Georgia College art students create watercolor prints for kids in Cameroon
Milledgeville, Georgia, March 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- You can learn a lot from a simple sketch. And, sometimes a small effort can make a big difference.
Georgia College art students are making that kind of impact on a classroom in Cameroon, where students share one box of crayons.
Georgia College was one of 30 schools and universities nationwide to participate in the Cameroon effort through the international nonprofit, “ The Memory Project.” Fourteen students in Matt Forrest’s advanced printmaking class received photos of artwork from 9th graders in the Central African country. Through interpretation and research, they reimagined the art into something new. Water-colored ink prints will soon be shipped back to Cameroon for students there to keep.
Once the package arrives, young artists in Cameroon will send their original work for Georgia College students to keep. Junior studio art major Maya Whipple of Gordon, Georgia, already knows where she’s going to keep hers on a wall in her bedroom.
“Things you create have a longer lasting impact than you think,” Whipple said, “It’s been a very rewarding experience to have an impact on these children, who we’ve never even seen before. It’s just amazing to think about bringing somebody else joy and happiness through a simple picture.”
The project was a little like detective work—trying to find clues in a drawing to discover the artist’s intention. All Whipple received was a drawing of a man, woman and two children standing near what looked like a shield. She also got a photo of the boy who drew the picture. He wasn’t smiling.
To understand why, Whipple researched and discovered Cameroon was recently involved in war. She thought the boy might’ve experienced hardships. To help him find hope and peace, she drew four adorable children holding up the world against the flag colors of his country.
Forrest’s students had only three class sessions to work on their pieces for the art exchange. He chose prints and watercolors, because The Memory Project only ships lightweight paper—no canvas, wood or clay. Due to time constraints, printmaking is relatively quick and nontoxic too.
No contact information was given for students in Cameroon. To make the project more personal, Forrest had his students trace their hand on the back and sign their names. The children will feel respected and valued, he said, knowing people in the United States saw their art and were inspired to produce their own.
“The idea that art can impact an international community through something they’ve done here in Milledgeville is incredibly vital,” he said. “What my students in the advanced screen-printing class did will basically impact the lives of others for the rest of their lives. It’s a huge project that requires a very small effort. It doesn’t take a lot—but it’s something that will last forever.”
Cindy O’Donnell Georgia College 478-445-8668 firstname.lastname@example.org