George Charles triumphs at the Arts

Students show visitors some of the projects they have worked on.

The George Charles Secondary school last week held an exhibition of the creative arts and technical skills of their students. The splendid display of work using lots of local raw material opened at the Castries City Hall on Wednesday 6th April with participation from the Bexon Infant School and students from Anse La Raye who were assisted by the George Charles arts department.
Speaking at the opening ceremony last week, Lera Pascal Principal of the learning institution said she was especially honoured to welcome guests this year.
“Because when the school started this exhibition it was just an idea which has blossomed. It was just an idea borne out of the art department and now it has grown into something which is now permanent,” she explained. The first exhibition was held to mark the island’s 30th Independence anniversary in 2009 and since then the school decided to hold similar exhibitions every two years. “George Charles Secondary School is very proud of the work of its students and we are proud to give the public a bird’s eye view into what occurs at the school on a daily basis and also to showcase the extent of the creativity that exists in our students,” Pascal stated. She noted that of late there seemed to be a resurgence of interest in the arts with talk about developing cultural industries and cultural expressions. “So George Charles is blazing the trail as a secondary school, in teaching children how to take advantage of the opportunities that may arise in the cultural industries,” she stated.
One important aspect of the art program at George Charles is that through the cooperation of the open campus of the University of the West Indies here, the art work of the fifth form students will be examined and assessed. Students who meet the set criteria will then be certified by UWI.
Delthia Naitram the Arts teacher at the school indicated that the exhibition was a result of lots of hard work which sometimes saw emotions running high. “But at the end of the day there is a sense of joy and we have to explain to our students that nothing in life comes easy,” she said. Likening their work to that of the fabled Rumpelstiltskin Naitrum explained that “with very little we had to make something, out of which came this (exhibition.). The school also had very little funds to complete their art program, since according to school officials monies originally allocated to them was diverted to assist other schools which were affected by hurricane Tomas. In the end, the school turned to the representative for Castries South East and his constituency group who came to their assistance with an undisclosed sum. “To a large extent that donation assisted us in helping make this exhibition a reality,” Naitram pointed out.
According to her, her department bases their efforts on the philosophy that “no mind should be left behind.” Students she explained who many persons had given up on, she now saw a sense of pride and self worth coming from them and greater interest in school as a result of their involvement in the arts. “We shouldn’t have an education system where we cut certain people out because they do not fit the mold that we have,” Naitram threw out.
Guy Joseph, parliamentary representative for South East Castries, expressed Wednesday that he was quite happy to have contributed to the exhibition. “I am really impressed because of what I see and the potential that lies ahead of those persons and the schools who participated in putting up this exhibition. Let me say that so many times I hear the tourists complain that everything they buy in Saint Lucia is made in China. People want something that is uniquely Saint Lucian . . . I can see all of these products here should be able to be sold before something made in China, Taiwan or Hong Kong. We have to begin to appreciate our own,” Joseph said. He advised of the opening of a shop at the school where art could be sold to tourist.
Last week’s exhibition had a strong emphasis on folk art and the use of old techniques as well as contemporary ideas. Some of the pieces on display were available for sale and the public was also asked to vote for their favourite.
Garnish Mongroo a form four student of the art class who took part in weaving and tie dye said he was excited to see the students’ hard work on display. “I like the fact that the art class is helping me show the public what I am good at,” he told the STAR. His colleague Dennie Anius who did some tie dye, collage and weaving also thought highly of the exhibition. “I think it is great what we have here and I believe I am performing better at school since I got more involved in the arts,” he stated.
The George Charles Secondary School is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Over the years of its existence school officials have been crying out for greater attention to be placed on the arts and sports at the institution which have over the years received the lower end of the academic stock following the common entrance. The exhibition proved where the students’ potential lie and hopefully the institutional and financial support they need will follow.

Share your feedback with us.

Comments are closed.

← Go Back | Lifestyle Back to Top ↑
THE STAR Newspaper
Magazines available in THE STAR Newspaper
2nite Magazine
Sports & Health Inc

Lifestyle & Archives