Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project


The artists from Kontula!

2017, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, China, 13 year oldsArlene TuckerComment

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:


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

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.

Our first mail art exchange!

2017, 10 years old, 3rd Grade, 9 years old, China, United KingdomArlene Tucker1 Comment

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!

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.

Moonstone Full Moons + Your School Tigers = MoonTigers!

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

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!

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.

Shadow portraits of our stuffed animals!

2017, 6 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, Pre-School, United Arab EmiratesArlene TuckerComment

The Monkeys were so playful and adventurous when creating our shadow portraits.  We first started the workshop by searching the space to find shadows and to see how we can make shadows using natural light and flashlights.  Some questions that came up were, "Hey, where did my shadow go?  Why is my shadow chasing me?  What's the name of my shadow?"

Then we talked about how we were going to make our shadow portraits using black paper and graphite pencils.  While we were drawing we were testing to see the different affects graphite and light have on each other.  So lovely to see how a "normal" everyday medium can be looked at in new light.

After our works were made we gathered around to see the what came out of our shadows!

V: I made a dinosaur and butterfly. They are friends.
N: I drew a dog with a lot of teeth so that he can eat.
I: I drew a sun, hearts, a dog, and a banana.
C: I drew a dinosaur.
J: I drew a chair and its shadow.
P: I drew the sun, speeder and a rock.
E: I drew a smiling dog.
O: I drew a monkey and hearts because I like monkeys.
K & N: W drew a hand with a heart in it.
L: I drew a dog.
A: I drew my hand and a hare bunny.

Some of the Monkeys got out their stuffed animals or toys to make shadows and then use as a still life. Very clever artists these bunch of Monkeys are!

With love,
The Monkeys, Arlene, Ben, and Atefeh

The 6 year old Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing with the 4-6 year olds in KG2D from Collegiate American School in Dubai, U.A.E. 


The Tigers shadow play

2017, 5 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, Pre-School, United Arab EmiratesArlene TuckerComment

How are shadows made?  What are they?  How can we play with them?

We first started this Dear You workshop by exploring different ways of creating shadows using natural light and flashlights. The light was shining so beautifully that day in Espoo that we didn't need to try so hard! 

After we got the hang of shadows we then used it to create artwork! Some of us took a more realistic approach and others took a more imaginative and symbolic approach. During the artistic process a few Tigers wanted to turn their creations into shadow puppets!  

At the end of the workshop, we all gathered around and shared thoughts about our own works and what we thought about our fellow artists' creations.

L: V's drawing made me real scared.
Ad: I saw that my shadow looked silvery.
Misk: The shadow of myself.
R: It's the shadow of my hand on the floor.
Ne: I draw what my body looks like with a heart. I like Miska's shadow.
P: My shadow portrait is a story of my family and the jungle. My daddy is 99 and my mommy is 36.
U: Neha's artwork is awesome. I drew the shadow of my hand. My hand controls everything.
V: How was it possible that the pencil shined when we used it on black cardboard? My shadow portrait is a long story about me and some animals.

So much amazing insight!

With love,
The Tigers, Arlene, Toti, and Zeynab

The 4-5 year old Tigers from Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing with the 4-6 year olds in KG2E from Collegiate American School in Dubai, U.A.E.