Friday, February 23, 2018

Tobago teen artists shine

THA calendar competition


January: "The Sea War" by Hakeem Charles, 17, from Speyside High School. "The Sea War" replicates the war between the Dutch and French off Tobago's Rockley Bay in 1677. The cannon, the focal element, is a grim reminder of fierce battles between the French invaders and the Dutch, who colonised Tobago from 1628 to 1678. It was the most dangerous weapon used at the time.

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June: "Bongo" by Onica Roberts, 17, from Scarborough Secondary School. Bongo is Tobago's traditional dance of African influence. The piece shows one dancer performing with outstretched arms and kicking. The dance is usually done to a "tack-tata-tack-tack" rhythm of bamboo being stuck. Dancers drop one foot behind the other and kick quickly. —Photos courtesy THA Information Department

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THE creativity of children from secondary schools across Tobago is on display in the 2013 calendar of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

Out of 50 entrants, the grand prize winner and 12 finalists and the winning school were given prizes totalling more than $30,000.

Organised by the Department of Information in the Office of the Chief Secretary, secondary schools across Tobago were allowed to submit multiple art entries, with one entry allowed per pupil.

Artwork was submitted in ink, oil paint on canvas, charcoal, digital media and pastel, and flat leatherwork, among other mediums.

Grand prize winner Nedra Waldron received $3,000 for her pastel artwork titled "Dawn", the folklore character La Diablesse, during the prize-giving ceremony held in the Atrium of Gulf City Lowlands Mall recently.

The remaining young finalists received cheques for $1,500 each. All prizes were in the form of Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) accounts.

Scarborough Secondary School was the winning school, with seven of the winning entries, and received a prize of $10,000.

The Unit Trust sponsored an account of $500 to Jabari Duke of Scarborough Secondary School for his work "Old Time Wooden House". The artwork is also being used for the Office of the Chief Administrator's 2012 Christmas card.

The judging was a blind process with the names of schools and entrants not revealed until the ceremony.

Waldron's piece was chosen to be

the cover of the Office of the Chief Secretary's 2013 calendar. Other selected artwork was also chosen to be published in the calendar with the aim of bringing attention and exposure to youth art.

Chief Secretary Orville London said, "It is important for young people to express themselves and if this project can help them do that while showing off Tobago talent, then it is worth it."

Calendar pieces included a depiction of the sea battle between the Dutch and French off Tobago's Rockley Bay in 1677 by Speyside High School pupil Hakeem Charles and the Coral Reef by Scarborough Secondary School pupil Aleena Murray.

The UTC partnered with the THA to provide the prizes in units as one way of encouraging youth to invest in their future.