SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2010

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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For Hexagon Project V, which will open in September of 2011, we invite teachers, grades five to twelve, to engage their students in hexagon "exchanges of the heart" and join our project, exhibit, online gallery, and lesson plan library. Please go to our website www. interdependencedaynepa. org to download all materials. With interdependence in mind, my students created hexagons to send to young Haitians shortly after the January 12 earthquake that killed nearly 230,000 Haitians. They were also participating in the International Interdependence Project IV, which focuses on devising ways in which we can coexist creatively and collaboratively. Another art activity included a tree theme as a directive to a group of children to act out the regrowth of their forests. The metaphor that, like the trees, the children must be nurtured and allowed the opportunity to grow and thrive, was understood and brought into this activity in drawing form. When the drawings were complete Dave discussed them with the group. Responding to Disaster The older children wanted to share the When the earthquake struck Haiti, I drawings and send them back to the sent a request to participants from the 2009 Hexagon Project, asking students U.S. The Haitian hexagons were to create hexagons that would express returned to Tunkhannock, including feelings of support and encouragethe photo of the Haiment. In March 2010, tian children holding the artworks would The hexagon is a the Tunkhannock travel to the village visual metaphor for of Gwo Jan in Haiti interdependence, with gift hexagons and a short narrative. I was with Dave Porter, its potential to infinitely privileged to see Pat's an art therapist and link together. class respond to this associate professor picture with shouts of art at Keystone of excitement and amazement along College in LaPlume, Pennsylvania. with the pride of seeing their hexaDave's mission was to provide a small amount of relief in this horribly devas- gons in the hands of the children. tated area. Combining Hexagons From that point, a new project develHexagons in Haiti oped. Because Pat had scanned the The Hexagon Project was presented in Haiti one evening in original hexagons, she then printed them out, placed them with the HaiGwo Jan's makeshift schooltian hexagons and drawings, and yard. Dave's goal was to leave challenged her students to find ways the residents with plans for of incorporating these images into a working at recovery from final hexagon. their loss and grief. That Students are now designing an involved sharing through art, installation that will include all of words, music and theatre, the feelings, thoughts, sensa- this work for Hexagon Project Exhibit IV at the Melberger Arts Center Galtions, and perceptions that validated their experience to lery in Scranton, which opens on September 3, 2010. In its fourth year, others. the Hexagon Project is becoming a Dave explained that vehicle that witnesses "Art Becomsome young people from ing Action," making real connections the United States wanted to between real people in real life. We share their drawings with applaud and invite these meaningful them. He distributed blank partnerships. hexagons until he had no more and then distributed Beth Burkhauser is adjunct instructor small sheets of paper to of art education at Keystone College in those who did not get a LaPlume, Pennsylvania. She is chair of the template. Nearly forty International Interdependence Hexagon Project. children participated in this art activity and the Dave Porter is professor of art and is art older children helped the education curriculum coordinator at Keyyounger children. stone College. 23

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