Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project

Self Portrait

"The Early Bird Gets The Word"

2019, 2nd Grade, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
Hello! Here are we in Mäntykangas School in Kokkola, Finland 2a. We would like to tell about ourselves with 3 words. We will take some photos for you with mirrors on Friday. The weather is so awful today and I am afraid, it is raining for a long.... anyways, lots of love.
— Auli Palosaari
Curiosity, Bravery, Perseverance

Curiosity, Bravery, Perseverance

Hei!

Olemme tutustuneet vahvuuksiin, joita itsessämme tunnistamme ja löydämme. Oppilaat saivat valita kolme erilaista vahvuutta, joilla haluavat kertoa itsestään australiaisille ystävillemme. Luokassamme vieraili tiistaina myös suuri joukko australialaisia rehtoreita, joille esittelimme projektiamme. Käänsimme vahvuudet englanniksi ja liitimme kuviimme englanninkieliset tekstit. Luokassani on useita tehostettua tukea tarvitsevaa lasta, joten jo tämä edellä mainittu on ollut haastavaa ja vienyt tavattoman paljon aikaa. Emme ole vieläkään päässet ulos valokuvaamaan, koska mm. vierailujen ja koulun muun ohjelman ja yhteisten päällekkäisten projektien takia on ollut talossamme hyvin kiireistä ja koulupäivät sirpaleisia. Olin itse 3 päivää pois The Early Bird Gets The Word- varhennetun englannin kielen koulutuksessa ja senkin takia pakka on hieman sekaisin luokassani. Projekti pääsi alun alkaen myöhässä alkamaan, koska asian käsittely ja luvan (maksusitoumuksen saanti) koulun johdossa viipyi. Nyt on ollut kaksi oppilaiden arviointikeskusteluviikkoa ja olen tavannut jokaisen lapsen vanhemmat koulupäivän jälkeen . Olen kertonut projektista ja kysellyt kuvauslupia. Kaikilta en ole vieläkään saanut vastausta.

Sää on ollut pari päivää myrskyisä ja sateinen, emmekä senkään takia ole päässeet vielä kuvaamaan ipadeilla ulkona. Odottelen valokuvaaja, kuvataiteilija Joni Virtaselta vastausta, milloin hän ehtii tulla luokkaamme opettamaan kuvausta ja kertomaan ammatistaan. Vahvuuksia olemme käsitellet joka päivä eri oppiaineissa. ( Olen kuvataideopettaja, mutta myös perusopetuksen luokanopettaja, joten projektista olisi helppo tehdä kokonaisuus, jos ei olisi nyt niin paljon muuta opetusta rajoittavaa toimintaa koulussamme.

Viikko 42 on syyslomaviikko ja viikko 43 uimaopetusviikko, jolloin kävelemme joka päivä uimahallille uimaopetukseen ja takaisin, joten niillä viikoilla ei taideopetusta voi pitää. Toivottavasti saamme kuvat otetuksi ensi viikolla, ettemme jää projektista enempää jälkeen. Tahti tuntuu tälle integraatioluokalleni aika kiireiseltä. Jos olisi vain tämä projekti normaaliopetuksen tukena, suoriutuisimme aikataulussa, mutta nyt on tässä yhtälössä ollut liian monta muuttujaa. Pahoittelen!

Kaikesta huolimatta olemme projektista innoissamme ja on todella ihanaa tutustua australialaiseen kouluun projektin kautta. Kartasta olemme jo tutkineet, missä Bullin koululaiset fyysisesti ovat ja australian eläimiin mm.kenguruihin, vesinokkaeläimiin, vompatteihin ja nokkasiiliin tutustuimme ympäristöopin tunnilla.

Olemme myös ihastelleet sitä vauhtia, joilla nykyään saa ihan reaaliajassa yhteyden toiselle puolelle maapalloa. Rehtori mrs Paker lähetti Bullin koululle sähköpostia luokassamme ja sai samantien vastauksen! Kaikkein riemukkainta oli tutustua Bullin koulun lähettämiin kuviin ja kertomukseen projektin toteuttamisesta! ´Täällä sateen ja myrskyn keskellä totsesimme, että toisella puolella maailmaa onkin kesä! Onnittelemme Australiaa naisten keihäänheiton maailmanmestaruudesta. Keihäänheitto on aikaisemmin ollut meidän suomalaisten laji ja nyt te saitte mestaruuden! Great!

Tapaan vielä tänään australialaiset rehtorit toisen taideprojektini merkeissä. Teemme Kokkola 400v. juhlan kunniaksi rintamerkkejä paikallisessa ravintolassa illallisen jälkeen.

Lots of love,
Auli ja 2a

Love, Forgiveness, Bravery

Love, Forgiveness, Bravery

Hey!

