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Feb 17, 2016

Art Comes to Belize City Primary Schools

Two budding artists have won top awards at a national and an international art competition, distinguishing themselves and their schools. The young students are from Saint John’s Vianney and Saint Joseph Primary schools. They enrolled in the Primary School Arts Skills Training Program which allowed them to compete in the Lion’s Club Peace Poster Competition and the World School Children’s Art Exhibition in Taiwan. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Today at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City, a number of primary school students were honored during an award ceremony for their winning works in a 2015 art competition. Taking first and third place were Jayra Young of St. John Vianney Primary School and Kammie Enriquez of St. Joseph Primary School respectively. While their inspirations are admittedly different, their talent as young painters is evident. Twelve year old Young came out on top for her painting on peace.


Jayra Young

Jayra Young, St. John Vianney Primary School

“It’s speaking about how people share peace. It is showing different cultures, showing it day and night and the doves represent God…how god watches over us all through the day and even at night.”


Kammie Enriquez, St. Joseph Primary School

“I feel very good because now everybody knows that there is talent in Belize because as you can see there are many talented people in Belize and I am an example of that now.”


Kammie Enriquez

Duane Moody

“Talk to us about the inspiration for your piece.”


Kammie Enriquez

“Well I used to play around with my old teddy bear and I used to do everything with it. So as you can see in my poster; I used to play with it, eat with it, do everything with it.”


Duane Moody

“So it’s you in the picture?”


Kammie Enriquez

“Yes it is.”


The young artists are enrolled with the Primary Schools Art Skills Training—a project funded by the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), but organized through the National Institute of Culture and History as a way to introduce the art into the classroom.


Diane Haylock, President, NICH

“We ensured that we got some of those less privileged schools in Belize City so that it was not just the schools that have more resources—and that is a fact. So in reaching out to the schools, twenty-three schools provided students to participate in the program.”


Fiona Huang

The project which started back in 2014 is being piloted in Belize District. Fiona Huang, a Taiwanese artist living in Belize, is the instructor who works with the students on a weekly basis. The students get an opportunity to submit their pieces in the Peace Poster Competition of the Lion’s Club, for the Golden Arts Awards and the international World School Children’s Art Exhibition in Taiwan.


Fiona Huang, Art Instructor, PSAST

“This exhibition is showing the results of the arts project and that they learn in the class and the progress. And we also combine with the award ceremony for children that participate in art competitions and they won so many prizes. So we awarded it today. In 2014, a child, Kammie Enriquez won bronze medal for Belize. We were to award her last year, but the package sent from Taiwan was missing. So Taiwan sent another one this year so we combine with this year’s winner. And the winner this year won the first silver for Belize. That’s the first time we won silver.”


Diane Haylock

As an added feature, the Institute of Creative Arts launched a children’s art exhibit entitled, “Belize and Taiwan: Bridging Two Nations.” NICH President Diane Haylock says that she is hopeful that art will become an addition to the current curriculum.


Diane Haylock

“When we have exhibition like this and people see what is happening with other people. Many of them might be more motivated, braver to step forward and say that I have been expressing myself creatively too and so I would like to share my work of art with a wider audience. We must give recognition to artists who can then be teachers to inspire those many children to express themselves.”


Duane Moody

“So more dialogue with the Ministry of Education to get that in place?”


Diane Haylock

“I think it is great that we are in the Ministry of Education now so we have an opportunity to be able to make significant advances in that direction. I think the Ministry of Education understands it, but I think we need to work together to see how we can make it more possible.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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