Sister Cities Art Connection 姉妹都市アートコネクション

Kameoka and Stillwater, Oklahoma became sister cities on November 3, 1985. Since then, the two cities have developed strong bonds of friendship through the exchange of student and citizen delegations and other joint events.


This year, a group of citizens from Kameoka and Stillwater collaborated to put together a brand new exchange event.


It all began back in March when a private group of 6 Kameokans, led by Kiyomi Kojima, traveled to Stillwater. During their visit, they started to talk about some of the barriers to cross-cultural exchange. One of the Stillwater members mentioned how nice it would be to have an exchange event “where kids in both cities can communicate through art, where there are no linguistic barriers.” This led to the birth of the Sister Cities Art Connection. Each group would hold events for kids to create artwork in their respective cities, and would then send the artwork to the other city for display.


Ms. Kojima is the founder of Com Junto, a Kameoka-based organization, which, with the support of the city, planned “The Traveling Dragon Project” to fulfill Kameoka’s part of the exchange program. On July 31st and August 1st elementary and junior high students in Kameoka gathered at the Galleria Kameoka to learn how to draw dragons with instructor Makiko Berry, a local artist.

児島さんが代表を務めているCom Juntoという市民団体が、市の協力を得て、この姉妹都市アートコネクションの一部として、7月31日と8月1日にガレリアかめおかで「旅するドラゴンプロジェクト」を行いました。亀岡市の小・中学生が、講師を務めた地元の美術作家ベリー・マキコさんから「ドラゴン」の描き方を学びました。

I was invited to participate in the event and I began with a short indroduction about Stillwater and America. Rather than give an introduction about culture, however, I talked to the kids about how far away America really is, so they would undersatnd just how far their dragons will be traveling. Ms. Kojima and I also did a short discussion in English, which helped the kids think about the fact that the kids in America who will be enjoying the dragons do not speak Japanese, but a totally different language. Then Makiko showed the kids the basics of how to draw a dragon to help them visualize their own image of a dragon.


Then they were set free to draw on their own. First the children worked only with traditional Japanese calligraphy paper, ink, and brushes to create the outline. Then they added colors to make their own unique dragon to send to their “brothers and sisters” in Stillwater. Some of the participants seemed a bit nervous to being, but once they dipped their brush in the ink, creativity won out. As the kids whisked their brushes across the paper, the room became filled with dragons. Some dragons were flying in the sky, while others were lying down or standing up tall.


Later this month, the dragons will travel across the world to Stillwater, Oklahoma where they will be displayed at the Stillwater Multi-Arts Center. This Multi-Arts Center held a series of 4 summer camp events where kids in Stillwater created murals that will be sent to Kameoka and displayed at Kameoka City Hall and the Galleria Kameoka.

今月末、亀岡市の子供たちが描いたドラゴンは地球を渡って、オクラホマ州のスティルウォーター市に旅をし、現地のマルチ・アート・センター(Multi-Arts Center)で展示される予定です。当センターは今年の夏にサマーアートキャンプを4回行い、スティルウォーター市の子供たちが壁画に挑戦しました。この壁画は今後亀岡市役所とガレリアかめおかに展示する予定です。


One thought on “Sister Cities Art Connection 姉妹都市アートコネクション

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