We have gotten to know the strengths we identify and find within ourselves. The students were given three different strengths to tell about themselves to our Australian friends. On Tuesday, a large group of Australian principals also visited our class to present our project. We translated our strengths into English and included English texts in our pictures. We have a number of students with special needs in our classroom, so the above has been challenging and time-consuming. We still can't get out of photography because visits and the rest of the school program and common overlapping projects have made our house very busy and school days fragmented. I was 3 days away in The Early Bird Gets The Word Early English Training and that's why the pack is a bit messy in my class. The project started late due to delays in processing and obtaining permission (commitment) from the school management. Now it's been two weeks students' evaluation of the debate, and I have met with the parents after the school day for each child. I have told about the project and asking description permits. I still haven't got an answer from everyone.

The weather has been turbulent and rainy for a couple of days, and we haven't been able to shoot it on the ipads for a while either. I'm waiting for photographer, visual artist Joni Virtanen to answer when he will come to our class to teach photography and tell us about his profession. We deal with strengths every day in different subjects. (I'm an art teacher, but also basic education teacher, so the project would be easy to make a whole, if it were not now so much more restrictive teaching activities at our school.

Week 42 is Autumn Holiday Week and Week 43 is a swimming lessons week, where we go to the swimming pool every day for swimming lessons and back, so there is no art education in those weeks. We hope we get the pictures taken next week so we won't miss the project any more. The pace seems quite busy for my integration class. If only this project were to support normal education, we would be on schedule, but now there have been too many variables in this equation. I apologize!

Nonetheless, we are excited about the project and it is really wonderful to get to know the Australian school through the project. From the map, we've already explored where Bull's schoolchildren are physically located, and we've learned about Australian animals such as kangaroos, waders, waders and bumble bees in an environmental lesson.

We have also admired the speed with which you can now connect to the other side of the globe in real time. Principal Mrs. Paker emailed Bull's school in our classroom and received a reply immediately! The most joyful thing was to see the pictures sent by the Bulli School and the story of the project! 'Here in the midst of rain and storm, we said it was summer on the other side of the world! Congratulations to Australia on the world championship in women's spear throwing. Spear throwing has been our Finn's kind in the past and now you got the championship! Great!

I still meet Australian principals today for my second art project. We make Kokkola 400v. to celebrate the badges with a badge at a local restaurant after dinner.

Lots of love,
Auli ja 2a

Perseverance, Leadership Skills, Sense of Humour

Perseverance, Leadership Skills, Sense of Humour

The 2nd graders from Mäntykankaan koulun in Kokkola, Finland are making and sharing art with the 1st and 2nd graders from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia.

Artists from Australia make art from “Words that describe me”

2019, 8 years olds, 9 years old, Australia, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

The students really enjoyed the first Dear You project. 

Firstly, we spoke about the word translation, and what it means to communicate verbally or visually over long distances. I showed the class a map of the world and showed them where Finland is, they were excited that our artworks will be travelling so far around the world. 

I showed the class some photographic portraits and discussed what the pictures are translating to a viewer. We got a little stuck on visual appearances, many of the responses were superficial, for example “tall, smiling, happy, sad”. I had to encourage them to look beyond the outward appearance and try to decipher what the person may be thinking. After this guidance some deeper thinking became apparent and the students commented that the people in the examples were “lonely, determined, excited, responsible”.

I then gave the sheet and asked them to write down “Words that describe me …”. I modelled a few examples on the board to assist with spelling. They first wrote down what words that they think about themselves, then I encouraged them to brainstorm, walk around the room and ask their peers what they think that they translate to the world around them.

We then spoke about photography and how we could translate these attributes into a photograph, we talked about using perspective, props, light and shade to communicate meaning to a viewer. We practised picking objects around the room (e.g. book, pencil, chair) to use as props, experimented with our body position to communicate a feeling (e.g. looking away from the camera, blocking our face with our hands, leaning into or away from the camera, etc).

I asked the class to prepare props and choose a site in which to have their picture taken. Once they were ready I took their photograph with the school’s digital camera. I invited them to either take the picture indoors or outdoors, I feel like this was a setback because the majority of the students outside choose to perform athletic tricks/moves/positions, rather than communicate an emotion or feeling like we had spoken about earlier. If I did this again I would ask them to create both an indoor picture and an outdoor picture. This strategy would produce improved results I feel.

Nell, choose to communicate “Sensitive”

Nell, choose to communicate “Sensitive”

I printed the photographs, the students cut them to size and glued them onto the sheets. I asked them to underline what single attribute of themselves they were attempting to translate to the viewer of the picture.

On the back of the sheet the students all wrote a short message to their “sister class” in Finland, “Hei”!

