Sun Over Seoul

Contributor: Michael F. O'Brien

SUN OVER SEOUL has meant many things to many students…….. it helped Seoul American High School be awarded the “Excellence in Education” award for the school year ’84-’85

Topic: Books, Education, photography, Yongsan Legacy
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SUN OVER SEOUL is a picture book. This edition contains three hundred seventy individual works of art, only a small part of the total output of the art classes of Seoul American High School. It represents the work of a good total of one hundred students and no attempt was made to include something by everyone.

The idea for a “Sun” book for Seoul American High School, now in its thirteenth edition, came from our former Art Co-ordinator, James McGrath, when  he visited us in the fall 1977 and saw our walls covered with drawings and photographs. Our first twelve books have met with overwhelming success. As usually we are met with the challenge of topping last year’s book you will find that again we have used some new subjects and tired some new media.

I want to thanks Bruce taft, leon Brashier, Al Lipoff and especially Tom Ellinger for their encouragement and backing; Arline O’Brien and Sean O’Brien for their understanding and support; Sean O’Brien for his help; and all of my students for their enthusiasm and their never-ending search for quality. Few people realize the incredible number of hours many of these young people put in here at the Art Center working on their art. SUN OVER SEOUL is from you students and for you students.

Cover of the book Sun Over Seoul. Source: Mr. Michael F. O’Brien

SUN OVER SEOUL has meant many things to many students. It is something that all one hundred thirty some f my students work toward. It is a tremendous motivating factor in all classes. It has shown as an example to emulate in classes. It has been a show case for exceptional student work. It has given that wonderful feeling of having seen your work published. It has been a model for books like it in other DODDS schools as well as Stateside schools. It has been taken to colleges and universities  and shown to professors and art instructors and has been the means of passing out of many lower level college art courses. It was part of the packet sent to Art Recognition and Talent Search and helped earn some of those students a slot in WHO’S WHO AMONG AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS. It has been recognized and praised on all levels of DODDS from D.C. on down. It has been a wonderful P.R. instrument for Seoul American High School and DODDS Pacific. Works from previous editions have been published in latest editions of ART IN YOUR WORLD, ART IN YOUR VISUAL ENVIRONMENT, EXPLORING DRAWING, EXPLORING PAINTING, EXPLORING VISUAL DESIGN, EMPHASIS ART, and THE PHOTOGRAPHIC EYE, seven school art textbooks or art reference books by Stateside publishers. Copies of SUN OVER SEOUL were part of the total package that helped the Kennedy center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. to decide to name me one of the first seven Kennedy Center Fellows for Teachers of the Arts in 1984, drawing from arts teachers over the entire United States. It was carefully studied by the representative of the United States Department of Education and it helped Seoul American High School be awarded the “Excellence in Education” award for the school year ’84-’85. During the spring of 1989 the North Central Association conducted their accreditation visit to Seoul American High School and honored our art department with a special commendation for an outstanding program and SUN OVER SEOUL was one of the major influences on that decision.

Special thanks to PPC-Korea, our printer, for taking special interest in our book. And for all of you who see this book, please let me know your feelings about it.

Michael F. O’Brien. Art instructor. Seoul American High School. APO Sam Francisco 96301-0005