In the five years Gu Xiaocheng has been teaching art classes at New Citizen Migrant School in Daxing, he’s turned down a number of better-paying jobs to continue teaching migrant students how to understand art. Some of those students, who range in ages from 6 to 20 years old, aren’t officially students at all – they dropped out years ago, but continue to attend Gu’s art classes. The pictures in this post are examples of the artwork the students create.
While the school has been working to bolster its facilities, their resources remain inferior to most of Beijing’s public schools, and there isn’t much to fund Gu’s art class. So Gu uses his own money to purchase materials for the classes, which focus on different mediums of art, including oil painting, sketching, and pottery. Gu even purchased laptops with his own money to help the students learn design.
The students’ artworks have not gone unnoticed; students have created artworks to be auctioned at the German Embassy School, and for a ceremony at New World Mall in Xuanwumen. Under Gu’s instruction, the students have developed considerable talent and enthusiasm for art. One student, 16-year-old Liu Ying, was invited to Paris to attend a 10-day event organized by the China Children’s Cultural Arts Council, though she was unable to attend due to the financial requirements. A look through the art class blog shows the immense talent and enthusiasm of all the students.
Despite media attention, the class still lacks fundamental resources. The art class is looking for volunteers, especially those who are bilingual, to help the organize fundraising activities, build a presence at international school events, or share their knowledge of art, foreign cultures, and computer programs like Flash and Photoshop. Those interested in working with the school can email Mona Xia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the New Citizen Migrant School, visit their website.
Photos courtesy of New Migrant School art class