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May 12, 2023

Choose to Create Art Exhibit Opens at Image Factory

At this time at the Image Factory Gallery, the works of at least sixty artists, of all ages and at different level of artistic skills, are on display. Choose to Create Art Exhibit is the product of the Kirkland Smith School of Visual Arts which is returning after four years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an interesting space for creatives that began as an after school program two decades ago. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Choose to Create – it’s the name of the latest exhibit being launched by the Kirkland Smith School of Visual Arts.


Kirkland Smith

Kirkland Smith, Founder, Kirkland Smith School of Visual Arts

“It is an amazing show. The last time we had an exhibition was 2019, so COVID put us on a pause. This show, the participants are all over Belize and also international. I have students who have participated in the online program for the school of visual arts all the way from Saint Vincent. I have some in the US and others around, but these are works that are displayed by youngest being five years old to the oldest over forty.”


Kirkland Smith, an art instructor, says there is a variety of expressions on canvas, from drawings to paintings.


Kirkland Smith

“We will see a variety of expressions in terms of drawing and painting that the students have produced over the course of the school year. And these are beginners, amateurs, intermediate, advance and super advanced artists. It is open to the public; the entrance is free at the Image Factory and we launch at seven. And for our friends and families who are far and wide who cannot attend in person, we go live on Instagram and also on Facebook beginning at six-forty-five.”


The visual arts school began over two decades ago and has evolved to engage not only students, but also adults at the intermediary and advance levels.


Kirkland Smith

“This institution is non-profit and it evolved through after school art programs that I had. It started twenty years ago when I first ventured into CXC and CSEC visual arts, preparing students to sit the exam at the end of fourth form. We expanded and we saw the need for art in our country, in our communities, and we create that space where people – students, children from primary school, adults, people who love art and want to explore and develop their skills and participate and function as an artist. And besides that, we realise that the school needs teachers who are competent and confident to teach art and we also provide that space that program where teachers can develop their artistic skills – pedagogy in teacher art and writing plans and lessons, construct course design for the visual arts or expressive arts.”


Smith told News Five that the theme for the exhibit is timely.


Kirkland Smith

“The narrative in our country at this time where we are coming out of COVID, we are trying to reorient ourselves back into our normal lives and we realise that the pace of living is faster than before. And at times, we need to step back and think about the other important areas of life, beginning with our mental and emotional stability and health. So choosing to create is a celebration of these participants who decided that from our busy lives, we will take out time to think about ourselves and also to share our expressions and our feelings and thoughts with our community.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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