Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project

7 years old

The kids in NYC kick off their friendship with their new pen pals in Helsinki!

2018, 2nd Grade, 7 years old, 8 years olds, Finland, USAArlene TuckerComment

Amanda Sainsott and her class of 2nd graders from Manhattan, NY have started an exchange with Arlene Tucker and her 1st graders in Helsinki, Finland!

The letters were full of warmth, excitement, and unexpected details about themselves and where they live. Such great questions they asked! The students also included pictures they drew. We could catch a glimpse of what their homes look like and where they like to play.

Reading their letters made me want to go visit all the lovely parks, zoos, and experience the bustle of the city myself!

Let’s see where the conversation and collaboration will go!

The students in Grade 2 (7-8 years old) at NEST+m in NYC are making and sharing art with the Grade 1 students at Ressun peruskoulu (7-8 years old) in Helsinki, Finland.

I See You! Swedish students stop to take a closer look.

China, Finland, 7 years old, 8 years olds, 9 years old, 10 years oldArlene TuckerComment
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In a small classroom in Finland students stop, take a moment, and visually explore photos of kids attending school in China.  They see, if only for a few moments the visual characteristics and features of the child in the photograph. Using tracing paper the students traced the figures out of the photographs and onto a piece of paper. They added color to the students along with their own artistic touches. Throughout the process the students were encouraged to look closely at the photographs and asked; What did they see? Who is in the picture? What can you learn about them, what is the image telling you?  Once the drawing were completed I transcribed short letters from each artist to the child in the photograph. They explained short things about themselves such as their favorite foods and hobbies.

Now they eagerly await for the exchanging of artworks.

Sincerely,
Rachel Kangas

The artists in Grade 2 (8-9 years old) at Taizhou Pheonix Primary School in Jiangsu, China are making and sharing art with the artists at Linguajoy (7-10 years old) in Helsinki, Finland.

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Taking time to explore

10 years old, 2018, 7 years old, 8 years olds, 9 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene Tucker3 Comments
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To start the Dear You project the students and I sat down around a table and reviewed the photos sent to us from our new friends in China.  With each picture we took time to visually explore what was taking place. Was it a boy or girl? How old did they appear? Where was the photo taken? We explored what sort of information could we gather from elements presented to us in the photo?  

Following this activity we completed an journaling exercise where the students described things about themselves that they felt were important to share with their new friends. Then we completed the session by taking our self portraits.

Alexandra said: I like candy. I like to dance. My favorite food is pea soup.
I am Amos. I like school. I play my PS4. I have a big brother. I like pizza. I like candy.
I am Ebba. I like English club. I play football. I have a mom.
Felix said: I am 8 years old. I like candy. I play Minecraft.
Lucus said: I am short. I like my friend Benjamin. I play football. I have a little sister.
I am Maxim. I like Samuel & Benjamin. I do Ty-boxing. I have a dog.
Oskar said: I like playing my phone. I like candy. I am 7 years old. I play the guitar.
Sophia said: I also like to laugh. I like to play pretend mommy and daddy. I like my mom. My favorite food is spaghetti and I love bread. I like hotdogs and I like friends.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Rachel Kangas

The artists in Grade 2 (8-9 years old) at Taizhou Pheonix Primary School in Jiangsu, China are making and sharing art with the artists at Linguajoy (7-10 years old) in Helsinki, Finland.

Saying so much through art works!

2017, 6 years old, 7 years old, 8 years olds, Dear You Art Workshops, Iceland, South AfricaArlene TuckerComment
 We received the package from South Africa today – and the kids were so relieved, they have been waiting for so long, they said.

We received the package from South Africa today – and the kids were so relieved, they have been waiting for so long, they said.

It also took more time than we thought to finish the home´s project.  But the kids loved it so much, some of them put more than their family members on the picture like some zombies (might be an influence from computer games). On most of them you can see that the children are thinking about summer, even cherry-trees (which don´t grow here) are in one garden.