Regards,
Jeremy Gudze 

1/2G Classroom Teacher
Bulli Public School

Harvey, choose to communicate “Brave”

Harvey, choose to communicate “Brave”

The 2nd graders from Mäntykankaan koulun in Kokkola, Finland are making and sharing art with the 1st and 2nd graders from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia.

The artists from Ireland creatively show their friends in Australia just how unique they are!

Mixed age group, 2019, IrelandArlene TuckerComment
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We gathered one morning with our group, 6 children and 3 of the parents who have been growing together for the past 11 years. Over the years our process of learning, living in close proximity, friendships and communing has been changing and shaping the way we all learn and enjoy sharing our time. We have been inspired throughout the years by the aliveness of each of the children here and their self directed learning.

From that place we met in the spirit of connecting with this group of homeschoolers in Australia, all the children were curious and excited. The artistic part of the project was free and enjoyable, with no expectations or final outcomes, just a beginning of connecting and sharing, and who knows how this unfolds… Coming together individually with a communal vision seemed to have a playful tone that stayed throughout the session.

On the first proposal they were invited to explore the idea of uniqueness and draw a self portrait using a graphite transfer technique. We noticed the importance of setting some ground principles of respect and care, and non-judgemental comments on each other’s work. We talked about Perseus paradox and that made us move from the physical differences to more metaphysical concepts. Due to the nature of our group, being small numbers and not in a classroom environment, our conversations were very informal. But they were also very focused on their work. Some struggled with the instructions as wanting to express themselves more freely. They were all able to create a piece that said something about themselves and their uniqueness and they were enthusiastic about sharing it with someone else.  Also eager to receive the artworks from the other kids in Australia. I think they were all happy to participate in creating connexions through art.

Cheers,
Marta, Carol & Gabrielle

Derreen home schoolers in Derreen, Ireland are making and sharing art with the homeschoolers in Geelong, Australia.

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.

The thoughtful artistic process in Barcelona

10 years old, 11 years old, 2018, 4th Grade, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, SpainArlene TuckerComment

The artists at SOLC in Barcelona have shared their creative process of making a self-portrait.  They sketched their ideas of what personality traits and things about themselves they would like to tell their new friends in Finland.  Before they took their photographs they first experimented with the camera and found many different ways to play with the images.

Great job!

The 4th graders at Vesalan Peruskoulu in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 5th graders at Escola SOLC in Barcelona, Spain.  Artists in both groups are 10-11 years old.

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I think we will make good friends!

2018, 3rd Grade, China, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene Tucker5 Comments

When I explained to the kids what the event meant and what to do, they were very positive and found out how many great pictures they had and asked friends to pick out the ones they like. 

Next, the kids told stories about the photos. Then, the kids talked about their photos one after one. They made self-introductions and wrote them down, they expect to be new friends with the kids in Finland.

King regards,
Teacher Lisa and Miss Wu Juehua

The artists in Grade 3 (9-10 years old) at Taizhou Pheonix Primary School in Jiangsu, China are making and sharing art with the artists at Linguajoy (7-9 years old) in Helsinki, Finland.

Looking at us through a lens

10 years old, 2018, 4th Grade, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, Spain, 11 years oldArlene TuckerComment
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The artists at Vesalan peruskoulu in Finland are so excited to have new friends in Spain!  We had a good discussion about languages and all the different ways we can communicate.  In the group we have people who speak Finnish, Russian, Arabic, English, and probably many other languages, but we realized that art is a language too!  And today we experimented with using photography as our medium! 

Since this was the first project in getting to know our friends we first thought of things we like about ourselves and characteristics that we would like to share with them.  

Then we experimented with photography!  The characteristics we wanted to highlight guided our camera.  Some of us went outside (in freezing cold weather!) to take the self-portraits while others used different techniques to spread their message such as drawing.  In any case, the final work was a photographic self-portrait.

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To round out the session we looked at some self-portraits from Nan Goldin, Josef Koudelka and Zev.  Everybody could share their own perspectives on how that photographic spoke to them.

We look forward to seeing our friend's self-portraits!

The 4th graders at Vesalan Peruskoulu in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 5th graders at Escola SOLC in Barcelona, Spain.  Artists in both groups are 10-11 years old.

The Tigers get creative with their self-portraits!

2018, 5 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

The Tigers are so happy and excited to have new friends in Kontula!  A place fairly close to where the Tigers live in Espoo!  Since we haven't met our new friends yet, we thought about all the things we would like to share about ourselves with them.  We got into small groups and came up with a very long list of our favorite things!

