2008-08-27 / School & Sports

Russian Fulbright Scholar to Teach Art at BC

A First for Bainbridge

Dr. Maria Chumovitskaya Dr. Maria Chumovitskaya Bainbridge College (BC) students and the larger Southwest Georgia community will have the opportunity to learn from a Fulbright Scholar, the first Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at BC. During fall semester this year, Dr. Maria Chumovitskaya will teach classes offered for the regular term and special community evening courses in September and in October.

Professor of history and art theory at St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dr. Chumovitskaya will teach two classes of Art Appreciation 1100 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, said Dr. Stan Webb, chair of the BC Arts and Sciences Division. She has taught the course there in English to American students attending the university.

In September, members of the communities BC serves may attend Wednesday evening courses in Russian Architectural Masterpieces. In October she will present sessions on Russian Art. The 7 p.m. Wednesday presentations are offered through the Continuing Education Division.

"Dr. Chumovitskaya can also be available for presentations at civic community functions," Dr. Webb said, adding that her semester at BC is part of the college's growing international studies program that includes agreements with Syktivkar University in Russia and with various educational institutions in Belize. As part of the Fulbright arrangement, she will visit other universities and is available as a guest lecturer in the BC community, including the Early County site.

The Fulbright Scholar earned her doctorate in art history from The State Russian Museum and holds a master of arts degree in history and art theory from St. Petersburg State University. "She has a wealth of knowledge," Dr. Webb said, noting she was selected for BC because of the strong, positive student evaluations she has received. "Her family has lived through trials of various times in Russia's history, and she has had many personal stories to share."

"It is a great honor to work here," she said in a meeting Thursday during BC faculty orientation week. In her presentation to faculty and staff, she gave an overview of the history of Russian art and architecture and about the city of St. Petersburg, known as "the cultural capital of Russia." It has 130 museums, ranging from artistic works and literature to music and technology. There are more than 100 theatres, including for dramatic works and dance arts. It is known for its European influence on its architecture inspired by Peter the Great.

About Russia's capital, Moscow, she told her new colleagues that city had presented itself as the city with the most "monumental buildings," that is, those whose architecture was designed to serve as monuments. However, she was very impressed when she visited Washington, D.C., last week and is sure that it has "more monumental forms" than Moscow.

When asked her initial impressions of Bainbridge and "what about the gnats," she responded that in June and July northwest Russia has terrible mosquito problems that she thought were "the most terrible thing" until she came here. "I think gnats are worse," she said, laughing with her audience. Squirrels, too, surprised her because her urban city may have one or two in a park. She and her daughter, Nadia, who is attending Bainbridge High School, walked downtown and were surprised to see so many squirrels.

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