TAEA News — "Art Connects Us"

Nelli Helton and Iraida Konstantinova
Photo: Nelli Helton (left) with Iraida Konstantinova, director of Children's art school, Kumertau, Russia

Nelli Helton, an art teacher from Dowell Middle School, McKinney, TX, was always interested in finding ways for her students to be exposed to global art. She has been sposoring an international art exchange program between her school and a school in Russia for 15 years.

Last summer she received a grant from Texas Art Education Association to realize a lesson that would allow students from across the globe create artwork together.

"Students will understand that art is a universal language, and that we can talk to people across the globe through art without learning another language. We can learn through the eyes of children about each other. We can learn about our cities, nature, houses, our holidays and traditions. Through creativity of children, we can understand that our cultures are unique, but our hopes and dreams are so similar.

My students, as well as Russian students, are always excited about the possibility of their artwork being displayed in another country. Being able to see the student work from another country and learn from each other is also a great opportunity for all the children. With my grant, we will have a chance now to not only to do an art exchange, but we will create artwork together. It will be a unique experience that will stretch across the globe and will connect us."

Click here to view a presentation of artwork created by the students.

Dowell Middle School
Dowell Middle School
McKinney, Texas
Children's Art School - Kumertau, Russia
Children's Art School
Kumertau, Russia

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