. For four years Geneva is like a second home for many students.
For others, it is even more than that.
That’s because some students come from places far from the Finger Lakes. If you were from a place like China, as 2013 William Smith graduate Elva Zi Ye is, you stayed in town for summers and breaks. This can allow for an opportunity to establish a closer connection to Geneva than many of her classmates.
Ye is a talented artist.
The final product of her independent drawing project can be seen in the atrium of the HWS library building. There, images of the city of Geneva from a student’s perspective are temporarily attached to the wall. The work is a small sample of what Ye produced in the project. About 75 drawings, prints and photographs are being used by the HWS Admissions and Communication offices to help familiarize incoming students with Geneva.
The purpose of Ye’s project was to show her peers and incoming students what lies outside the boundaries of the HWS campus.
In China, Ye lived in a city of 300,000-plus people in the northern part of the country. It’s a far different place than the quiet and peaceful rural area found around here. It seems she adapted to her adopted home fairly well.
Ye interned at Miles and Mays Furniture Works and worked for the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center.
Assistant art professor Kirin Makker made these comments about Ye’s project: ” … college is as much about becoming an adult citizen who can navigate the ‘real world’ as it is about post-secondary education and professional development. What better way to become an engaged member of society than through active participation in an adopted community … “
I have come across some HWS graduates while they also were walking their dogs along Seneca Lake. They had stayed in town after graduation for a variety of reasons, but the most common reason was it’s a nice place. I can relate to that since after I graduated college I moved back to Saratoga Springs where I had attended Skidmore College for two years. The reason? It was a nice place. I stayed there for 25 years.
“A nice place” is a good thing, hopefully good enough to attract and keep many talented and hardworking young adults here. It’s one of the ingredients that will assist in making and keeping the city a vibrant and desirable community.
• I know about a half-dozen people employed at Seneca Meadows Landfill. All are good, decent people trying their best to provide for their families. On the other hand, the politicians in Seneca Falls who approved the proposed railroad spur project … well, that’s a whole different story. It’s clear that the main motivation for approving this project was financial. Thankfully, Judge Falvey recently ruled that the process has to restart from the beginning due to improper procedural issues. It bothers me that these politicians can make decisions that directly affect so many far outside their area. Whether it is truck traffic, smells, train traffic or a general eyesore, hopefully voters will remember who voted which way next election day. Is it too much to ask that decisions be made more in a way that follows this simple rule: What allows the world to be a better place for our kids and grandkids, better than what was given to our generation?