A nice way to conclude the art workshops in Tarrafal
I not only had promised to come back but also to organise an exhibition of their works ... and I could do it.
I met Adildo in a cafe and told him I was looking for a space to organise an exhibition. He directly offered us the Cultural centre and his staff to help me mount the exhibition.
The children were so glad when I told them about this opportunity.
Every time I would arrive with my dinghy at the beach, they would run towards me asking "Tia, Tia, when will be the feast? Will you bring chocolate cake? And juices?"
It took a few days to know when the exhibition could take place. But it was worth it as instead of one day I could use the space three days.
I brought all the painted cardboards and laid them against the walls. I felt proud of my students. Each work shone on the walls.
Painting on cardboard made it quite straightforward to mount the exhibit: they were stitched on little wooden laths.
Adildo was surprised of the quality when he saw the final result. All children were excited at the opening, and thrilled with the chocolate cake, cookies and fruit juices. The municipality offered tasteful fish bites.
Adildo made a bit official what gave an extra feeling of proud to the kids.
We also continued painting during the exhibition. Looking at them I was amazed at how they were now very focused on their art, what a difference with the first time when they would end up fighting with the paint. This was a nice reward for me, not that I needed one, but it did fill me with joy.
It was moving to see how proud each child was of her of his artwork when I took a picture with their painting.
A little incident made me realise how glad they were that their works were exposed. As I was talking with a visitor I didn't pay attention to the group of children. When I turned me to look at them, I saw they were literally gluing their new works on the walls. I was afraid the glue would damage the walls so had to take them all off the walls. At the same time I realised they wanted to continue to show their work, which I found fantastic. It was an exhibit in the exhibit, an exhibit that continued to grow. I explained them why I had to take them off the walls but offered them an alternative : to tape them on the walls instead. The result was the same, they could further exhibit their works. I loved this dynamics.
I was touched by Amelindo's enthusiasm when he came to visit the exhibition with the young people of Projeto Educarte. He thanked me for the idea and example, he insisted on how much this experience was helping the children to build a stronger self-esteem. Also he realised it was important to exhibit the work, and easy to organise. In the future, they would follow my example. I was glad to inspire the locals and bring something good to the community.
To thank us, Amelindo played music.
The television also came to film the exhibit and interviewed me and the children. They were so much looking forward to the interview that when they didn't see me arrive at the beach they came to fetch me on my boat, worried I had forgotten it.
And my last surprise was the day of the dismounting of the exhibit. I had slept bad because Giulia had been rolling a lot the previous night, and arrived later. Adildo wasn't there but all the children were. At 8:30 am! And they had already done all the work.
I think Adildo was also surprised when I told him that. For me it was a rewarding way to finish these art workshops. The children had been engaged and took responsibility to the end, sign of maturity.
A wonderful experience with a dream team!