Parents, siblings, friends and teachers can definitely influence in how and what a child draws. Let’s not however overlook illustrators, who make it their trade to draw FOR children. Picture books have long fed kids’ imagination, but rarely do we see their illustrators celebrated. We turn our attention to Japan, where the museum community has done so, in a wonderful way.
The Chihiro Art Museum grew from the works and life of famed illustrator Chihiro Iwasaki. Located in Tokyo and Azumino, the museum holds an impressive internal collection with over 17K pieces by over 200 illustrators from 33 countries.
Nobody knows who this young boy named Onfim was, but we know when and where he lived: Medieval times, Russia. Thanks to Onfim himself, for drawing, thanks scientists’ curiosity and a great deal of luck. Onfim’s drawings were not meant to be preserved for centuries, yet they were by chance, due to where they ended up and preserved by natural elements. Find out the details of this amazing discovery in Justin E.H. Smith‘s article on on LitHub.com: Onfim Wuz Here. His article previously appeared in Cabinet Magazine. Let us all be inspired by Onfim’s images and make sure that in centuries from now, people will have access to today’s images from children, not by chance, but by design.
Home schooling the little ones came as a surprise and a steep learning curve for parents this last spring. The challenge has been no less demanding for parents who happen to be teachers. Home schooling must continue to be on everybody’s mind, so kids find the learning opportunities they so deserve.
Stay at home and working parents have long been engaged in online groups and sharing blogs and information. As the notion of web community is more meaningful than ever during physical distancing, we encourage parents to engage with other parents and share each others’ insights. Here is a fantastic blog we found, Parent: Smile and Grow. It has the advantage of being trilingual. On it, a great article by Clio, on children drawings. Let us hear how you like it!
Over the past few months, educators around the world have witnessed first hand the impact of the pandemic on their students and families. They know that the adaptation and accessibility of education during COVID-19 will be determinant for the post-pandemic learning years. International organizations such as Brookings are among public education supporters for strong public policies and investments. See their recent article by Emiliana Vegas on the subject and make sure your local policy makers read it too.
Do not think that finger painting is limited to toddlers who cannot yet handle a pencil or a brush. Although it is useful and fun for them to finger paint, anyone can do it and professionals do it too. One of the best known finger painter is Iris Scott. Discover her works and let anyone who likes to finger paint, indulge in finger painting.
Tomorrow June 9th is International Archives Day and archives around the world are being celebrated all through the week. For second year, we make this an opportunity to launch our annual fundraising drive, which will last until November, when we will celebrate International Children’s Rights Day.
Please, take the time to make a donation to our organization, however small it may be. This is a great way to show us you care about our mission and that you encourage us to persevere. We will provide you with an official donation receipt for your tax report.
Our three program areas work hand in hand. After intense policy development work, we need help with implementing our action plan.
Collection Program – We need help in making pre-stamped envelops available to prospective contributors of items.
Conservation Program – We need help with oversize scanning costs and searchable database development.
Access and Education Program – We need help with event stand equipment and publishing costs.
To mark this year’s IAW and to launch our fundraiser, we picked a special image from our collection to share with everyone. My Teacher Sings was made around 1969 by a 2nd grader. It depicts a teacher with musical notes above her head, standing between a window and a green desk. Yes, our very own logo came directly from this drawing. Our heartfelt virtual accolade goes to all students whose school year has been disrupted, and who wonder how their next school year will feel like. Hence, we chose this picture in support to all learners.
During the current social distancing Spring, we hear often that there will be a before and an after the pandemic. Interesting, but there has always been a before and after, and most likely there will be for a long time to come. We just so happen to be in a situation to acquire an acute sense of it being so, because we all experience a common trigger of change. We mind the before and after more than ever before, because the present is changing so fast and in a threatening way.
Caring for the long term future is a way to nurture one’s own resilience and encourage others to do the same. That is why today we invite you to make it a personal or a family project to build your personal archives for the next generations. Each and everyone of us is a bridge. A bridge between the past and the future. It is a matter of assuming this responsibility to tell and show our story, each from our unique perspective. The good thing is, this can be a lot of fun too. Revisiting our past through our belongings, makes us see that the past too can change real fast when we wrap and share it.
It is never repeated too often. Drawing is a tool, is a learning tool and enhances life for everyone. The George Lucas Educational Foundation too says so, in one of their many interesting videos: The powerful effect of drawing on learning.
We have joined the ranks of the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO). We may not have institutional funds (yet) but we forge ahead a click at a time. We are in for the long run. Those historical images that today’s kids are quietly making in this time of pandemics, will be remembered. Count on us. However, don’t look for us yet on Archeion, the Canadian Museum of History, or other international platforms, we still have a long journey ahead, but on our way! Make a donation!