Creating cross-cultural understanding through art

As part of the 2009 4-H Children's Art Exchange with China, thousands of Michigan kindergarten through sixth-grade students from 22 counties painted and drew "visual letters" for Chinese children their own ages.

As part of the 2009 4-H Children’s Art Exchange with China, thousands of Michigan kindergarten through sixth-grade students from 22 counties painted and drew “visual letters” for Chinese children their own ages. A visual letter is like a written letter in that both tell stories, share important ideas and feelings, and connect children regardless of where they live. However, the mediums are different in that visual letters use images, and written letters use words.

Through the art exchange, Michigan and Chinese children were asked to use art to communicate something important in their lives, such as friends, family, pets, home, school, sports, holidays, concern for the environment and peace.

Quotes from participating children include:

  • “I saw things (by looking at the Chinese children’s artwork) from the other part of the world, and I didn’t leave home!” – Macomb County child
  • “(Being part of this project) made me think about world peace, food and dragons.” – Newaygo County child

For information on being part of the 2010 4-H Children’s Art Exchange with China, contact your county MSUE office.

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