Thursday, May 14, 2015

International Children's Art Festival in Beijing, China

This Art Girl is going to China!!! 

I can't believe it. It feels so surreal to say I'm going to China in a few days!!!
And one of the coolest parts about it is my husband gets to go with me!

We both are beside ourselves with excitement about this adventure!!! With his love of history and geography and my life long desire to travel and see the world, this is truly something to jump up and cheer about! Not to mention it's all about teaching, creating and sharing ART!

Let me share a little about why I'm going and how this all came about.

When I was teaching high school a few years back I had an incredible young lady named Sasha in my Photography and Graphic Design classes. She was a very talented, creative, hard working student. After the school year was over and her time living in Texas as a foreign exchange student was finished she returned to Indonesia. Since then we have kept in touch. Sasha went on to do several amazing things in her career path that led her to working as a project coordinator for the International Children's Art Festival in the 798 Arts District of Beijing, China.

A couple of months ago she contacted me about the art festival and invited me to apply to be one of their instructors for online classes and possibly also as a visiting artist to teach workshops at their annual festivals. I sent in my CV and examples of work and was asked to interview via Skype. Everything began coming together very quickly and I was selected to be a teacher and invited to come to China. I couldn't believe it! I never imagined I'd have an opportunity like this and I can't wait to be a part of this intercultural exchange of artistic ideas with Chinese children, international children and other artists coming in from all over the world for this 5-day festival.

Another fantastic part about it all is that they asked me to bring examples of American children's artwork to display. The artworks will be hung in the 798 Arts District during the festival. They will also likely stay on display through the summer. I began gathering paintings and drawings from children that I have worked with, including a piece from each of my daughters. I also wanted to reach out to our community art students that are in the same age range as those attending the festival, 6 - 13 years old. The art teachers Sandy, Lorren and Susan at our middle school and both elementary schools were gracious in providing some outstanding pieces from their students for me to take to China. I am grateful for their assistance and very impressed by all of their students and the work they did this year. There were so many great examples to choose from!

Well, that's all I have for now.
It's time to work on what to pack.

You can follow my blog and I will post again with pictures from the Art Festival and this ridiculously cool Art Girl adventure!

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