All the best,
Halla and Guðný

The 1st and 2nd graders from Grunnskóli Fjallabyggðar in Siglufjörður, Iceland are making and sharing art with the preschoolers from Oakdale Preschool in Cape Town.

 We took a picture today of the kids playground, we have had snow today.

We took a picture today of the kids playground, we have had snow today.

Hearing sounds like walking in the snow

2017, 6 years old, 7 years old, 8 years olds, Dear You Art Workshops, Iceland, South AfricaArlene TuckerComment

They closed their eyes and to make sure no one was using their eyes, they put their hats over their eyes as you can see on the pictures attached.

Some of them were „hearing“ sound of nature, like wind and walking in the snow, but most of them thought of sounds of machines, washing machine, cars, hammer and also f. ex shouting of their sisters and brothers at home.

They were trying their best – and they could stay quiet while they listened.

Guðný and Halla.

The 1st and 2nd graders from Grunnskóli Fjallabyggðar in Siglufjörður, Iceland are making and sharing art with the preschoolers from Oakdale Preschool in Cape Town.

Hyvää ruokahalua! Enjoy your meal!!

2016, 7 years old, 8 years olds, Collective Art, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, Russia, CanadaArlene TuckerComment

So turns out when we are eating, the thing we want to see the most is food. Second favourites include looking out the window, listening to the birds singing. We enjoy having a meal in the company of our family and pets.  On the other hand, we don’t so much like sharing our food with ants.

My last sessions with 1 A and 1 B classes very really fun! We made two very different, but beautiful ornamented table cloths.  The artists drew their own patterns on graph paper, and then we all spent some time together joining our creations to make one large picnic blanket.  When we finished the artwork, we took some time to write a letter to our friends, saying that we wish they enjoy their meal. Hyvää ruokahalua!! 

Anastasia Artemeva

The 1A artists at Viertolan Koulu in Vantaa, Finland are making and sharing art with the artists at Кепа школу (Kepa School) in Karelia, Russia. The 1B artists at Viertolan Koulu in Vantaa, Finland are making and sharing art with the artists at Sheppard Public School in Ontario, Canada.

Sounding our Little Forest "Pikku Metsa"

2016, 7 years old, 8 years olds, Canada, Dear You Workshop Leader, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, RussiaArlene TuckerComment

Sounding our surrounding meeting went real well, thanks to classroom teachers Titta and Anne, who had taken their young artists for an explorative walk in a little forest literally called Little Forest "Pikku Metsa" beforehand. From the walk, the kids brought natural materials for making brushes, as well as many interesting sounds to paint. We chatted about the difference in soundscapes in the school and outside in nature, as well as about composing music, as we painted our songs.

A lot of time was deliberately left for reflection and performance of the scores. To get into the musical mood, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was performed skillfully by both groups - in Finnish and in English languages.

In 1A we each described what we heard and how we decided to combine and express these sounds on paper. In 1B we sang, hummed, tapped and whistled our own and each other's paintings.

It was lovely to hear, a teacher noted, how now, after 3 meeting, the kids already started to respond to me in English (Viertola is a Finnish - speaking school, but I speak English to the kids). Nice to see how Dear You can be not only a way to make art and meet new friends, but to learn a language also. 

Anastasia Artemeva

Below are photos from Titta's 1A class:

Below are photos from Anne's 1B class:

The 1A artists at Viertolan Koulu in Vantaa, Finland are making and sharing art with the artists at Кепа школу (Kepa School) in Karelia, Russia. The 1B artists at Viertolan Koulu in Vantaa, Finland are making and sharing art with the artists at Sheppard Public School in Ontario, Canada.

