Staff writer Eunice Nisbett

Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 13, 2012 (SKNIS):  The CXC Visual Arts Exhibition mounted at Port Zante has become one of the main attractions for tourists who happen across the brightly coloured banners strategically placed to draw persons to view the artwork.

The exhibition which was officially opened on Monday March 12, features the best in Art Work submitted for CXC examinations from the 16 member territories.

The event which is in its 9th year of existence came about as a result of inconsistency in the standard of artwork being produced by students as a result of gray areas in terms of what  required by examiners.

A view of one of the two rooms at Port Zante where the visual art exhibition is mounted.

Head of the Visual Arts Department at Washington Archibald High School Mr. Arthur Blanchette explained that the pieces on show are just a sampling of the region’s best which have all been uploaded to a website for viewing by art students. He said this was being done with a view to stimulating and challenging students to do their best work and to explore new frontiers to be conquered.

Assistant Registrar at CXC Mr. Cleveland Sam in an address to attendees of the opening ceremony, said the Council continues to promote and advocate visual arts as an area of significant entrepreneurial opportunities. Commenting on the recently revised visual art syllabus for the Region, he explained that the subject like others, encompasses the three domains of learning: cognitive, effective and psycho-motor and as such should be treated as a valid subject of study. Its three components include 2D Expressive Form; 3D Expressive Form as well as the Theory, Practice and the Reflective Journal.

Mr. Sam emphasized that it is important to highlight these important aspects of the syllabus as many detractors of the visual arts dismiss it as just another thing to fill a free period. “As a Region, we have long moved beyond that misguided perception of education and as our society has become more sophisticated and developed an appreciation of the finer things of life, our concept of art and art education will change,” CXC’s Assistant Registrar noted.

The exhibition is a collaborative venture between the Ministry of Education and Information and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).

Minister of Education Hon. Nigel Carty cuts the ribbon to declare the visual art exhibition

Minister responsible for Education Hon. Nigel Carty declared the exhibition open and expressed that whereas the Federation had performed outstandingly in other subject areas, there is room for improvement in the Visual Arts. As such, Minister Carty expressed his pleasure at having CXC chose St. Kitts as host country for the exhibition to give students here the necessary exposure.

Drawings, paintings, ceramics, graphic design, imaginative composition, 2 and 3 dimensional design, print making, leather craft, fiber art and clothing design are among categories on display at Port Zante.

Minister Carty said although he believed that art for its aesthetic appeal was welcomed, he was more interested in art education for a sustainable future and for the advancement of the tourism industry.

Commenting on the role of CXC in the collaborative effort, Minster Carty said CXC was helping to change the dialogue and increase promotion of Visual Arts in the Region.

Special commendation was given to Chairperson of the local Organizing Committee Blondell Franks and her team as well as to the Urban Development Corporation and particularly the Nanda Family which was responsible for the lending the exhibition space.

The Exhibition is open to the general public between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm daily until Friday, March 16.