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Exhibition - The Fourth Grade Project

Thursday, July 11, 2024 from 10:00am to 05:00pm

Chandler Museum

300 S Chandler Village Dr.

Chandler, AZ, 85226


In the past decade, acclaimed artist Judy Gelles interviewed and photographed more than 300 fourth grade students from a wide range of economic and cultural backgrounds in China, England, India, Israel, Italy, Nicaragua, St. Lucia, South Africa, Dubai, South Korea and multiple areas of the United States. At each school, she asked the same three questions: Who do you live with? What do you wish for? What do you worry about? The exhibition highlights the commonalities and differences of childhood throughout the world.

Told in their own words, these children’s stories touch on some of our most common human experiences and urgent social issues. Their stories include the following topics: violence, immigration, the demise of the nuclear family, global hunger, and the impact of the media and popular culture. Portraits from both the front and reverse accompany the students’ responses. In all the portraits, the children are presented as individuals; however, their stories speak to greater truths and problems within society.

Judy Gelles said, “A notable commonality across all schools is that every group of fourth graders has very little contact with or knowledge of people from cultural or socioeconomic backgrounds different than their own. Nine-year-old children are on the cusp of adolescence. They are able to think critically and consider relationships to be very important. They are socially conscious, interested in helping others, and openly curious about the world. It is also a moment in children’s development when worldviews start to become entrenched and paths for the future start to become more set. The project allows students to learn about others’ lives in a uniquely personal way and to use the project as a catalyst for their own explorations.”

To add local voices to this exhibition, Chandler Museum staff met with local fourth graders at Galveston Elementary School to get their responses to the same three questions featured in the exhibition. Those responses will be on display alongside the world-wide comments.

Admission: Free

Exhibition - The Fourth Grade Project is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media
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