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'Very sentimental to me': Georgia College students exchange art prints with kids in Cameroon

14 Georgia College advance printmaking art students are exchanging watercolor drawings with kids overseas

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Georgia College student artists with big hearts and lots of creativity are creating screen prints with watercolors to send to students in Cameroon. 

Maya Whipple is one of 13 Georgia College art students exchanging drawings overseas.

"I did like the Earth and the children, to making them feel powerful," said Whipple. "This is very sentimental to me." 

Here's how it works: A nonprofit organization called the Memory Project matches American students with children abroad.

From there, students like Whipple and Emily Sabonis-Chafee receive artwork from kids abroad.

"I had a little boy who had sent me a picture, and his drawing included a little scroll, some flowers, and some hearts," said Sabonis-Chafee.

"The students' art was kind of drab, it didn't have much color at all, so it kind of evoked the feeling of depression," said Whipple.

They take those messages, intertwine what they learned, and create something new to send back.

"He had a lot of hearts so I didn't know how to incorporate those well, so I tried to make the leaves in the shape of hearts," said Sabonis-Chafee.  

Whipple also used yellow and red, inspired by the colors in Cameroon's flag.

"I wanted to make it more symbolic to him; and so my color decision was to make him feel recognized and worthy," said Whipple.

Matt Forrest leads their advance printmaking class every Tuesday.

"The students that participate in the program actually take more away from that then...the artwork we ship to the students," said Forrest.

"Cameroon is now one of the countries up high on my list, because I could possibly meet this young man that I painted this picture for," said Whipple.

The art has been officially shipped and is expected to land shortly. 

Forrest plans on giving his students the opportunity again next year in 2022.

In the meantime, they're talking about making this year's 14 prints into a coloring book.