Art Appreciation – Barbados Today

Culture and Arts for Love and Life (CALL) Director Andrea King wants government and stakeholders to do more to expose children in schools to the benefits and importance of industries creative.

The NGO leader suggested that developing an appreciation of the sector from primary school level, through the inclusion of crafts in the curriculum, would ensure continued interest and market for local crafts. especially.

King, who spoke to Barbados TODAY insisted that cultivating a natural interest in the sector can only be accomplished if children are provided with the foundation on which they can build an appreciation for the work of creative artists.

She said this could not be done through occasional workshops throughout the year, but through a holistic approach rooted in an appreciation for art and an understanding that the industry is lucrative. .

“It serves two main purposes. Firstly, the innate talent is trained and honed from the very beginning, which could ensure professional finish in handicraft products; and second, students who are not interested in crafts will appreciate the artistry associated with crafts,” King said.

“This education would also include why it is important to support local production, as well as the cultural and spiritual significance of craftsmanship, so that future adult students and consumers have a deeper appreciation for the product.”

King, the first-ever director of Barbados’ Cultural Industries Development Authority, also spoke about Bridgetown Market’s absence from the Crop Over calendar when the festival resumed this year after a two-year hiatus forced by the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.

She said while local artists may have benefited from sales at the three National Cultural Foundation (NCF) arts and crafts pop-ups held during the season, not having the hugely popular Bridgetown Market, which had been a staple of the summer festival, was clearly felt by the artists.

“Bridgetown Market is where people usually go to buy handicrafts [and] since we hadn’t had it for two years, it really left a void,” she said.

“This year, joining the Barbados Vendors Association to create a large marketplace might have been a better approach to attracting a large audience.”

When asked if the absence of a National Art Gallery still hindered efforts to advance the creative industry, King pointed out that while the gallery was indeed needed as a primary space for displaying local works, the support to the sector, from below, was a higher priority at this stage.

“Successive culture ministers have worked on the National Art Gallery, but there have always been challenges. I think the government is going to do what it can do and action has been taken. A location has been identified and, of course, the challenge is always the money to make the gallery a gallery that satisfies everyone.

“In the meantime, artists can do what they can do. The government will do what it can do with the resources it has,” she said.

Regarding the elevation of artists from spoken word to national mainstream entertainment, King, who is also the producer of the Bridgetown International Festival of the Arts, said that these artists have made impressive strides on the world stage in recent years. .

She said the country could benefit from it.

“Given the level of interest that young local artists have generated on the international stage, we should not only encourage our artists to tour, but also bring international creatives here to share their skills and experiences”, a- she suggested.

“We have a responsibility to disseminate our way of speaking, taking into account the issues, themes and subjects we are talking about. The Bridgetown International Arts Festival exists so that international performing artists, including those who make spoken word, can come to Barbados and share our stage.

“So CALL sends people to perform on international stages, and we invite people across the festival to share our stage,” King added.

In 2019, CALL – which is dedicated to business development, collaborative working, trade, business-to-business opportunities and South-South cooperation, with a view to advancing the creative and cultural industries in Barbados and the Global South – facilitated the participation of four young spoken word artists. in the Vrystaat Arts Festival in South Africa.

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