“Your Wall Is Our Canvas” Poetry Book (2020)

九 9 Poems for Your Wall is Our Canvas is an art and poetry book, created by the Fourth Grade Class of 2020 at Dianne Feinstein Elementary School, a public elementary school in San Francisco, working with the Del Sol Quartet and Andi Wong, teaching artist.

The book shares student poetry and artwork created for Del Sol String Quartet’s Angel Island Project at Dianne Feinstein Elementary School in San Francisco. The book features nine collaborative student poems by Ms. Harrington, Ms. McCullough and Ms. Rondone’s 4th Grade Classes of 2020, and documents the development of the Angel Island Project at the school, which included two evening Family Art Nights, before the coronavirus pandemic closed the school on March 13, 2020. “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” is also featured in Angel Island Immigration Stations first virtual exhibition, Voices of Resilience.

During summer, nine students at Dianne Feinstein Elementary School, took photographs and recorded readings of the poetry and “sounds of home” by completing summer assignments created to further develop this book project. A music workshop with the Del Sol String Quartet invited the students to help to create a new musical work based on the poems, which includes a musical selection by Huang Ruo.

Artist/poet Flo Oy Wong’s poem, Look Sic Lom Sic (Green Color, Blue Color), also written during the COVID-19 pandemic, is recited in her ancestral dialect of Hoisan-wa. The Hoisan-wa dialect, which originated in Taishan County in Guangdong province in Southern China, was spoken by many of the Chinese immigrants who came to America in the first part of the twentieth century, including Flo’s parents and siblings, who were among those held in the Immigration Station barracks on Angel Island.

The book also includes QR codes that link to audio tracks of the poetry readings, so readers can listen as they read the poems.

This project was supported in part by the Hewlett Foundations 50 Arts Commissions, the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation and the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation. Del Sol String Quartet’s partnership with Dianne Feinstein ES, was made possible thanks to an Artists and Communities Partnership – Creative Youth Arts (ACIP-CY) grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission.

“Angel Island– Oratorio for Voices and String Quartet composed by Huang Ruo and performed by the Del Sol String Quartet with the contemporary chamber choir, Volti, weaves a story of immigration and discrimination of then and now. 


Book design & production: Andi Wong

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