Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project

The art of asking questions

Integrating Celtic calligraphy into our art

2019, Mixed age groupArlene TuckerComment

On this 2nd project "The Art of Asking Questions" we provided for inspiration a couple of printed letter books. One with old fashion printing fonts and the other with intrinsic Celtic calligraphy. Also letter stamps and different art materials brushes, watercolour and acrylics, oil pastels...and so on. We talked about friendship and what sort of interests do they share with their friends and what would they like to know about their new friends in Australia. They were asked to incorporate one question only in their art work which took them a while to decide since naturally they were curious about many things. It was suggested to add a letter with their artwork if they thought a question was too little to express. But eventually they were happy with painting while talking about all the possible questions. The interesting thing was in order to cultivate this friendship they thought of asking questions about their opinions on certain topics. Topics that are relevant to them now and not so much about differences of lifestyles between Australia and Ireland which we also talked about but they decided to focus on what do they have in common instead of what it was different.

Another enjoyable session that could have last for hours. Thank you!

Marta, Carol & Gabrielle

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

Searching and Finding with your new friends

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, Finland, AustraliaArlene TuckerComment

The Monkeys and K/1HT have been getting to know each other since September. In the second project, The Art of Asking Questions, we made artworks that involved how word and text have a great affect on each other. 

The artwork from Australia was received and the Monkeys made an amazing video response!

K/1HT responded in written form!

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.

Questions lead to more questions

2017, 4 years old, 5 years old, China, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

The Tigers really know how to create a welcoming and artistic environment! They had so many questions and things to share even before we got started with The art of asking questions project! This sort of excitement is the inspiration every artist looks for!

We started the session by first looking at the artworks we received from the Full Moons. WOW!! We talked about what their pictures were communicating and was wondering about all sorts of things about our new friends. The questions started pouring out so we made a long list and then founds ways to put image to the text.

Some wonderful questions and explanations of the Tigers' pictures:
Vanessa asked, "What countries have you been to?" She drew a picture of the world.
Olivia drew a house because she asked, "Where do you live?"
Rishitha asked, "When is your birthday?" In the picture, "there are fireworks and my birthday."
Mikelis asked, "Where do you live?" He said, "I drew the house. I drew a mother house with a wheel on the top of another house."
Nea asked, "What is your favorite food?" She drew a picture of pasta.
Cride asked, "Do you like to go swimming?" and drew a swimming pool.
Achu asked, "Who is your friend?" "I drew a friend who is having a birthday."
Oskari asked, "What is your favorite shirt?" "I drew my favorite shirt!"
Erik asked, "What do you like to play?" "My favorite toy is a castle. It's at home."
Aapo asked, "Do you like shark tornadoes?"
Arn asked, "What is your favorite shirt?"
Renu asked, "What does your room look like?" "It's a picture of my room."
Joann asked, "What is your favorite color?" "Rainbow!"
Anton asked, "What do you like to play?" "What do you do when you are outside?"

We also came up with MORE questions!

What do you watch? What house were you in when you were small? Do you have a tv?

We hope you like our artwork! We like yours a lot!!

Our best,
The Tigers, Arlene, Iveta, and Atefeh

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.

Is it cold in China? Probably not as cold as it is in Finland!

2017, 5 years old, China, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

The thing about questions is that once you get started you can't stop! That's how it was with The Explorers when I was with them making The Art of Asking Questions project. When I arrived to ISH we had such a lovely time looking at the artworks received from the artists in China. That's actually when our inquisitive minds started going!  We made personal connections to the self-portraits and then wanted to naturally know more about WHO these amazing artists are!

As a class, we came up with a loooong list of questions.  We then thought about different ways of depicting these questions and got to the making art bit as soon as possible!

We had a great conversation about why we chose to draw that picture for our question:

What do you like? "It's Darth Vader and Lollipops. I liked making it."

What candy do you like? "This is me and my big brother. He eats candy, but I don't any more. It's not good for my teeth."

What story do you like? "It's the story of Finland. That's me :) The house is from ISH"

What movie do you like? "My favorite is the Lion King.

Is your school fun? "I have fun at ISH"

What do you celebrate? "I'm celebrating Happy Birthday for my baby brother.

We like your art!!

My best,
Arlene & The Explorers

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.

Are you silly? Great questions from the Monkeys!

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, Australia, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, Pre-SchoolArlene Tucker3 Comments

We had such a great time coming up with questions for our friends in Australia!  Before we got started we first looked at the self-portraits we received. They are so beautiful!  They also helped us guide what kind of questions to ask our new friends.