Joann: bunnies, diamonds, butterfles
Vanessa: ice cream, butterflies, candy
Aapo: puu, sledding, sweets, skating, surfboard, wii, Mario
Erik: candy, ice hockey
Leevi: candy, presents
Achu: babies, scary stuff, ice cream, coffee
Oskari: jäähilejuoma, ice cream, candy, spiders
Cride: candy, ice cream, ice cream drink
Rishita: glasses, little sister, new year, earrings, lips
Arn: dinosaurs, ghost
Olivia: ice cream, candy, shakes (big ones), ice cream drink, penguins, storm
Renu: butterflies, good babies, spider, ice cream

Wow! Do you like these as well?

Then we thought about how to show our long list of favorites in a photograph. This will be our self-portrait. Some Tigers made props to wear or hold in the photograph, some Tigers wanted to act it out in the photograph, and some Tigers wanted to draw and picture and then take a photograph of that. In any case, everybody Tiger came up with their own way of portraying themselves to their new friends.

We hope you like our self-portraits!

Sincereley,
Arlene, Floriin, Anna-Maria & The Tigers

The 5 year old artists at Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing art with the 5 year old artists from Päiväkoti Pihapirtti in Helsinki, Finland.

Through photography, The Monkeys tell about themselves

2018, 6 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

The Monkeys were very happy to hear that they have new friends in Kontula! They got even more excited when they found out that they will get to meet their new friends in May after making and sharing art with them for a few months.

Since this is the first artwork in the series, we thought long and hard about what we would like to share with our new friends.  Everybody chose things they like to do, things they are interested in or shared traits about themselves:

Adripto: cabin crew (I like to help)
Neha: dancing and drawing
D: drawing
Pauli: hockey
Pranav: skating and playing with friends
Aryan: I like flying on airplanes
Aleksi: hockey
Vika: drawing
Aliah: I would like to show them how I draw
Rafael: I like how to play Kimbu with my friends
Nithila: I like to draw and I want to show it to them
Miriam: I want to show how I make snowflakes
Kinshuk: I want to show them how I play with legos
Miska: I want to show how slow I am
Miro: Playing with my soft toys
Umer: I want to show how fast humans are
Mikael: I like building castles

Once we got into the project we wanted to share even more things with you! Umer said, "We have some powers to teach you."

The Monkeys said that they liked taking the photo and also liked pretending for the photo. We hope you did too!

Sincerely,
Arlene, Sanna, Ben & The Monkeys

The 6 year old artists at Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing art with the 6 year old artists from Päiväkoti Pihapirtti in Helsinki, Finland.

Luovat eskarilaiset, Kanelit -ryhmä

2018, 6 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, Helsinki, January, Pre-SchoolArlene Tucker1 Comment
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(English below)
Eskariryhmässä on 15 lasta, iältään kaikki ovat tällä hetkellä 6 –vuotiaita. Ensimmäisellä kerralla lapsilta kysyttiin, mitä he haluavat kertoa itsestään tai mistä he tykkäävät ( 3 asiaa ). Sen jälkeen he saivat valita jonkin heille mieluisan asian, josta otettiin valokuva.

Esikouluryhmä Kaneleiden lasten ajatuksia itsestään ja siitä, mistä he tykkäävät eniten ( 3 asiaa ):

S; Mä tykkään hevosista, sota- ja rosvoleikeistä.
A; Mä tykkään mustekalasta, poliisi- ja rosvoleikeistä, Spiderman ja Superman vaatteista.
Sh; Mä tykkään kissoista, seistä päälläni ja värittää paljon.
Lu; Mä tykkään hevosista, kissoista ja värittää paljon.
To; Mä oon mustekala ja mun lempieläin on mustekala. Mä tykkään koirauinnista ja päällä seisonnasta.
La; Mä tykkään leikkiä palikoilla, koiraleikeistä ja tykkään leikkiä Pokemoneilla.
El; Mä tykkään leikkiä palikoilla Laurin kanssa, simpukoista ja meritähdistä sekä apinoista.
Le; Mä tykkään poneista sekä tehdä hamahelmiä, lumipalloja ja lumienkeleitä.
Lun; Mä haluun leikkiä ulkona, mennä Hoplopiin, tehdä sirkusta ja piirtää.
Ma; Tykkään perhosista sekä mennä ulos ja tehdä lumiukkoja.
Z; Tykkään mennä Hoplopiin, Lampipuistoon, olla ulkona ja leikkiä Terhin kanssa.
Te; Tykkään apinoista sekä tehdä kärrynpyöriä ja harrastaa jumppaa.
Ay; Tykkään päällä seisomisesta, siltakaadosta ja kärrynpyöristä.

