Who Am I? Who Art You? Book Proposal Editors: Alice Arnold and Joanna Rees

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Images from American child artists

Alice Arnold and Joanna Rees are in the process of initiating a book based on global child art. The project would continue a dialogue with middle school and high school child artists who participated in an international art exhibit at the 2nd World Creativity Summit (WCS), in June 2008 in Taipei, Taiwan, based on the research questions: Who am I? and Who art you?

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Images from Macau child artists

Arnold and Rees have invited child artists from the six InSEA regions which include Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, South East Asia and Pacific to participate in this project where the children create new art based on the research questions. The child artists would create two works of art to answer each question in painting, drawing, or mix-media mediums. The research questions are significant as they encourage child artists to consider their identity in conjunction to our transnational and intercultural society.

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Images from Philippine child artists

With regards to the book’s format, Arnold and Rees envision a color, large-scale layout with a 14”X17” page size. The children’s art will be the central focus of the book and printed in color. Below each artwork would be the child’s own writing about his or her motivation in creating the art based on the questions: Who am I? Who Art you? The child’s response would make up a short paragraph of about 5 sentences, and would include their explanation of what they were depicting, or goals of artistic production. The images could be featured side by side in the book, showing each child’s two artworks together.


Images from European child artists

We are hoping to represent about 8-12 works from each of the 6 regions of InSEA or 36-60 works total. This would give the reader a “slice of child art from around the world today”.

At the moment, Arnold is in possession of child artwork from 2 sites in North America – Farmville, NC Middle School and New Palestine High School, in New Palestine, IN. Arnold is in the process of talking with teachers and negotiating the process with children in America. Rees has photographs of many of the pieces of child art from the WCS exhibit and is communicating with InSEA world councilors and teachers/colleagues who collected the child art to “reconstruct” the children’s reflections and collect new responses to the research questions. When collecting our data we will not use a tape recorder, but instead ask the children to write their thoughts in their own language. We will ask for a release form/permission from each child to reproduce their artwork and comments.
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Child art from left Thailand and right the Philippines

The children’s reflections will be translated into English. Both the native language and the English reflections will appear at the bottom of each artwork. There will be an introductory preface explaining the context of the WCS written by Arnold and Ann Kuo and a commentary on the importance of children’s art in an a transnational context at the book’s end by Rees.

For more information please contact Alice Arnold at arnoldm@ecu.edu or Joanna Rees at reesjoanna@hotmail.com

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Child art from left Thailand and right Europe

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