Art as a Bridge -- Shirley's US Travel Diary -059 & 219th Friendly Greeting -Mon, Sep 14, 2009

How are you? I do hope everything is good with you and you have started a good new week…

Today is 350th day that I have been in the US.

Since I finished the studying in the US and my art exhibition opened in Springfield, MO on Sep 4, I have had an excited, tight and very meaningful 10 day in the US.

First time, I had time to visit this city with an easy heart, and first time, I went into some typical American style restaurants and found many beautiful places in the city that I did not know at all.

The most excited thing is that by the great support, organizing and directions of Springfield Regional Arts Council, last Friday morning, I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to make first two demonstrations in an American school for two groups of children from 6 grade and 7 grade of Hickory Hills Middle School to introduce something about Chinese painting. During the process, I have known a beautiful American art teacher Ms. Tracy Gardner-Snodgrass and her lovely students, I visited her wonderful art studio and saw how she made her students to work with develop their imaginations and creative ability...

I was really touched by the Chinese painting textbooks on her desk. I was happy to see how the local American people interested in Chinese art of painting indeed.

Then, on Saturday, Sep 12, by the good organizing of a couple of wife and husband, also an art teacher and professor -- Ms. Hing Wahn Hetch and Mr. Jerry Hetch, 19 local American friends came to the area of my art exhibition, attended a painting workshop with me together.

Within about 8 hours, from 10:00am until 6:00am, except having a rest for about 20 minutes, we had three lessons.

First of all, I introduced the basic Chinese traditional paintings' basic knowledge -- origin, development, classification, main characteristics of Chinese Gongbi and Xieyi, also my own integrated art dreams and so on…

Then I showed them how to paint birds, plum blossom and peonies with Chinese Xieyi Painting Style. Every one was excited and worked hard to complete their first Chinese Xieyi paintings.

Meanwhile, an American Chinese lady tried her first Chinese Baimiao.

During the work, I was touched very much by Ms. Hing Wah Hetch and her Husband Mr. Jerry Hetch for their meticulous and considerate organizing jobs indeed.

Can you imagine? When I reached in the exhibition hall, both of them had made all of the desks over there, covered paper on the desk, put color dishes, papers, easels on the places they should be, they not only brought an electric cooker and some food as lunch for us, but also, they did not forget my just past birthday and bought some birthday cakes to celebrate my birthday there. :- )

I was thinking, if I said that Ms. Hing Wah Hetch was just like a red flower in the painting workshop, then, Mr. Jerry Hetch was just the green leaves. The extremely harmonious of them made me impression so much.

As the main organizer, Ms. Hing Wah Hetch did so many things -- she printed my data from my web site for the other friends, she prepared brushers, colors and paper for every one, she cooked lunch when we were working, she were my translator when I could not speak out some professional term in English, she also tried to paint as soon as she could… at the same time, Mr. Jerry Hetch did everything else silently to support his wife’s work with his sensitive, quick and in time style as an artist and art professor ? as soon as I needed a new dish, I got it from him; as soon as the water was dirty, I got a box of clean water, as soon as some one else needs a piece of new paper, he or she got it…

When I went into the work place, the couple of wife and husband had arranged everything ok, when I left for my hotel after working for 8 hours, both of the wife and husband still worked there to clean and order everything…

With a touched heart, I did feel, within each of my little jobs and progress, included too many people’s help,
painstaking effort, so, I would really like to cherish my luck and to do my best to repay the society and the friendly local American people. So, after getting the permit of my boss in China, I have decided to change my ticket from Sep 20 to the end of my art exhibition.

Until this evening, I have gotten the invitations from 4 schools, 2 universities, 1 painting workshop and 1 children’s training class...

I will not only offer at least 9 demonstrations in the schools and university, but also, I will offer some new lessons for the painting workshop on Sep 16, 17, 22 and 24 at 7:00pm - 9:00pm free. All of the "old" participants and new friends who are interested in Chinese Xieyi or Chinese Gongbi learning welcome to join us in my art exhibition area.

Painting Workshop Photo 111 on Sep 12, 2009
Demostration Photo 55 on Sep 11, 2009
Art Exhibition Photo 87, Sep 4, 2009

I am very busy before I leave for China. I am very happy to work on delivering Chinese some cultural elements into American culture and to learn and bring some American cultural elements back China...

I will be more happy to build a friendly cross culture bridge with my art of painting, music and language...

How do you think of my work in the US? Do you think it is meaningful? Do you think art is one of the best cross culture bridges?

I am just a learner on art of painting, music, English and Chinese language, to work on the web site in my free time. I would really like to do a few things with what I have learned to make this little web site to be an Electronic Bridge of Culture Exchange, Chinese Language Learning & Friendship making. To help the others while to improve myself.

I would like to appreciate your understanding, directions, supports and hope to get your friendly direction and help.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you are welcome to write to or, or to publish your opinions in the forum.

Shirley Yiping Zhang
Mon, September 14, 2009 From USA

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