+++

There are 15 children in the kindergarten group and all of them are currently 6 years old. In the workshop, the children were asked to tell something about themselves. For example, what are three things they like. After that, they chose one of their favorite things and figured out how to turn it into a self-portrait in photographic form.

Here are the children's answers;
Su; I like horses, playing war and robbers kind of games.
Al; I like the octopus, playing police and crime games, Spiderman and Superman's clothes.
Sh; I like cats, stand on the top of my head and coloring a lot.
Lu; I like horses, cats and lots of color.
To; I am an octopus and my favorite animal is an octopus. I like doggie paddling and making headstands.
La; I like to play with blocks, doggie paddling and I like playing with Pokemon.
El; I like to play blocks with Lauri, seashells, starfish and monkeys.
Le; I like ponies and to make hama beads, snowballs and snow angels.
Lun; I want to play outdoors, go to Hoplop, and to make a circus and draw.
Ma; I like butterflies and to go out to make snow angels.
Za; I like to go to Hoplop, Lampipuisto, and to go out to play with Terhi.
Te; I like monkeys, making cartwheels and going to the gym.
Ay; I like making headstands, making a bridge, and doing cartwheels.

The 6 year old artists at Päiväkoti Pihapirtti in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 6 year old artists from Your School in Espoo, Finland.

In winter 2018 Dear You project in Kontula is supported by the Museum of Impossible Forms.

Mantelit ja Pippurit tekevät taidetta!

2018, Helsinki, FinlandArlene Tucker1 Comment
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(English below)
Viisivuotiaiden ryhmässä on lapsia kahdesta eri ryhmästä Manteleista ja Pippureista. Meistä on mukavaa, että voimme tehdä yhdessä tätä projektia. Ensimmäisellä kerralla lapsilta kysyttiin, mitä he haluavat kertoa itsestään tai mistä he tykkäävät: ”Kerro kolme itsellesi mieluisinta asiaa”. Sen jälkeen lapset saivat valita yhden heille mieluisan asian, josta otettiin valokuva.

Tässä lasten vastauksia:
Hamza: Jäätelö, karkit ja suklaa – myös paloautoilla leikkiminen on kivaa.
Laura: Piirtäminen & maalaaminen, keiton keittäminen, halit
Jasmin: Istuminen, äidin kanssa kaupassa käyminen, Danielin kanssa leikkiminen
Matvei: Elisein kanssa leikkiminen
Marva: leikkikaverit, lääkärileikki, poliisileikki, barbit
Adna: kaverit, palikat & palapelit, ponit
Amina: maalaaminen, piirtämineen, nukkekotileikki
Noor: kaverit, heppa-leikit, piilosta
Alniz: hevoset, kaverit, linnat

yt. Teija ja Satu

+++

The group of five-year-olds is a combination of two different groups; the Almonds and the Gingerbreads. We are delighted to be able to do this project together. During the first workshop, the children were asked to say something about themselves or what they like: "Tell three positive things about yourself". After that, the children were allowed to choose one of them, a nice character from from which they created a photographic self-portrait. The children took the pictures themselves!

Here are the children's responses:
Hamza: Ice cream, candy and chocolate - even playing with fire engines is fun.
Laura: Drawing & painting, making soup, hugs
Jasmin: Sitting, going with Mom to the shop, playing with Daniel
Matvei: Playing with Elise
Marva: playmates, playing doctor, police games, barbies
Adna: friends, bricks & puzzles, ponies
Amina: painting, drawing, playing with the doll house
Noor: friends, playing with horses, hiding games
Alniz: horses, friends, castles

Sincerely,
Teija and Satu

The 5 year old artists at Päiväkoti Pihapirtti in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 5 year old artists from Your School in Espoo, Finland.

In winter 2018 Dear You project in Kontula is supported by the Museum of Impossible Forms.

The artists from Kontula!

2017, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, China, 13 year oldsArlene TuckerComment
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It was a pretty magical day with the artists at Helsingin yhteislyseo! We first started the session by warming up our minds and bodies.  This is something I like to do before I start making art and I was happy that everybody was willing to try and participate.  We all stood up and took turns doing different movements to activate ourselves.  Shake it out to let it out!

Everybody was very excited to hear that we have friends in China that we will be exchanging art with!  As when making new friends, we slowly start by sharing bits and pieces about ourselves.  We saw this as a chance to also learn something new about ourselves.  First we got into small groups to do some investigation.  Our partners would be our mirrors and tell us what they see about us- factual things like how the light flickers against our hair, the color of our eyes, details about our hands, etc.  Sometimes taking a close look at something else can also help with how we approach looking at ourselves.

When we started experimenting with the carbon transfer technique it seemed slow going at first because this method does take time to prepare, but once the marks started to come through, everybody got more motivated to make their self-portrait.  Everybody had such a different approach and idea to making their self-portrait!

