Monday, May 30, 2016

Kids' Guernica at Nakateshima Elementary School in Osaka, Japan

May 28, 2016

Flying Peace from Nakateshima Elementary School in Osaka, Japan

The sixth grade students learned a lot about war and peace, hearing a story of war from an old person who had an actual experience of war and visiting Hiroshima as their school excursion. They realized that they were living in a very peaceful world which they took a granted while many people were suffering from conflicts in some places of this world.   

Last September, each of them made her/his own poster on peace and wrote an essay about her/his wish for peace. In October, they went to Hiroshima and visited many historical places related to the tragedy of atomic bombing. In December, they started making their Kids’ Guernica peace painting. First, they decided to put the main idea of seven representative students in the center of the canvas and surround it with each student’s peace poster. The painting expresses their seven wishes for peace.

Their school symbol mark shows their school’s commitment to creating a peaceful world. A rainbow as a way to peace. An uncomplete puzzle of world map and letters of “PEACE” is a wish to bring peace into this world which is not yet peaceful. Various pigeons trying to place some pieces of puzzle show cooperation for building a happy world. People with their arms on each other’s shoulders also represent a necessity of cooperation of all the people in the world. A phoenix with a world map is a symbol of permanent peace. As the last seventh message, peace posters created by all the sixth grade students and pigeons express there are various ideas of peace and the importance of working together.

Finally, each of their wishes for peace became one in their wonderful bright picture. They could have a good opportunity to unite all of them and share their wishes for peace through this project.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"Peace is in the Air" from Tennessee

April 28, 2016    A wonderful Kids Guernica Stop Motion film was created with children and adolescents from the Tennessee School for the Blind and gifted and talented first graders from the Discovery School.

Filled with colorful hot air balloons, a collaged sky, and happy children, Tennessee students from three different schools collaborated to create an international stop motion film called "Peace Is In The Air."
This innovative stop motion film highlights Tennessee children’s perspectives of peace. It is inspired by the International Kids Guernica Peace Mural Project, based in Japan. 
In 2005, Dr. Debrah Sickler-Voigt and Mrs. Suzanne St. John created the first Kids Guernica Peace Mural from Tennessee with children from Mitchell Neilson Elementary’s Extended School Program. Our peace mural was exhibited in Bali, Indonesia as part of their 10th Anniversary international peace mural exhibition. Dr. Sickler-Voigt also created a peace mural in Brenderup, Denmark in 2011 during a study abroad program with Dr. Isaac Larison and Lone Bodekaer.
Peace Is In the Air revisits this theme using a different medium and students. This project is the first example of a Kid’s Guernica Peace Mural using stop motion film as its medium.
Under the direction of Dr. Debrah Sickler-Voigt, MTSU Pre-Service Teachers enrolled in Art Education Practicum planned the project’s activities. To make a connection to the original peace mural in Japan, the pre-service teachers appropriated the concept of the hot air balloon. Our project started at the Tennessee School for the Blind with the diligent efforts of Ms. Monica Leister.
In the diverse school settings, all students discussed the meaning of peace and developed the collage sky background to film their project. The students created visual representations of peace that included playing, cooking, resting, and spending time with family. The students from Tennessee School for the Blind utilized found objects to create colorful hot air balloons for the production and planned the stop motion film’s initial storyline. The three first grade classes from The Discovery School added singing sound clips and created the stop motion animations using art objects, found objects, and their bodies.
Peace Is In the Air also includes an original song about peace by musician Brian Shind and a professional music production by Dwayne Russell.
Our stop motion film adds to the collective body of International Kids Guernica peace mural projects created by children across our planet. It presents peace from the perspective of children in Middle Tennessee communities, including children who have special needs and children who are gifted and talented.

(Tennessee and Danish murals)

Debrah C. Sickler-Voigt, Ph.D.
Professor of Art Education
"Art Education: Thriving in Teaching & Learning” - Forthcoming Textbook
MTSU Senior Art Education Faculty
MTSU Scandinavia Study Abroad Program Director
ICEFA Lidice International Juror