Sonja Tanrisever



Sonja Böhlander Tanrisever is a Swedish Turkish freelance artist living in Istanbul since 46 years. At the same time, she teaches children and adults in art, besides writing poems and articles mainly focused on educational matters.

As a young person in Sweden, she received education in art and pedagogy (sculpture, drawing, painting and textile design). Simultaneously she had started gathering children and youngsters in her studio for their obtaining experiences in art making. As still working together with children, by now 57 years have passed since then. She found opportunity to set up an art school for adults within Swedish workers educational association (ABF) as well as participating in her first exhibitions.

During her later life with family in Turkey, above mentioned basic fields of activities have been further developed, like own art (6 one-man shows and 22 group exhibitons), teaching adults in art. She has also been lucky of setting up her therapeutic rehabilitation section for adults at a university hospital psychiatry clinic in Istanbul. Her main occupations in teaching though, have been establishing many kinds of creative environments for young persons from various sociocultural standards of living. These has become realized as a kind of “building bridges” within different leading cultural and educational institutions sometimes between nations. Often such involvements have had character of connecting institutions with one another. In this context, particularly teachers’ training has been a vital interest.

Through contribution of a certain established blend of Swedish Turkish art pedagogical model, by time it’s influences have come at least to a certain degree get gradually ramified within the country. For the time being besides working in her own studio on pictorial / sculptural weavings, she is actively working as art consultant in a private kindergarten (AKD American Cultural Association), pa private primary school (Harvard International American College, Istanbul) and TYSA (Life Therapy Art Association in Istanbul). Among her publications can be found;

• Tanrisever Sonja “Cultural Bridges Between Countries” ET-RF, 2004.
• Tanrisever Sonja “SKYGD” (Experiments In Supporting Social & Cultural Life) “Programs For Art Studios, Importance Of Creating For Child And Youngster and Their Relations With Material”, 2009.
• Tanrisever Sonja “Integration and Playfulness For Children In Art Pedagogical Education” InSEA On Bridge 7th European Regional Congress, Istanbul, Capadocia, Turkey 01-06 July 2004, Pages 252-263.
• Tanrisever Sonja “Innovations In Children’s Art Education” Yildiz Teknik University “Muzecilik ve Egitim” Kadriye T. Akmehmet 2003, Pages 63-75.

In these days, together with her daughter Esin Tanrisever she is about to publish an E-Book “Introduction To Free Art Learning With Kids”
She is a regular artical writer in an online magazine “Children On Earth” of American Cultural Association (
Artist is a board member of UPSD (International Society of Plastic Arts), member of InSEA (International Society For Education Through Art), SKYGD (Association for Development of Social and Cultural Life) and AREM (European Rehabilitation Center. Pieces of her art works do take place at collections in different parts of the World.

Upon Sonja’s Art works: “Artists’ works may be associated with travelling… Dreamlike states of journeys between different dimensions of time and space. Outlines vanish and borders between dream and reality, past-time/ present time gets overlapped into each other. Lines, colors, shapes and textures come to symbolize Artist’s thoughts and emotions.

In usual dreams one more or less drifts along in uncontrollable sequences of events. Also artists in ‘dream’ state, ‘witnesses’ in a kind of awake condition stuff that dreams are made of: fragmentary images of experienced perceptions from past or present life. These now gather together, get confronted, reborn and embodied into pieces of art.”

Smashwords Interview

I was just a child, living with all senses! Throughout years of childhood until adolescence, there were forests, which became my shelter-like environments. I used to believe that there was a soul in each formation around me. I didn’t know that whatever I touched, smelled, saw or heard would leave so many traces of those times in my mind. Of course, I didn’t know in those early days how my life was going to turn out... and I wasn’t aware of that revived experiences of nature in those times would come to penetrate and linger in my soul through all the years until now… like some kind of gentle protective power that had inhabited my veins. I didn’t then know that this was what would become my lifelong search for perceiving such strong bounds of alliances with plants, animals, man… with greens, yellow, reds… and all those blue.

As a youngster, I kept writing and writing so that moments which were leaving strong impressions shouldn’t get lost! My pencil watched how seasons kept changing and how early winter times passed with thawing of snow. Then I kept noting down how everything got covered with whites which started driving in to coat everything in it’s cool whiteness, while leaving outstanding graphics of contrasting matters like wooden, natural old fences piercing up from where snow white areas were located.

Pencil of a spellbound child also kept tracking unforgettable views of breaks of the ices in lakes, and budding life of lilies in the valley during times of spring in the North.
Our project about these series of booklets has become a story about how many things can get interwoven… mingled and transformed into new synthesises. As always, first there appears an IDEA -all of a sudden, like as if from nowhere. Challenging, exciting and then you find yourself in the midst of everything.

Since the last 35 years, from time to time I had been writing about experiences in art education with children, and really wanted to share these with others. Besides that, meanwhile, many persons had asked me to go on, declaring that such kind of publications were very much needed in the market. Years and years did pass by though and my notes just kept multiplying. Until one day when my daughter Esin suggested that we together could work on this material and turn it into publication. Wonderful, so this meant that time had come now! Upon this, Esin began contributing with her own writings and together we started to really concentrate on our first project which was entitled “Free Art Learning With Kids.”
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Sonja Tanrisever online


Video Upon our Ebook, "Free Art Learning With Kids"
A fresh and inspiring Ebook on Art pedagogy for children aged 2 till 7, written by two Swedish-Turkish artists and educators who by sharing their colorful experiences with the World, aim at contribution in many sided and healthy development of children’s personality. For parents and teachers, a handbook library publishing technques and materials will follow.

We Can Build An Art Library With You!
"Free Art Learning With Kids" is a fresh and inspiring Ebook on Art pedagogy for children aged 2 till 7, written by two Swedish-Turkish artists and educators who by sharing their colorful experiences with the World, aim at contribution in many sided and healthy development of children’s personality. For parents and teachers, a handbook library publishing technques and materials will follow.


Free Art Learning With Kids, Introduction Book-I
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 23,470. Language: English. Published: July 23, 2016 by Esin Tanrisever. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Art / Techniques, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Art
A fresh and inspiring book on art pedagogy for preschool age children while their brains are most receptive. Writers are both Swedish Turkish artists and educators. Sonja has spent 57 years of her life with children and art, and Esin, around 20. Now they want to share their colorful experiences with the World. Parents and teachers can benefit from an instruction library going to be published.

Sonja Tanrisever's tag cloud

art    child    children    development    education    methods    parents    self expression    teachers    techniques