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Learn how to be creative – advises visual artist

Learn how to be creative – advises visual artist


Part Two of the SVG National Youth Lecture Series 2012 (NYLS 2012), “Youth in Arts & Culture: The Age of Self Expression”, was held on July 26 at the Peace Memorial Hall.{{more}}

The featured speaker was young, local, visual artist and video producer Akley Olton.

Olton did a fine job in setting the tone for what turned out to be an exciting forum — where many gaps between stalwarts and young visionaries in the local artistic movement were truly bridged, organisers say.

“It initially seemed almost clichéd as Olton demanded of his audience, ‘Can we say what Vincentian culture really is? Can we say that Vincentians understand what their culture is?’” the NYLS 2012 said in a release.

“Can we see examples of a Vincentian people united around a love of this defined culture and an appreciation for its value and power?” Olton further asked.

Olton said in response: “No … We have no real example of a well defined cultural product to which we can point.”

Olton served dual roles in his short but enthralling presentation: as proxy for the voices of many local artists, and an encouragement to young artists still feeling their way through unconventional creative fields,” the release further stated.

As he called for local education officials to “include the arts in the mandates of local [educational] institutions,” Olton also said, “Our people must understand, how to express themselves. They must learn how to be creative”.

Moderator Anthony Theobalds, director of culture at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, gave personal insight into several modern historical and contemporary developments in the local artistic movement.

“You do not paint just to splash colours on a canvas … your audience would feel that you are fake,” he said.

Panellists Shane Scott, co-director of the SVG Mass Choir, in sharing his experience in becoming an artistic director, spoke of the importance of remaining true to one’s calling and taking full advantage of personal gifts and talents.

Scott, much to the delight of the audience, also called for the local Christian community to better incorporate the arts into their local ministries.

Young musician and Curriculum Development Officer within the Ministry of Education Marla Nanton also shared from her experience, re-emphasizing the challenges associated with making the various forms of artistry viable within local vocations.

The forum, last week Thursday, was a resounding success, organisers say.

There were contributions from youths and veterans, as well as cross-disciplinary contributions from youths in business and history.

“This rich variation in ideas — all converging on the central theme — formed the essence of a most-remarkable forum,” the release said.

The forum was expected to focus on “Youth in Media: The Facebook Generation”, with Hawkins Nanton as featured speaker.