Thinking about 'What am I?' with Viertolan Koulu

2016, 7 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Dear You Workshop Leader, Finland, RussiaArlene TuckerComment

I have visited Viertolan Koulu to create What Am I? books with two first-grade classes. The main idea was to talk about what our food can tell about us and our environment. During the lively discussion with no right or wrong answers, we thought about what food is accessible to us directly – from the apple tree in our neighbours’ garden, to the carrots our grannies grow in their cottages in Northern Finland. We listed examples of food that comes from here, and discussed whether the lemon growing in a pot on the windowsill can be considered local food.

In order to prepare the art materials for the book, the kids had been asked to bring their own cardboard from home. Looking at the items they brought, we all laughed to see it was mostly cereal boxes – the food that found its way into our diet within just the last decade or two.

I felt it was more exciting to ask questions to discuss the subject of an artwork, and explain the technique very carefully, rather than only give a solid description of what the final piece should look like. At the end, we made an array of beautiful accordion books, asking our friends to guess our favourite dishes such as macaroni bake, bananas, pizza and chocolate. 

Anastasia Artemeva

The 1A artists at Viertolan Koulu in Vantaa, Finland are making and sharing art with the artists at Кепа школу (Kepa School) in Karelia, Russia. The 1B artists at Viertolan Koulu in Vantaa, Finland are making and sharing art with the artists at Sheppard Public School in Ontario, Canada.

Fishes in the light

2015, 7 years old, Austria, Dear You Art Workshops, 8 years oldsArlene TuckerComment

Simone and her 8 year old artists living in Vienna, Austria are exchanging art with the 7 year old artists from Vantaa, Finland. Simone, the Viennese group's teacher had such lovely comments about the April project!

Once again they had a lot of fun and were astonished what light can do. The colours of the fishes are so much prettier with sunlight!!

In Vienna the sun is shining and it's warm outside. We all love it!

Best wishes,
Simone

 

The Monkeys are full of Light & Love

7 years old, 2015, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, Pre-School, IndiaArlene TuckerComment

In Finland, the change in light is one of the biggest differences we feel when moving from winter to spring. The Monkeys used the beautiful sunshine to make their artworks since this is one of the best things Finland has to offer right now!  

We first talked about how to draw profiles and then experimented with different silk papers and paper cutting techniques.  Some of the Monkeys got very detailed when drawing their profiles while others liked to add more collage and layering techniques into their pieces.  Either way, the results are amazing and I hope our friends in India will like them too :).

The Monkeys String their way to India!

2015, 7 years old, Finland, India, Pre-SchoolArlene TuckerComment

The Monkeys are super excited about meeting their new friends in Mysore, India! Since this is their first piece of art to exchange, some of the Monkeys were trying new visual techniques on how to bring our worlds together.  For example, Niklas and Lotta drew the Indian flag and Finnish flag on their paintings.  Patrick and Hartti drew games that they like to play.  Everybody enjoyed sharing a part of themselves with their new friends!

Stringing together Valentine's Day and Carnival!

Dear You Art Workshops, 2015, Austria, 7 years oldArlene TuckerComment

The Cats in Vienna have been up to some lovely thoughts and artwork!

Simone, their teacher, wrote:
My children loved to work with this new material, the wool. I told them to make some pictures of something they love. So they can share it with their partners. Also, we talked about people we love.

Children love their parents and their families, also their animals. Important is the fact we can love someone because he is doing something good, he is helping us and very important: he is playing with us. :) And he has to be very nice.

What can we do for people we love? You can write a love letter, you can paint something, you can give flowers.

Best wishes,
Simone and her cats



Ystävänpäivä every day : )

2015, 6 years old, 7 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, Pre-School, AustriaArlene TuckerComment

Hello Dears,

In Finland Valentine's Day is Ystävänpäivä, which means Friend's Day :).  The artists at Päiväkoti Lystilä in Vantaa decided to make woolly socks as part of the string theme AND sing a song for their friends at Evangelischen Volksschule am Karlsplatz, Vienna.

