Watson Chronicle


Programs for P-12 Students

Art Project Connects Virgo Students to Students in Japan

Monday, May 03, 2021

Christine Liao and Janna Robertson partnered with Virgo art teacher Dakota Lehman and Sango-Kita Elementary School in Nara, Japan, on a project to engage students in intercultural dialogue through art.  

Over the course of several months, second and third graders in the two schools drew and shared pictures of their favorite foods, desserts, and sports. The children’s art was compiled on large six-foot banners that include a food train, a dessert boat, and a display of favorite Olympic sports. The banners will be displayed at D.C. Virgo and Sango-Kita Elementary.  

Liao and Robertson presented the banners at Virgo’s Friday virtual morning meeting on May 14.  

“Despite that Covid-19 disrupted our initial plan, we were able to modify the project and complete it through many email communications with the school in Japan,” Liao said. “The banners created from Virgo’s artworks are displayed in the English classroom in the school in Japan. The students in Virgo were able to identify the different art styles and cultural references. This project opened up a window for students at Virgo to see the world.”  

japan3.jpgLiao is an associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy and Special Education and coordinator of WCE’s new Master of Arts in Teaching in Art Education program. Robertson is a professor in WCE’s Department of Instructional Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education.

A 2020 Cahill Grant through UNCW’s Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance (SPARC) funded the project.