Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is partnering with the Wells International Foundation (WIF) to take the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition to the U.S.!

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Beauford Viewed through the Eyes of Children

The Classes Duo Paris / Knoxville project that connects children at the Jean Zay Elementary Public School in Paris' 14th arrondissement with children at the Nature's Way Montessori School in Knoxville, Tennessee through Beauford's life and art continues to exceed expectations! The American kids are learning French, the French kids are learning English, and both groups are anticipating being able to meet face-to-face in the fall.

Between the video conference held on February 2 and the one held on March 9, the students created clay sculptures of Josephine Baker and her cheetah, Chiquita. These were inspired by the story about Beauford and his brother, Joseph, modeling red clay during their youth and the information presented about how Beauford admired Baker and followed her career.

Jean Zay sculptures of Josephine Baker
Image courtesy of Jean Zay Elementary School

Jean Zay sculptures of Josephine Baker
Image courtesy of Jean Zay Elementary School

The Knoxville students even glazed their sculptures.

Nature's Way sculptures of Josephine Baker and Chiquita
Image courtesy of Nature's Way Montessori School

Nature's Way sculptures in kiln
Image courtesy of Nature's Way Montessori School

During the March 9 videoconference, the children asked each other numerous personal questions, such as whether they have pets, whether they prefer painting to sculpting, what kinds of sports they play... Jean Zay kids had their questions written in English with French phonetics to help them pronounce their words properly.

Jean Zay sculptures of Josephine Baker
© Wells International Foundation

On the Knoxville side, the children told coordinator Mary Campbell what they wanted to say and she instructed them how to say it in French.

Nature's Way kids and coordinator Mary Campbell on screen
© Wells International Foundation

There was more talk of food as well, with kids sharing that they enjoy eating spaghetti and meatballs, samoussas, and apples, among other things.

The Jean Zay children sang two songs for the Knoxville kids: "J'ai Deux Amours" by Josephine Baker, and Ten Little Witches!

Announcement for Witches song
© Wells International Foundation

Children singing "Ten Little Witches"
© Wells International Foundation

Just before wrapping up this session, the Jean Zay kids shared their pastel portraits of Beauford, inspired by the self-portrait that graces the cover of the catalog for the Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color art exhibition.

Jean Zay student holding Resonance of Form catalog
© Wells International Foundation

Displaying Beauford Delaney Portraits for Nature's Way kids
© Wells International Foundation

Posing with Beauford Delaney Portraits
© Wells International Foundation

For more images of these portraits and the clay sculptures of Josephine and Chiquita, click on the links below:

Nature's Way - Working with Clay
Jean Zay - Working with Clay
9 March 2018 Session
Beauford Delaney Portraits

And continue to watch this blog for updates on the project!




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