Lumileopards think woolly socks are great because:
- here in Finnish winter we really need warm socks!
- and like warm socks, a good friend is important and really necessary to move on!
- every kid can easily make and have their own stylish design and be proud of that too!
- there are always two socks in a pair. We are stronger together as opposed to just one!

HAPPY VALENTINE's DAY <3 
Lumileopardit & A-M

And here is Anne-Marie Keckman's translation of the Woolly Sock Song:

MY FRIEND

MY FRIEND IS LIKE A WOOL SOCK, IT WARMS ME AT WINTER,
AND MY FRIEND IS LIKE A MELLOW FLOWER, MAKES ME A SMILE!
SO TAKE MY HAND AND FOLLOW ME TO THE STRAND, I WILL SHOW YOU HOW THE SUN GOES DOWN BEHIND THE TREES, PAINTING THE SKY RED.
I'M SO LITTLE AND NEED A GUIDE TO TEACH ME HOW TO MAKE THIS WORLD BETTER!
SOMEDAY, WHEN I AM GROWN UP I WISH THAT,
I NEVER STOP LEARNING!

You can try to sing it too! :D

Musical insight from the artists in Vienna, Austria

2014, 7 years old, Austria, Finland, Dear You Art WorkshopsArlene TuckerComment

Hello!

I'm sending you the first pictures of our music-project.

On the left side of the sheets you can see the impressions inspired by Edvard Grieg, Morning Mood. On the right side you can see what children did to the music from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Summer, Presto (The Thunderstorm). Some of them really fell into the music. :)

It was interesting to notice that nearly all children had the same feelings. Morning mood is smooth and clear. A lot of them started to paint with the colour green; they painted nature and "good" things like music, birds - happiness and peace.

Vivaldi's Thunderstorm is very rude and disturbing. They had the feeling of death and threat in different forms like a house is burning or someone is crying for help. Also, bad people are in the pictures.

THANKS A LOT for your candies! We had a lot of fun opening your present and tasting the candies! In Austria we don't eat liquorice, just a few people like it (like me). But the caramel candy and the chocolat were great! They loved it!*

Its always a great moment for the children to get a parcel from far away. We loved the stamps from Finland and the children did not allow me to destroy the paper around the parcel. ;)

Winter and Christmas is coming in Vienna...

Best wishes!!

Simone

*The artists in Vienna, Austria are exchanging with the artists in Vantaa, Finland.

The Monkeys Move to the Beat!

7 years old, 2014, Collective Art, Finland, Greenland, Pre-SchoolArlene TuckerComment

Our bodies react to music sometimes in ways we can't control or foresee. We just have to experience it to believe it! Today we tried to become more aware of why and how that happens.  First, we started off by having a dance party to just let our bodies lose and move to the beat.  Then we dived into our paints and let our dancing hands guide the brush.  The stories created and felt were amazing!  

First we listed to Dean Martin's "Let it Snow". The Monkeys will be performing this song for the Christmas play so it was fun to practice it with them.

When The Monkeys listened to Helado Negro's song titled "Invisible Heartbeat" images of ocean with whales and mermaids came swimming into the artists' minds. We got into groups to create collective paintings. Bringing all of our imaginary worlds together and making them come to life is always exciting!

How do you move, what do you see, how do you feel when you hear certain songs?  What music do you hear when you look at the Monkeys' paintings?  We are excited to see what our friends in Greenland come up with!

Smiling faces from Vienna, Austria :)

Czech Republic, Austria, Dear You Art Workshops, 7 years oldArlene TuckerComment

Simone Zobl, the 1st grade educator at Evangelischen Volksschule am Karlsplatz in Vienna, Austria, has started Dear You with us this September!

For the Self Portrait Puppet project, Simone said, "I only told the children, that they should paint themselves for our partner class. They cut out the puppet and made it all on their own. And they really had a lot of fun! :)"

I am sure everybody is excited to receive the puppets from their new Czech friends!