Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project


Pop Up Tigers and Pop Up Season's Greetings!

2014, 5 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, VietnamArlene TuckerComment

Once The Tigers mastered the art of making a pop up box everything became possible! Nachu was experimenting with writing her name in cursive. Jonatan made a pop up reindeer. Sreya said she wanted to give the sun to her friends in Vietnam.  That's so thoughtful considering Finland could really use some right about now :).  Ida went beyond the twofold card and made a pop up book! 

The Tigers will mail these warm wishes to the Mice in Vietnam.  Hyvää Joulua and Happy New Year!

It's Art When You Call It Art

8th Grade, 2014, Dear You Art Workshops, Denmark, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

The last session in Meilahti started off a bit differently than the others before it. I had a special guest: Arlene, the founder of Dear You workshops was there with me to tell about her latest installation piece. So we plunged to the world of installations and scratched the surface of performance art with a seasoned guide.

The outcome of the workshop was creative as always! We got a taste of Du Champ -style piece called Pen on the Floor, a miniature Pollock, Magic tricks of expectations, surprise performative art and framings and of course the Illuminati had it's hands on this workshop too.

We discovered that art is dialogue, a process where we interpret each other. Sometimes we get the gist of things and sometimes we get lost in translation but that's okay. No matter the distance we can always try to reach out to understand and find our horizons being broadened in the process. It's art when you call and treat is as such!

Using some of the words that the Dear You Artist in Meilahti mentioned, all in all we had a fun, new and magical ride on our Dear You journey!

- Nooralotta Ikonen

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

Love from Snowleopards and Anne-Marie

2014, 6 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, Pre-School, AustriaArlene TuckerComment


We have Christmas Holidays now and have been busy organizing happenings, presents and so on here in Vantaa, Finland. Thank you Simone and kids for your lovely posts.  The kids got all those drawings you made!! They were so grateful and happy about that! This  week we made a little surprise for your Christmas ... hope you will get it soon!

And there are also pics from our Party Room.  We had a Winter theme where everyone could use their 5 senses.

Beautiful holidays to you all and Merry Christmas.

Love from Snowleopards and Anne-Marie

The Monkeys send warm greetings to Nuuk!

2014, Pre-School, Greenland, Finland, Dear You Art WorkshopsArlene TuckerComment

The Monkeys in Espoo, Finland were so happy to receive artwork in the mail from their friends in Nuuk, Greenland! We read each other's letters and messages.

Learning more about our friends gave us great ideas on how to make our Pop Up Holiday Cards.  Since Leon's friend liked football, he decided to draw him a spotted football greeting card.  Ella wanted to ask her friend questions about the painting she received.  Ella wondered, "what animal did Misu draw?  I think Minea's friend will surely like the surprise cat she made! hint: meow :)

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

Musical insight from the artists in Vienna, Austria

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


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!!


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

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.

The Musical Dears from Vantaa!

2014, Finland, Austria, Pre-SchoolArlene TuckerComment

Hello Dears!

We have had so much fun and a nice time with our Dear You Art project and music paintings/drawings this week! Our kids listened in their own "small groups" different kind of music from Finnish classical to folk (specially our own national instrument Kantele) and world music (pop) between. And surely they were enjoying a lot also listening in peace while making "pictures".

Finally, they finished their work to an end.  We discussed different kinds of feelings we had. Children mostly told about feeling happiness, joy, pleasure, good and positive emotions and their being safe! Some had exciting feels and also little bit scary too or at least mystic:... "like some big ship by the sea without knowing what is coming next..."  All of them said they could do this again, it was so fun!

Hopefully you have received our big candy present for your kids in Vienna?

Best greetings,
Snowleopards and Anne-Marie

Artist Trading Cards (ATC) are a win!

2nd Grade, 2014, United Kingdom, USAArlene TuckerComment

Kathleen Finan, the art teacher at Amy Parks Heath Elementary School in Heath, Texas has been making Artist Trading Cards (ATC) with her artists.  They have just sent these to their Dear You friends in Nottingham, UK!  

Kathleen wrote, "The students wrote holiday greetings on the back of these ATC scratchboards.  I bought these glitter scratchboards for the holidays, sometimes I make them with the kids.
  The candy bags had 3 ATCs in them telling their favorite holidays when candy is given."

What a treat!  Not only did the artists make Candy Bags for the October project, but also ATCs!

Go ahead and try this out with your artists :)

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 

The Musical Tigers get inspired by Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky

2014, 5 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, VietnamArlene TuckerComment

Art is another form of self expression and today the Tigers taught me a lot about that!  We started the session by looking at artists such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.  These two great artists were very much inspired by music. We talked about the kinds of sounds and music we started to hear when we looked at their paintings. 

Then we listened to some music and hopped along to it to see visually and physically how the rhythm is.  We jumped when the tune was high and crept closer to the floor when it was low.  After we felt comfortable with the music we shimmied to our drawing tables and started painting away to Schneider TM's song called "Frogtoise" and to Nightmares On Wax song, "Les Nuits".  Can you hear the difference through the brushstrokes?

We can't wait to hear what songs our friends in Vietnam created to!

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!

Mice wonder, "Candy can be black?!"

2014, Vietnam, 5 years old, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

Greetings once again from our Finnish Vietnamese group, Tigers and Mice enjoyed last week to the fullest knowing that Halloween was around the corner and they had a terrifying candy bag full of their favorite sweets. Here in Hanoi, we decorated our bags with different shapes and used our imagination and some music to decorate the candy bags, they turned out scary and colorful at the same time! 

Last Friday was our international show and tell circle, we shared candies, jellies, lollipops, marshmallows, and even pancakes and ice cream. We even had a girl that loved flowers so much that thought it would be nice to have them in her candy bag. 

The surprise came when our dear Tiger friends showed us a small piece of black candy... 
- What's that?? Chocolate? no wait chocolate is usually brown...
- Hahahaha, no its something we call liquorish.
- Is it black candy? Ewwwww!

Apparently some colors are not meant for candy if you ask our little mice! Black is definitely one of them... Hopefully they get to taste that Finnish delicatessen one day! 

See you next month Dear you Community and have a nice autumn were ever you are!

Xin chao!

Toti Álvarez