The class wrote a letter for Tian Tian and her artists:

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We hope you like our artwork!

The 13 year old artists at Helsingin yhteislyseo in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 13 year old artists from Shenzhen Middle School in Shenzhen, China.

In autumn 2017 Dear You project in Kontula is supported by the Museum of Impossible Forms.
 

Expressing ourselves with carbon transfers

2017, 1st Grade, 6 years old, China, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
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Teacher Tian Tian and her young artists in China have been busy making art!  They were experimenting with the carbon transfer technique and then used marker to add color to their self-portraits.

Their friends in Finland cannot wait to meet them!

The 6 year old artists at Shenzhen Primary School in Shenzhen, China are making and sharing with the Explorers, 5-6 year olds, from International School of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland.

ISH Explorers create self-portraits!

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, China, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

It was so nice to see the two groups of Explorers have Morning Meeting in their own classrooms. Both Mrs. Nikurautio and Mr. Prebble have their own lovely way of being with their students. We then got all together to talk about the first Dear You project- Unique You!  Everybody was so excited to hear that we have new friends in China who will be making and sharing art with us. We talked about when we first meet somebody new, what would we like to share with them?  What would we like to know about our friends?  This guided us in making our self-portrait.

We first used pencil to make the carbon transfer and then added charcoal.  Once the mark making started to come through, their curiosity grew bigger and bigger.  The artists could see how the charcoal was also adding elements of their fingerprints, which is a part of who they are!

Some reflections from the artists are:

Enzo said, "me playing with my dog. My dog is barking at his dog friend. I held my dog so he didn't run away."

Devansh said, "I'm in a boat going to India. There's a submarine and fish following us.

Deethya said, "She's at the hairdresser because she needs short hair. She's with her mum and there's a rainbow behind you since it's a beautiful day."

Aishiki said, "There are hearts in the sky. Because I like them. I feel like I am hearts in the sky."

One little artist said, "My picture makes me happy."  

They all make me happy!!

Before closing the package we all sat down to write a letter for our friends.  We have lots of questions!

Do you like frogs?
Do you like fish?
What do you do in China?
What are your names?
What language do you speak?
Where do you go in China?

We can't wait to see your artworks!

With love,
The Explorers, Arlene, Mrs. Nikurautio and Mr. Prebble

The Explorers, 5-6 year olds, from International School of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing with the artists aged 6 years old at Shenzhen Primary School in Shenzhen, China.

Monkeys make magic

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, Australia, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
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The Monkeys are very excited to have new friends from Australia!  We looked on the map to see where Australia is in relation to Finland. It's a looong ways away.  They already had a sense of that because one of their teachers is from Australia.  They are looking forward to making more friends from there!

We started off by talking about what it means to make a self-portrait.  We looked at one other and tried to be eachother's mirrors. As we were investigating ourselves, we were thinking about what part of us would we like to share and tell our new friends.

This was the first time using carbon transfers and they all did a great job! As they were understanding how the technique works, they were coming up with their own ways of drawing. At that time, the Monkeys were learning about space so a lot of the artists incorporated the moon and stars into their self-portrait.

Everybody got a chance to talk about their self-portrait.  Rafael said, "I have shabby hair and eyes."  Miro said, "I am playing a game on my tablet."  Adripto included a pictures of himself and his sister.  Alia said, "It's me and my little brother. We are looking at the shooting stars and there is the flag of Somalia."  Do these sound familiar to you?

We are very curious about you all and where you live!  The Monkeys would like to know, what do you see in Australia?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

My best,
Arlene & The Monkeys

The Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing art with K1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia. All artists are 5-6 years old.

The Tigers are great storytellers!

2017, 4 years old, 5 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, USAArlene TuckerComment
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The Tigers are super welcoming with their big smiles and good creative energy!  Today was extra special as I got to tell them that we have new friends from Moonstone Preschool in Philadelphia. Immediately the questions started buzzing and they tried to make connections.  They started sharing stories of who they know in the USA and if they have ever visited the country.

This was the first time the Tigers had ever made carbon transfers.  I am so proud that they all took their time to cover their paper with graphite.  The magic started when they began to draw.  That's when they got extra excited and thought it was magic at first!  Some got frustrated when the marks didn't go through, but they persevered and got it to work for them!

When we were finished we all sat down together to look at each other's artwork.  The pictures are so descriptive of who the artists of, where they live, and what they like.  Erik said, "I am on a bus. I am riding the bus to my home. This is big me and little me."  Mikelus said, "I am walking outside and stop in the forest for the postman."  Vanessa decided to make a family portrait.  Leevi said that this picture is of a happy person.  I love the positive image Leevi has about himself!  Reno said, "a tiny baby superman is playing basketball with me."  Who wouldn't want to play with you?!

