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Art students’ murals to promote heritage sites

Art students’ murals to promote heritage sites

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Community College Fine Arts, Design and Cultural Communications Associate Degree Program, and the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture are collaborating to creatively promote this country’s national heritage sites.{{more}}

As part of a group Mural Arts Elective course, the project is being undertaken by the Art and Design students and graduates of SVG Community College, their fifth mural exterior wall painting since 2010.

With the design stage now complete, on-site painting will begin in September 2012.

Artist and college lecturer Vonnie Roudette considers such projects as important for the youths, not only to learn new design and technical skills, but also to teach them how to work together productively for the development of their communities and the nation.

Roudette says “We cannot be said to be educating our children unless we teach them to work together and said youths today need a different set of skills than those taught by the education system of the 20th century.

Productive creativity, community action and environmental sustainability are the nation builders of the 21st century, not only in the Caribbean but world-wide.”

Roudette said that facilitating creative learning experiences that teach group cooperation is very challenging, because youths are socialized to be “individualistic, competitive and formulaic in approach.”

She has designed the FADCC Associate degree program, to foster young people’s connection to their heritage and environment, as well as their sense of social responsibility, whilst offering multiple skills for livelihoods in various fields of creative entrepreneurship.

The current mural project began with visits to seven natural heritage sites. “The majority of our youths have not visited these sites and it was essential for the artists to experience the magnetic beauty for themselves, as well as record through drawing.” The youths were amazed at the diverse beauty of their islands and all stated they now have a new sense of pride and connection with where they live.

“All subjects can be taught through nature and ecology, as well as personal development, improved communication skills and a love of country,” as she referred to critical thinker George Lamming’s statement that patriotism is based on a “spiritual connection with the landscape,” Roudette said.

“As teaching and learning has been increasingly associated with indoor settings, nature connection as potential for teaching and learning is being overlooked, as are the different learning styles of children. The objective of our program is to empower young people to contribute to their communities through a deep connection with their island culture and environment,” she observed.

Roudette is the mother of internationally acclaimed Vincentian musician Marlon Roudette, who promotes SVG through his performances and music videos in over 30 nations to an audience of millions. Marlon’s love of his homeland was cultivated through his nature-based childhood experiences, she said.

“We explored every corner of the island, made community documentaries together; as a youth he roamed and played in the rivers, beaches and villages of SVG. These are unforgettable experiences that effectively educate a young person and cultivate a positive connection with their community origins that is their primary reference for life. All Vincentian children should be introduced to the nature of their islands.”

The Fine Art, Design and Cultural Communications program at SVG Community College offers such experiences in an educational framework and is producing a cadre of young professionals to practice in various areas of art and design: graphic design, fine arts, illustration, sculpture, cultural documentation, film and photography and creative entrepreneurship.

We will follow the development of these young artists as they make a national contribution through creative collaboration.

For application information for SVG CC Associate Degree Programs visit www.svgcc.vc

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