Art & Culture – Celebrating Youth Creativity

By Lisa Howie, Director, Bermuda National Gallery

Each December we celebrate the creativity of our youth in a month long student art exhibition. This year’s theme, Memories of the Present, takes inspiration from the 2016 Bermuda Biennial, a contemporary exhibition on the same theme. The Bermuda Biennial was on display from June to November, and was visited by hundreds of students who explored the diverse ways in which artists expressed their ideas in sculpture, photography, mixed media and more.

Of the students’ reactions to the contemporary show, BNG Education Officer, Ms. Dany Pen said: “Students were super excited when they visited the gallery. Upon walking into the space the first thing they noticed was Andrea Sundt’s sculptural installation that hovered above their heads. The artwork immediately captured their full attention and imagination. Students were captivated by the artwork’s size, form, and material. The 2016 Bermuda Biennial exhibition inspired students to explore contemporary art and experience the endless possibilities of what Art can be.” Andrea’s artwork is on page 45.

For the annual competition, students are asked to consider (but are not limited to) specific questions drawn from the school curriculum.  In previous years, the questions have tied into science, mathematics or language arts.  This year, however, we decided to stay with elements of art making, such as colour, line, value, proportions, perspective, etc.   By directly referencing the art curriculum, we sought to enforce the learning taking place in art class and challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills.

When you come to visit the exhibition, you will also find supporting paragraphs, poems or short stories that accompany each artwork.  We encourage students to reflect on their visual piece using words and to produce a version of the artist statement that will accompany their artwork when they get older.  Each submission is exhibited and each participant receives a certificate of achievement. We hope that students will feel proud of their artwork and will value the exhibition experience.

Creative thinking is the hallmark of all successful entrepreneurs and leaders, and we believe that it is critical that our students are given as much access as possible to opportunities for independent, free, creative expression.  While we hammer students into examination modes of thinking, it is equally necessary that we set them free to play and evolve in their own ways. Bermuda National Gallery’s Annual Student Art Competition provides a platform to celebrate youth creativity.

Visitors to the Island can also explore some of the permanent collection in The Ondaatje Wing and the Watlington Room. Here, one can enjoy artwork from various regions and time periods, styles and mediums. I look forward to seeing you soon at the BNG.

For more information: http://www.bng.bm or call (441) 295-9428.

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