"The whole process has been incredibly liberating, and rather than focusing on 'planning' everything, I've been able to experiment and theorize about new possibilities. The fellowship provided an affirmation that my efforts were worth supporting."
Vance traveled to China, taking over 1,000 photographs, creating related drawings based on his experience, and purchasing materials to support his studio production. He traveled with a friend who is a native of China, enabling him to access rural areas of the country that were critical to his research. "I found myself connecting with people and places that should have seemed foreign, and I found myself seeing the unknown as the familiar."
Since his return from China, Vance has had two solo exhibitions and received his first museum commission. "I believed that a disconnection from my familiar culture coupled with immersion in a completely foreign one would help to jump start my creative drives by providing new visual and intellectual stimuli. That's exactly what happened." He is in the planning stages of a study abroad course in China for students of Herron School of Art and Design as a result of his experience.