During the past year, the Nova Gromada Charity Fund and the Platform for Contemporary Art _PCA initiated a unique program for children and youth of Zhashkiv. Ukrainian artists, collage-makers and sculptors regularly visited the city, introducing contemporary art to its schoolchildren.
All master classes of the "Creative Workshops" were free — participants had only to register in advance. Organizers are pleasantly surprised by fullness of the groups: "Сhildren from all schools of Zhashkiv participated, also there were children from the villages of our district. Each time we had from 15 to 30 participants," — says Valery Kapran, the author and curator of the project.
"Creative workshops" revealed the problems of leisure in small Ukrainian cities. High interest to the classes can be explained by the fact that in regions of our country the choice of children's leisure is poor — there are almost no events or activities in which children could spend their time effectively. Therefore, this private initiative has also become part of the great mission of decentralization of culture in Ukraine: "This is a project of alternative education in the field of culture and art. Knowledge of modern culture is completely absent in the Ukrainian school curriculum, and children do not have information about what today's creative professions are," — co-founder of the Platform for Contemporary Art Ekaterina Taylor adds.
The program started in March 2017 with the master class of the Kiev artist Ekaterina Buchatskaya "Sculpture workshop: space and shape" where children learned the basics of creating sculptures and working with gypsum.
Then almost every month schoolchildren of Zhashkiv had an opportunity to visit a new master class: they’ve combined geographic maps with drawings on Yuriy Solomko workshop, talked about the important things with the help of art and Lesya Khomenko, made collages with the Odessa artist Evgeny Velichev, turned Zhashkiv into the city of their dreams with Daria Koltsova and her way to draw, tried to do land-art with Yegor Antsygin, invented new important city holidays with Lucy Ivanova, learned the expression of black and white paintings with Roman Mikhailov.
"Children see the world differently, in much more interesting way than many adults do, — Yegor Antsygin comments on his master class. — We had more than 20 participants, and each one of them had his own view on the workshop tasks. It seems now that we’ve learnt from children, not as they’ve learnt from us".
During the Zhashkiv celebration day the "Creative Workshops" did 4 master classes for children, curated by Katia Libkind, Yegor Antsigin, Zhenya Samborskiy and Lesya Khomenko. This workshops were even gathered in a special festival — "Art for Children" — witch had a big success among participants.
— "Creative workshops" helped children to try their skills in contemporary art at get an evaluation from experienced artists, — the head of social projects of the Nova Gromada Charity Fund Victor Pogorily concludes. — I’m sure that some of them will use this knowledges to learn the fine arts in future, and, perhaps, someday become professional artists, glorifying our city.
— The visit of young, contemporary artists to Zhashkiv was a fresh breath for schoolchildren, — Victor Pogorily adds, — this communication broadened their horizons, increased their self-esteem. The children knew that there is always somebody who listens to their opinion. Therefore, Nova Gromada will promote cognitive and educational projects in future so that children will never feel like residents of a provincial city.
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