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May 10, 2018

Youth Art Exhibition Opens

The Ministry of Education launched an art exhibition today to show off the creative talents of students in the Belize District. This morning, Ministry Education Officials and students gathered at the Mexican Institute to showcase the more than three hundred pieces of work done in school and after school art programs.  The event is also prefacing the annual festival arts in the Belize District. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Belize District Art Showcase opened today in Belize City. It features more than three hundred art work done by pre, primary and high school students in the Belize District. The expressive forms on display range from realism to abstract and include drawings, paintings, mixed media, recycle art, computer graphics, tradition graphics, textile and manipulation. Of the sixty or so high schools in the country, only eleven have art programmes. And so the Ministry wants to change that by using this exhibition to show and share the value of art to students.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the talents of our young people. I think that a lot of our people don’t know that our students are doing works like this in our high schools and so it gives an opportunity for us to showcase that but it also gives an opportunity to encourage the younger children, like those coming up in the primary schools.”

 

Among the artworks are pieces done by high school students Omar Vega and Kayla Abram, art students who shared their stories at today’s exhibition.

 

Omar Vega

Omar Vega, St John’s College

“It wasn’t until SJC, though, that I actually started doing artworks of my own. I have had a great at SJC for these past few years. I enjoy arts class as it gives me an opportunity to freely express myself using the materials we have present. After four years of taking arts, I feel like I have greatly improved from where I was before I went to SJC.”

 

Kayla Abram

Kayla Abram, E.P. Yorke High School

“Art became a big part of my life when I was a little girl. I wasn’t as good as I am now. Back then I drew mostly like stick men and I only knew how to draw with sticks and circles. I gave up drawing for a while because I thought I wouldn’t be good enough. All through my life, I tried to draw but I kept giving up. Entering high school, I made some friends who knew how to draw. I asked them to teach me and they did. In the process of learning from them, I found that I doubted myself a lot because I wasn’t as good as they were. They encouraged me which gave me the strength to keep practicing.”

 

“Every Child is an Artist; Arts for Learning and Earning” is the theme for this showcase – but the earning is yet to catch up with the learning. While art is being done at several schools and promoted among students, the Ministry recognizes that a lot more must be done make art more than just a hobby or side project. Opportunities must be created for art related careers so that artists can use their artistic talents to earn a living.

 

Patrick Faber

“It has to be considered business like and judging from the presentations today how the artists themselves view this is wide ranging; some believe it can be done for fun and some believe it can be done to create employment. But, certainly, given the fact that it is not a part of our everyday culture for us to embrace this as a career more needs to be done. To that end, of course NICH supports activities that bring out the talents of our people but we need to be doing more to make it into a kind of  business form.  We are now driven by tourism in this country and when the tourists come would love to purchase, share, and view the various art forms that we have. So, the Government remains very committed and open to do that.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

 

The showcase opened today and runs through to May twenty-third.

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