Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Creating Unity

(Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh was the first art/picture quilt Miss Siglin made)

For awhile now, I've been wanting to have my art students to participate in some sort of service project. After looking around, I found one art project for children to exchange their artwork with children in Iraq. I loved this idea, but was apparently too late in getting involved. Then, while looking through the school district paper, I found the perfect project! One of the schools in the district had teamed up with Operation After Action in SLC, UT. They collected quilts/blankets and stuffed animals and sent them to hospitalized children in Iraq.

I want my students to realize that children are children no matter where they live. When I was in school (somewhere between 4-12 grade), I realized the truth of that. In one of my classes, a girl had recently moved to the US from Russia. There were several times prior to this when we had bomb drills during school. I was terrified that the Russians were going to bomb our school/community at any time! The new student stated that she had felt the same way about the US and how she had had nightmares that a US ship would bomb her apartment as it drifted down the river next to her apartment. I was shocked! She set me straight by saying of course I was scared too!

It was after this that I realized that there are two sides to everything and just because some people choose to do terrible things, it doesn't mean that the whole place they're from does terrible things! I'd like my students to understand this on some level by serving fellow children in Iraq. Now with the support of the principal  the sixth graders are going to make nine child-size quilts (35"x45") based on famous art work of their choice. This will be the culminating activity for the Elements and Principles unit.

If you can help us out with donations of sewing supplies (fabric scraps, batting, etc.), we will be very grateful!