As the Indigenous Heritage Month activities continue, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs is inviting members of the public to visit its annual art exhibition at Castellani House to experience aspects of Indigenous life through art.
The exhibition, which was officially declared open on Wednesday by Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Sydney Allicock, features the work of veteran Indigenous artists like George Simon as well as up and coming artists like Nigel Butler, among others.
Speaking at the simple opening ceremony, Allicock applauded the artists who travelled to the city to participate in the exhibition.
He further noted that while there have been individuals and institutions who would have been able to contribute to the development of art over the years, such channels of development went almost unnoticed. Thus, the Minister stated that more should be done to for the promotion of culture and arts in Guyana.
“The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs is doing its bit in promoting indigenous languages, culture and artistic talent; the Ministry of Education is also doing its part for the promotion of our national art and culture…but more must be done to lift the equality of art and to take care of our artists,” the Minister said.
“As parents, we can help by encouraging our children to fall in love with art, to explore their inner being and their outer being through the involvement of fine art,” he added.
Alluding to the exhibition itself, Allicock urged the attendees to see the event as one where persons are welcomed to bond with each other through the expressions of art of the Indigenous Peoples.
“At this time, our Indigenous brothers and sisters, the artists, have a great opportunity to showcase themselves, showcase their talents, so that we can be part of the bigger society in making life more meaningful for all Guyanese and friends who likewise think in the same direction,” Allicock said.
Meanwhile, coordinator of the event and participating artist Anil Roberts stated that the artists were drawn from the 10 administrative regions of the country.
Other artists included in the exhibition are George Stan Credo, Oswald Hussein, Guy Fredericks, Guy Marco, Victor Captain and Ronald Taylor.
Additionally, the exhibition also features the work of Indigenous children who participated in a recent project that was conducted by the Rights of the Child Commission (RCC) in collaboration with UNICEF.
This project saw the two organisations working with Indigenous communities across Guyana propagating, articulating and promoting the rights and interests of children resident in those communities.
Described as “expressions workshops,” the project was said to have been premised on Article 12 of the Rights of the Child Convention, which speaks to a child’s right to freely express his/her self, and saw students in the hinterland communities expresses themselves through art.
The exhibition will be open to the public Monday through Friday and will run until the end of the month.