Can you find the portrait of the carpetman?
Which pictures are of a happy person?
Which picture has somebody walking through an apple orchard?

We are so happy to make a collective book with our Moonstone friends!

With love,
Arlene & The Tigers

The Tigers from Your School Espoo, Finland are making and sharing with the Full Moons from Moonstone Preschool in Philadelphia, USA. Both groups are 4-5 years old.

Our first mail art exchange!

2017, 10 years old, 3rd Grade, 9 years old, China, United KingdomArlene Tucker1 Comment
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Hey! Dear You!

We are from Taizhou Phoenix Primary School of Jiangsu, China. We are the children of Class 3 Grade 3 who are aged from 9 to 10. We just start to learn English recently, so we can not write well in English. But we can express ourselves by drawing or doing art works. You can guess how I look like and how I feel by our pictures.

On Sept. 26, the art teacher Miss Liu Chunjuan took us to the art room. Firstly, She drew a big body on the blackboard and let us discuss what makes humans unique to each other. For example, the DNA, the fingerprints, personalities etc. The children shared ideas and wrote many key words on it. Secondly, she asked us to draw a self-portrait . We took many pictures about them. Thirdly, Miss Liu showed us how to cover the parer with graphite, and we tried. Wow! The paper turned dark soon and so did our hands. Everybody was happy! Then, we took another different colour of paper to make a transfer drawing. Some of the kids used fingers , some used feet, some used hands, some used arms. All of us laughed happily. At last, we wrote ours name on them to let foreign friends know who I am.

Children’s comments :
1. I won’t forget this drawing lesson one hundred years later.
2. It is the first time for me to make pictures with fingers. That looks great!
3. I want to try again to make it more clearly.
4. I know that everybody is unique .

Teachers reflection:
1. The children enjoyed the process of doing the art work. They are eager to be my little teacher to help classmates to finish. They become more helpful.
2. The open question ‘what is unique?’ expand the children’s thinking . Everybody learns to share.
3. We are eager to see the art works from the UK. Exchanging ideas makes human get close.

Thank Dear You for linking us together!

Sincerely,
Miss Liu Chunjuan

The artists in Grade 3 (9-10 years old) at Taizhou Pheonix Primary School in Jiangsu, China are making and sharing art with the artists in Class 4 (8-9 years old) at Sneinton C of E St Stephens Primary School in Nottingham, England Both groups are aged 8-9 years old.

I am unique!

2017, 8 years olds, 9 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Dear You Workshop Leader, China, United KingdomArlene TuckerComment
Heather Connelly, local artist to Nottingham and Dear You workshop leader, introduces to Class 4 where there new friends abroad live. In China!

Heather Connelly, local artist to Nottingham and Dear You workshop leader, introduces to Class 4 where there new friends abroad live. In China!

Class 4 had a fantastic art workshop thinking all about the topic of what makes them unique and how we are all different. After having completed some homework beforehand about their families, appearance, DNA, likes and dislikes, travel and heritage, the children were ready to explore their ideas in art. Heather showed us some fantastic images of how celebrated artists have created pieces focused on the differences in the human body and the idea of a map to represent uniqueness. The children then discussed how they were all different and how this diversity can be represented in artwork. The children loved comparing their fingerprints, as well as talking about their different heritages and how this influences their daily lives. 

After discussing the ways in which uniqueness and the idea of 'self' could be represented in art, the children then started practising their own ideas. Many children created a pencil drawing of the lines of their hands and their fingerprint. The patterns created on paper were brilliant! One of the children commented, "My fingerprint is completely different from my friend's. That means I'm unique. That's pretty amazing!" I hope it is clear that this uniqueness is expressed in the children's fantastic artwork. 

During this practice stage, many children were fascinated with how lines and simple patterns could be so effective in artwork. They soon realised that art is not a perfect picture with recognisable objects; it could instead be a representation of themselves through basic lines, swirls and strokes of their pencils. The children then used carbon paper to transfer their drawings, which created an interesting texture on the paper. Some pupils loved using the carbon ink to create more texture, which represented their own characteristics! 

Having looked at all of the pieces of artwork, I think it is apparent that Class 4 are a very talented and unique group of children! No piece of artwork is the same, and the little slips of paper tell the story of the artistic process for each child. 

We are all very excited to receive the artwork from our partner school and to complete our next piece of art! 

Many thanks, 
Alice Wilby

The artists in Class 4 (8-9 year olds) at Sneinton C of E St Stephens Primary School in Nottingham, England are making and sharing art with Grade 3 (9-10 year olds) at Taizhou Pheonix Primary School in Jiangsu, China.

