Fun, creativity at Holiday Art Camp

Own Correspondent
The National Gallery of Zimbabwe, in celebrating the 60th Anniversary, presents the April Holiday Art Camp. The Camp is set to take place from April 24 to 28 this year and will offer an opportunity for students to explore and appreciate new ideas, development skills, making new friends, and showing leadership, all while having a great time, too!

From exploring their creativity through drawing, painting and sculpting techniques to daily snack-time spent with new friends in the Gallery’s Sculpture Garden, a fun experience will be had by every pupil at Holiday Art Camp.

The Art Camp is part of various education programmes organised by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe with the aim to educate children on visual arts, art history and improvement of their art skills while exploring various art material, themes and creative expressions. The Camp also serves as a resource and information centre that is in line with and in support of the new Education Curriculum which emphasises the significance of arts and cultural education from an early age.

“The broader theme for this year is celebration. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe is celebrating its 60th Anniversary. The entire year will be about celebration and introspection, as such all the programs we are doing are celebratory in nature.

The lessons for the Holiday Art Camp will include an aspect of celebration and will also be linked to the currently running exhibitions, that is the Amali Malola and the Dis(colour)ed Margins exhibition,” said education officer at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Akim Nyakudya.

The Amali Malola show is a celebration of the contribution made by the late veteran artist towards the development of modern art in Zimbabwe.

The show takes in a variety of works from the National Gallery of Zimbabwe collection, Amali Malola’s family collection and the Chapungu collection. Malola used to sculpt from conviction as an artist that he had a message to impart and he continued to deliver from his heart full of stimulating ideas until he passed on. The students will learn about the history of early Zimbabwean sculptors through the Amali Malola show.

Meanwhile, Dis(colour)ed Margins presents works that offer alternative visual accounts of the politics of women’s bodies, race migration and displacement.

Regardless of considerable achievements in the battle for equality, many still feel restricted and are stuck into the margins of humankind.

In many parts of the world today, being a woman, being a foreigner, being part of a previously oppressed majority, being a minority, being of particular religious persuasion or generally existing in a periphery still means being ghettoised, omitted, displaced, or silenced.

In the margins of society, there exists barriers that determine whether or not one is granted access, and if so how much access one gets. The much older students will learn about significant discourses that are taking place not just at a local, but global level.

The programmes for the Art Camp are age specific and build on knowledge and skill, extending the children’s opportunity to discover new concepts.

The Holiday Art Camp is designed to adopt a formal approach with regards to the instruction of students as it takes into account the needs of the student’s full-time commitments to mainstream academic pursuits in the School Curriculum whilst offering a practical bypass to help relieve the pressures of learning.

“This year’s camp has some new and exciting aspects for the students. Those who are going to be sitting for their ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level art examinations, will get a chance to be coached on how to approach actual examination question papers such as still life, design and human figure by professional artists. They will also be offered an opportunity to access the library and research on local contemporary artist as one of the papers they will write will require them to know at least one contemporary artist and to produce work that is inspired by that artist,” said Nyakudya.

“On the last day of the camp the students will curate all the work done which will enable them to learn how to handle works and how to put them all together in coming up with an exhibition.”

Each day of camp will have new topics which will be introduced as well as building on skills and techniques from the day before.

Students are instructed and guided by practicing art instructors in the creation of expressionistic pictures in oil, acrylic or pencil crayon.

They also learn about colour mixing through tissue paper collages, paint, magic markers and coffee filters, how to create a fireworks display with crayons, paint, glue, foil and shoe polish.

The Camp serves to create a space in which young people can gain knowledge of visual arts, develop their visual creative abilities through fun experiences which makes their grasp of the discipline more memorable.

“Whether it’s, photography, sculpting or painting the Holiday Art Camp activities can stimulate young minds with new concepts and skills, as well as lessons about art and art history. This makes art a very important subject as it stimulates young children’s imaginations on a wide range of things,” said the Gallery’s Education Officer.

The Holiday Art Camp allows children to interact with various children from different families. By interacting and working with a different peer group, children also learn an appreciation of different perspectives. They observe how other kids create different kinds of artwork based on the same instructions.

This helps them to be open to different interpretations, and ideas and that being different do not make you wrong.

Creating great memories and stories that can last lifelong is an added bonus for attending the Art Camp.

Participants in the Holiday Art Camp often work collaboratively to create projects, which teaches them negotiation skills.

They learn to work through creative differences, compromise, and learn that they can collectively create something great. Also, by encouraging communication with new friends and expression of emotions through dramatic dialogue or art creation, participants in the Holiday Art Camp can gain a big confidence boost, which can in turn be beneficial in how they communicate at home, school and with other adults.

Registration fee for the Art Camp for students between the ages of five to 18 years of age is $30 only and all materials are provided for the students with the kind support of La Rue.

The registration fee is also inclusive of refreshments over the five day course and commemorative T-shirts are will also be available for $5.

Registration forms for the April Holiday Art Camp can be downloaded from the Gallery website www.nationalgallery.cozw alternatively, they can be collected from the Gallery reception at number 20 Julius Nyerere Way, Harare.

Primary School Students attend the Art Camp from 9am to 1pm daily, while High School Students attend from 9am to 3pm daily.

As the National Gallery of Zimbabwe celebrates its 60th Anniversary, join us for the April Holiday Art Camp for a fun, interactive, creative and artistic way to spend holiday time.

Participants will receive prizes in their various age groups at the end of the camp.

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