Making pictures to compliment words was a really good challenge for us.  And each picture has it's own history as well! For example, Pranav drew a picture of his family to compliment his question, "What color hair do you have?" Everybody in his picture has black hair because that's what is like in his family! I am guessing the purple figure is the artist. 

Let's turn this into a game! Below is what the artists drew. Can you think of what was their question? (some answers are below)

Adripto, "vegetables and fruits."
Pranav, "my family all have black hair."
Miro, "here is a boy who is taller than the house."
Aleksi, "cheese and carrots and watermelon."
Mikael, "there is a tree game."
Raphael, "this is a monster from Espoo."
Miska, "there are people running a race."
Vika, "this is a picture of me."
Pauli, "this is a picture of the game."
Umer, "there are 2 boys playing with space rocks."

We chose to use markers and colored pencils to make our artworks. The colors and medium make such a difference!

We hope you like our questions and we look forward to hearing your response!

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.

Which country are you from?
Are you silly?
How long is your arm?
How do you choose your clothes?
What food do you like?
Which city are you from?
What do you look like?
How fast can you run?
What color are your eyes?
Do you like to play clash clans?
Are you crazy?
How healthy are you?
Are you sleepy?
How long is your hair?
How tall are you?

Philosophical questions and art

2017, 13 year olds, 7th Grade, Dear You Art Workshops, China, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

It has been a while since I have been sincerely thought provoked and moved by the many questions the artists in Kontula were asking. Blown away by the artistic and conceptual skills these artists have!

As part of the warm up we got into a good discussion about questions, poster art, and graphic design. Some artists were sharing what their favorite fonts were so we took a moment to imagine the font used in different contexts and how that would have an affect on the message.  One way to see how our art is being perceived is to ask, tell and listen. Our voices are a powerful tool. We should use it!

We also looked at graphic design and artists who use graphics in their artworks such as Ed Ruscha. We considered text styles, letter size, composition, and color as communication tools. 

Then the questions started pouring out! Some artists wanted to make art from their own questions and others chose to use questions from their classmates. In any case, the outcomes were amazing!

Thank you and we hope you have a moment to answer our questions!

With love,
Arlene, Saara, and the artists at 7C

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.

Questions are colorful!

2017, 4 years old, 5 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, USAArlene TuckerComment

Hey Tigers,

Questions are colorful. Stories are colorful. Friendship is colorful. Enclosed you will find our questions on collaborative prints. We wrapped them in our new favorite punctuation... can you guess what it is? This project has turned us into inquisitive printers. Let’s print! Let’s assemble questions!

Did you know a printer has four little houses inside it? These houses are called toner cartridges and color lives in them. Each color lives beside another color. There is a red house, a blue house, a yellow house and even a house filled with black, like night. When we have an idea, say a dream, a question, or a story to share, these colors come out and mix together. They can be any color we want them to be depending on quantity. So we mix.

To recreate the inner working of a printer we turned ice cube tray wells into toner cartridges and dipped brushed into them to invite the colors onto our acrylic plexiglass screens (our landscape). There was a place space for, red, then yellow and then blue. We added black the next day when we attached our fonts. We created fonts by writing out our vowels, consonants and questions marks onto letter grids. We then cut them out into respective squares and shared them with one another. We also cut our A4 rectangle paper into squares by taking a way a few inches at the bottom. We reattached them at the end with tape as a way of including a space for thought and questions and also as a silly way mix up our questions and pictures.

We also made a large mural painting of question marks and color mixing exploration. Other friends in our school helped. We are the oldest kids in our school. We like to collaborate.

Questions are colorful and we think letters are the bones of words.

What is your favorite color? What is your favorite letter? Have you ever seen a cat? What is the weather like?

MoonTigers (a.k.a. Full Moons) & Johnny

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.

Exploring and making with the artists in China!

2017, 3rd Grade, China, United KingdomArlene Tucker24 Comments

Hey! Dear You!

In order to understand the foreign pen pals well, the headteacher Miss Diao Yangyang led the students to visit the website of Sneinton C of E Primary School before doing the second project. They also visited the website of Dear You for the first time art works and creative process of the British children.

The children are very excited when they read the news. They had a lot of questions to ask their foreign friends, such as: What do they learn at school? How to have classes? Do they have homework? What do they usually eat for lunch? What animals are in their city?

After that, the children began to discuss in groups, thinking how to express their questions in art form. Some children thought to make greeting cards, hiding the question paper in them; some wanted to write down the questions with brush pens;  some wanted to use the form of the combination of paper-cut and painting ; some chose to write the questions on the origami etc.

After discussing and defining their own artistic expression, the children came home and turned their problems into a piece of art with appropriate materials.

Best wishes,

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.