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Good Hope Involved in International Tile Project

May 27, 2005 – Good Hope School art students are participating in a worldwide art project. The project involves 20 other schools that will share tiles depicting local scenes and values. Good Hope students will "trade" their tiles for similar tiles from the Somerville Charter School students in Somerville, Massachusetts. Good Hope and the Somerville Charter School are participating in The Tile Project, Destination: The World, sponsored by, TransCultural Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cross cultural learning through art. Schools taking part in the project create paper tiles that are then exhibited in their "sister schools". Teachers love the project because tile making is one way to explore other cultures, investigate mathematical concepts, study social history and even enhance nature studies. And students like it because, well, it's fun!
Fifth through Twelfth Grade Good Hope students are outdoing themselves in creating "local color" tiles. "I like sharing the cultural of St. Croix," said one 11th grade student. "People just don't understand St. Croix and I want to let them know what it is like here." The tiles include dancing Mocko-Jumbies, a mongoose, a Hibiscus flower and more. For easy shipping the tiles are created on paper. According to Phyllis Biddle and Pedra Chaffers, art teachers at Good Hope, the students loved making their tiles and look forward to receiving similar tiles from the Somerville school.
School participation is just one part of The Tile Project, Destination: The World. This project also sponsored permanent tile exhibits featuring international artists. One hundred artists each produced 20 permanent tiles and sent one each of these tiles to 20 TransCultural sites around the world. These permanent exhibits are located in Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Finland, Taiwan, Vietnam and 15 other countries as well as New York City, USA.
According to TransCultural Exchange founder, Mary Sherman, tiles serve not only a practical function in private homes, public fountains and plazas, palaces, cathedrals and parks around the world, but they also are one of the most enduring markers of cultural history. Tiles originated over 8,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt and continue today to be enjoyed anywhere in the world by anyone, no matter one’s class, race, age or gender.
And now Good Hope School and Somerville School have joined the world community in celebrating their heritages by creating tiles that will share their individual local cultures. And, and better yet, they had fun doing it!
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