Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project

Czech Republic

All That Talent for Christmas!

2014, 5th Grade, Czech Republic, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

Do you know how to play the guitar, do the baby freeze or do you just know really much about ice hockey? I surely don't but the talented fifth graders in Helsinki English School know!

This time at The English School we looked at our gifts. We pondered about how can we give them as presents to our friends. The word present has two meanings: one is something you give away and the other one is something you receive right at every moment, at the present. So a gift in it's most heartfelt way is you being present to the people around you. That means everyone of us can give a special gifts this Christmas by just being present and using the talents we have.

Some of us had a hard time seeing our own talent. But we needn't worry too much! Help was always near when friends cheered on at how good someone was at so many things. Sometimes we can't see our own talents because to us they're just everyday things while to others they might be a wonder. If you know how to do something really well, you might just need a reminder now and again from your friends on how good you actually are! We drew our talents in the stars that we sent to Prague and hope that they'll bring at least as much cheer there as we experienced when making them.

This gift giving doesn't have to stop at Christmas. We can all use our gifts and talents, no matter how small we think they are, every day and bring cheer and ease to others around us.

Let's have a gift filled Christmas and a talented new year!

- Nooralotta Ikonen

December Peacefulness in Prague

2014, 4th Grade, Czech Republic, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, HolidaysArlene TuckerComment

Dear You,

Last workshop of this year was also my last contribution to this project. As you could sense all around the Panda Learning Center, Christmas are everywhere and I wanted to set up the workshop in this mood. I wanted to create a calm and peaceful atmosphere and to have time to chat with the students. This time we used just markers, scissors and blank white A4 paper. During the workshop we talked about Christmas time and what we would like to give to the students from Finland, which was really fun and I hope that you are going to see it soon. The biggest  source for us was  the licorice world, which we all remember from one of the the previous workshop in which we received pictures of licorice candies from Finland.

In the end, I especially wanted to thank my students for their intense attitude and high quality outcomes, also thanks to stuff of Panda Learning Center for providing me warm words and lunch, students from Finland for their funny letters and last but not least to Arlene Tucker coordinator of this project for patience and trust to give me space and time within Dear You project.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Prague
Veselé Vánoce a šťastný nový rok z Prahy

- Rudolf Samohejl

Tunes and Tints at The English School in Helsinki

2014, 5th Grade, Finland, Czech Republic, Dear You Art WorkshopsArlene TuckerComment

"Look! The girls are dancing ballet!" a boy from The English School in Helsinki hollers. We're listening to music and some of us are feeling courageous enough to take a step or sway to the beat and melody. The song changes from an old school video game theme to more classical tunes. "A trip to Paris!" a girl says. "An afternoon playing games with my friends." "All of us as video game characters are inside the game!" another artist sees in her mind's eye.

The music stops and it's on to painting! The images inspired by the songs and our dance start appearing on paper in wonderful colors. The paintings tell of dreams, travels and time with friends.

Music is like a key. And different kinds of music equals to lots of different keys to lots and lots of unique worlds! I wonder what sort of doors will our Dear You friends open for us in Praque?

- Nooralotta Ikonen

ps. If you would like to hear what we made our paintings to please click here and here.

Being in the moment with sounds in Prague

2014, 4th Grade, Czech Republic, Collective Art, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

This time at Central Point International Elementary School in Prague we made a visualization of the music project. 

I prepared for the students a long sheet of paper and than while we altogether were listening to music, we tried to express what we heard. The aim was not to create separate individual results of our observations, but we wanted to get closer to the idea of listening together and also creating together. That is why we used this kind of paper. All the students at some point disturbed each other's drawing and had to deal with each other's drawing space, which brought new element into our working method. Hopefully our friend school in Helsinki will recognize the energy locked into the piece.

We listened to:
Flight of the Bumblebee
Amelia from Montmartre
Japanese relaxation music
433 John Cage

- Rudolf Samohejl 

Mmm... Margot and other Czech sweets!

4th Grade, Czech Republic, Dear You Art Workshops, 2014Arlene TuckerComment

Our second meeting with students  from Central Point International Elementary School in Prague, Czech Republic was the most difficult workshop we have had together so far. I started the lesson by showing short examples from the history of still lifes to the students; the works from Rembrandt, Picasso, Warhol,etc. I explained what a still life is and how the authors were trying to get closer to depicting the reality by using all their senses.

Afterwards, I put  candy in the middle of the working table and told the students that instead of eating the candy we will use them as tools [that is why I told them at the beginning that this is going to be the most difficult workshop so far]. We first drew the packages of all the sweets on look through paper and than we used the actual candy to „paint with them the smell“ of the different kinds of Candy we have in the Czech Republic. So hopefully you will smell the Margot (famous Czech candy) in Finland soon.

It was a really great afternoon and the concept of our class also inspired other teachers from Central Point School.  In the end, the students looked really amazed what they were able to create and I enjoyed both the lesson and the results of their work.  

- Rudolf Samohejl


Sweet Times at Helsinki's English School

4th Grade, 2014, Czech Republic, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

Have you ever eaten a small black square that tastes like salt and medicine? Well, it's called Salmiakki and it's considered quite a treat here in Finland.

This time in our Dear You workshop we shared delicious tastes and sweet sights as we made candy arc pop-up cards for our friends in Prague.

We drew some candy and glued our art on our pop up card arcs. Then we described in writing what our pictured candy tastes like. Some of our candies were real while others were make believe. They all looked pretty delicious to me!

Everyone can enjoy these sweets, even the ones who are missing a sweet tooth. I hope they munch these sweets up with their eyes back in Prague!

- Nooralotta Ikonen

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!

Collaging Self Portrait Puppets in Prague

Czech Republic, Dear You Art Workshops, 5th GradeArlene TuckerComment

Our first meeting with students  from Central Point International Elementary School in Prague, Czech Republic was exciting for all of us.

I started the lesson by bringing a few magazines in. While browsing through, we discussed our role models and how our own puppets could look like. For faces, some of the kids chose already existing faces from the magazines which they drew on tracing paper while others drew their own faces. The kids were asked to use a template to cut their puppets but they already adjusted the shapes to their own needs and wishes. Regarding the material, we tried to use scissors, glue and all possible kinds of collage-like stuff: coloured paper, fabric, old jeans.

We really like the results  of our class and we already look forward to the next time.  

- Rudolf Samohejl
Dear You Workshop Leader