06-08-2008: news-local

By JAMES ZIEGLER
Bismarck Tribune


Rebecca Young-Sletten wants to pass on knowledge from her experiences in Japan to other teachers.

In 2000, Young-Sletten, an art teacher at Bismarck High School, received the Japanese Fulbright Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship sends teachers like Young-Sletten on three-week study tours for the purpose of increasing their understanding of Japanese culture. They can then pass on what they learned to their students.

Young-Sletten has taken this a step further. She is teaching what she learned to other teachers for them to take back to their classrooms.

While in Japan, Young-Sletten studied the art of silk painting under the master painter Takefhi Ogura, who has painted robes for the emperor's wife.

Young-Sletten was introduced to Ogura by Japanese ambassador to the United Nations Shigeru Endo, who had lived with her family while studying in the United States.

Young-Sletten considers Endo to be like a brother to her.

"In Japan, once you've done that (lived that closely with another family), they consider you family," Young-Sletten said.

Young-Sletten's graduate-level class, Japanese Experience for the Classroom, aims to improve its participants' fabric painting skills, as well as teaching them about aspects of Japanese culture, art and how to integrate that knowledge in their classroom curriculum.

The bigger picture of the class is in line with the idea of the Fulbright Scholarships' goal of promoting tolerance between cultures.

"I really want to teach them about teaching peace and harmony in the classroom," Young-Sletten said.

The two-day course starts at 8 a.m. June 24 at Bismarck Art and Galleries Association with introductions and registration.

During the workshop, teachers participating will receive a free kimono and learn to paint their own obi.

The kimonos are made beforehand by Young-Sletten and provided via a grant she received.

Nonteachers are welcome to participate in the class, but they will have to pay for their kimonos.

Participants in the class also learn about Japanese tie-dye (called shibori), the Japanese tea ceremony and the art of giving.

Registration for the class is $50 and participants can receive one graduate credit from the University of North Dakota for completion.

Due to the time it will take to prepare kimonos, people interested in taking Japanese Experience for the Classroom should call Bismarck Art and Galleries at 223-5986 before June 15 to register.


 

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