The art of some Waupaca students was featured in a Children’s International Art Project viewed by people from throughout the world.
“They had to draw pictures of what is important to them,” said Dort De Wild, who teaches art at Waupaca Middle School.
That was the theme of the exhibition, which was part of the Setouchi Art Festival last October in Japan.
Waupaca and Mitoyo City in Japan are sister cities.
Late last winter, Yukari Ishii contacted Dawn Biba and asked her if she would be willing to send student artwork for the international art project.
Biba, who has been involved in the sister city program, is a guidance counselor at Waupaca Middle School and talked to De Wild about the idea.
“Of course we can do that,” De Wild said.
The project included more than students in Waupaca and Mitoyo City.
The Japanese city also has sister cities in Korea and China and invited students from those cities to also participate.
“What they were hoping is that kids all over the world – the same things would be important to them,” Biba said.
De Wild gave the assignment to her fourth quarter students.
More than 100 students in fifth through eighth grades were able to participate.
“From there, 19 were chosen to be represented in the art show,” she said.
Last summer, when students from Waupaca visited the sister city, they hand delivered the artwork.
In the fall, the art was part of the exhibition.
“The children’s art project was a huge success,” Ishii told Biba. “I was so happy to see the displayed children’s artworks of four different countries, America, China, Korea and Japan, side by side.”
During the exhibition, the artwork of five Waupaca students was selected to receive prizes.
Kassandra Carrick received a certificate for Best Contribution. Zach Thuerman and Hannah Jenson received certificates for Excellent Contribution.
Vaughan Barden and Adrianna Miller received certificates for Distinguised Contribution.
Biba received a box in the mail from Japan, which included the certificates, as well as prizes for each of the 19 Waupaca students who participated.
The prize was an original bag which features a collage of the artwork done by all of the students who were part of the project.
“Art is a way of communicating,” De Wild said.
The students from Waupaca drew pictures which represented their families, pets, sports, homes, nature, portraits and the fine arts.
Students from the other countries submitted artwork which had similar themes, including families, pets and friendships.
“Most of them don’t have words on them,” Biba said. “You would never be able to pick out where they are from.”
The students received the canvas bags and learned who received certificates on one of the final days of school before the winter break.
Biba told the students their artwork is now being carried all around the world.
De Wild said, “I think it helps them to realize there’s really not much of a difference about what is important to people all around the world.”