From single to double self portraits

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, AustraliaArlene Tucker1 Comment
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We had fun on our first Dear You !

The kids had done the priming activities before the day, discussing identity and DNA etc with Barbara Turner, the classroom teacher. 

They had also spent some time preparing their "transfer paper" with 6B pencils so that when it came time to doing their self portraits, they were able to hit the ground running.

On the day we did two activities - the first was doing a self portrait with the eyes closed, and i did a demonstration of this on the whiteboard, which was a source of much hilarity - the resulting self portrait is pretty odd! 

Self portrait with eyes closed using hand to feel the face. Demonstration on whiteboard for K1HT class, for the Dear You Art Project with a class in Finland.

Self portrait with eyes closed using hand to feel the face. Demonstration on whiteboard for K1HT class, for the Dear You Art Project with a class in Finland.

Some of the kids were able to concentrate on this for a bit - many of them found it challenging to keep their eyes closed and focused, perhaps because of the proximity of all their friends - but at any rate it offered an alternative way of "seeing" the world through touch. 

For the second activity, I had found some double mirrors from the university - our visual arts students use them for a self-portraiture activity in first year. They are on a hinge, I think these mirrors are designed for hairdressing apprentices originally.

So I asked them to do a 'double self portrait'. There were a few tricky things about this - the mirrors were standing up at 90 degrees on the desk, and so their reflective surface was a bit low for them to see their own faces. So Barbara got them to take away their chairs and kneel down on the floor so they could actually see their own faces. 

The other tricky bit was just how to do a double self portrait. I didn't give them a demonstration - partly because I wanted to see what they would come up with - but in retrospect it might have been good to do so. There are some basic things about drawing your own face in a mirror which would have been worth pointing out - like observing specific things about the visual characteristics of one's own face, rather than just taking for granted that we all have two eyes, a nose and a mouth. You know, the usual "draw what you see, not what you think you see". 

So I reckon if we were to do something like this again, I'd focus more on the actual mechanics/principles of observational drawing, so we would generate more specific, less generic, faces.

However, some of the kids did do some really interesting double self portraits, strange doublings, where two faces sit side by side, or one next to the other, or one slightly at different scale but otherwise almost identical. 

We then got them to do their transfer print, using their double self portrait. This was a process involving a normal pencil - so that a harder tip could push the image through the 2 layers of paper onto the sheet that was receiving the image. 

The transfer prints came through successfully, a bit faint perhaps, but it worked. They have a nice low-fi feel to them I think.

Barbara had photocopied lines onto the back of the paper, so the students then wrote a letter to the Monkeys in Finland - they enjoyed this process - for some reason a lot of them want to write "Kind Regards" at the end of their letters - very formal!

After the class, Barbara and I (together with a couple of young artists)  experimented a bit with using crayon or pastel rather than 6B pencil as our transfer medium. This has advantages, as its much faster to cover the surface of the transfer paper with crayon, and the image transfers much more darkly to the final print. I reckon if we were to do this activity again, that's what we'd change. 

I think Barbara was going to post them to you in the day or so after the activity - so with any luck the Monkeys will receive our parcel soon!

All the best,
Lucas

The K1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia are making and sharing art with the Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland. Both groups are 5-6 year old artists.

Moonstone Full Moons + Your School Tigers = MoonTigers!

2017, 5 years old, 4 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, USAArlene Tucker2 Comments
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Dear Tigers,

We hope you will enjoy our collective contributions. Enclosed are our portraits along with our handmade transfer (carbon) paper. Feel free to separate them from our portraits and reuse them in your transfer explorations. It was fun (and messy) creating transfer paper.

While we worked on our portraits we thought about shadows and became shadow catchers, trying to capture illusive shadows casted by flashlight and lamp. Shadows have no eyes and they do not speak. Sometimes they grow, other times they bend under doorways and hide in dark corners. Our transfer paper making inspired us to take two large collaborative pieces of art and make a huge transfer portrait/piece, representing our unique and collective selves. Like unique individuals, groups are often unique assemblages. We are excited to art pal with you. We are calling our unique collective: MoonTigers.

Paint, pencil, charcoal, graphite and pastel are the featured materials in this piece along with our imagination (an essential). We applied our paint with squirt bottles and casted shadows with brayers, tiny little rollers. They really helped us spread the darkness. This large piece was then placed onto (above) for transferring. Here are our portrait samples (below).

We look forward to making art with you!

Cheers,
Moonstone Full Moons + Johnny Buckley

Moonstone Full Moons, 4-5 year olds from Moonstone Preschool in Philadelphia, PA, USA, are making and sharing art with the Tigers, 4-5 year olds from Your School in Espoo, Finland.