Exhibition to showcase children's artwork

A collection of children’s views of the world depicted through artwork will be featured in an art exhibition opening at the Tiapapata Art Centre on Saturday.

The exhibition provides an opportunity to celebrate International Youth Day and will include young people in the opening programme, a statement from the organisers said.

The event is free and opens to the public and will be especially enjoyable for families with children.

According to the release, "draw the world as you see it" was the simple message sent in 2005 to children in the 191 Member States of the United Nations, irrespective of their cultural background.

“Out of the 3,500 drawings, 191 were selected by a jury appointed by GenevaWorld Association, a nonprofit organisation behind this initiative, to represent each country in the United Nations General Assembly,” read the release.

It also added that 48 of these drawings have made the long journey to Samoa, including the drawing made by a then young Samoan student. 

Some of the drawings are poignant expressions of the bleak world millions of children live in with themes such as environmental degradation, war, and family violence. 

Children, after all, can all too clearly see what is happening around them even if they do not understand why and are victims seldom heard by those creating the problems. 

But there are also some touching images portraying feelings of happiness, love and unity, aspirations that are important as children of the world face yet another global crisis: the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

A drawing by Sandra Flore from Haiti depicts friendship among different races of the human family.

Art has been taught to children at the Tiapapata Art Centre for close to 30 years. While art is offered electively in both private and public schools in Samoa, it is generally not regarded as a viable career path. 

What is certain however is that art education provides children with many important tools that can be applied throughout their lives including critical thinking, problem-solving, and motor and coordination skills. 

One of the greater benefits that are especially important for Samoan children is gaining self-confidence while finding individual creative expression. 

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