Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World of Art Shortens the Distance between U.S. and Russian Students

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World of Art Shortens the Distance between U.S. and Russian Students

Article excerpt

Students at Rosary High School and students in the former Soviet Union speak different languages and live thousands of miles apart but are communicating through an exchange of art.

The national program is called Americans & Russians Together, or A.R.T. Exchange. It started in 1989, so that American students could learn to broaden their horizons beyond the classrooms, to view their world in a new way and share their visions with Russian children. Inspired by the events taking place at the time in the Eastern bloc countries, A.R.T. Exchange set out to promote friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation between the United States and what was the Soviet Union by exchanging and showing students' art work.

Rosary joined the program this school year after art teacher Linda Brattain and the student council convinced the school to split the cost of the membership fee, which is used for shipping the artwork between schools. Rosary's first exhibit of Russian art was in October. A second exhibit ended Friday.

"Everyone is impressed," said Jennifer Ritter, president of the student council and a student in the Art IV class. "They're so young, and their work is so good."

The Russian students are 12 to 14 and attend such art schools as the Museum of Creative Work in Moscow and the Art Schools of St. Petersburg.

About half of their subjects, such as landscapes and pencil still-lifes, are the same subjects that Rosary art students have tackled this school year. Other works are distinctly Russian. "A Farmer With His Sickle" captures in bold colors a farmer out in the field with the portrayed Russian farm implement in hand. Another painting shows a building with Cyrillic writing. And "Pushkin in St. Petersburg" depicts in soft shades of grays and browns the author and city that are dear to Russians' hearts but unfamiliar to the average American teen. …

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