Wandering Seeds: Experiencing and Engaging Haiti through Study Abroad

"the tall tree says it sees far, the wandering seed says it sees more" – Haitian proverb

Between May 20 – June 19, 2018 a dozen Grand Valley State University (GVSU) students and two faculty traveled to Haiti as part of a study abroad program. The course, led by Professor Peter Wampler (Geology/Frederik Meijer Honors College), was designed to allow students from various backgrounds the opportunity to experience Haitian culture and gain an understanding of daily life in rural Haiti. In addition, students participated in a variety of service learning and community-based teaching experiences, allowing them to contribute their energy toward real-world problems in Haiti. During the first week of the trip, Assistant Professor Ellen Adams (Art Gallery/Frederik Meijer Honors College) also assisted in mediating experiences with Haitian artists and art collectives at various sites.

Included in this exhibition are narratives and reflections by both the faculty and students who participated in the trip. Additionally, a number of photographs document their encounters, and a variety of original Haitian paintings, voodoo flags, metal art and masks attest to the vibrant and diverse artistic culture in the country.

Painting of woman's face with colorful background

Joanne Celestin, untitled (portrait of a woman), acrylic and egg tempera on canvas, 2018.42.9

two students working on building water filters with buckets

Setting up water filters for distribution

Boy drawing at table

Conducting art activity in classroom

Metal sign reading "Rezistans Art Atis Rezistans"

Entry to Atis Rezistans, Port-au-Prince


Want to know more about Haiti and the water filters used in this project? Or how you can get involved with a study abroad program? Check out these resources:

Students looking at sunset

Group of students watching the sunset


Red Wall Gallery
July 20 – December 14, 2018

130 Lake Ontario Hall 
Allendale, Michigan 49401 


For special accommodation, please call:

For exhibition details and media inquires, please email:
Joel Zwart, Curator of Exhibitions

For learning and engagement opportunities, please email:
Stacey Burns, Programs Manager

Page last modified August 30, 2018