“To draw, you must close your eyes and sing” ~Pablo Picasso
It was a little after 9:00 am when the kids started to arrive at the museum. The kids were Grade 4 students from two Manila public elementary schools chosen by Museo Pambata for the workshop. They entered the hall in a straight line; one group came dressed in their school uniforms while the other group in jeans and t-shirts. There was an air of excitement and anticipation as each participant was given an apron to wear.
As the facilitators from the Philippine Association of Printmakers (PAP) started explaining the printmaking workshop to the kids, I could already feel the room start to buzz with energy and a little apprehension. I have a feeling this was probably their first art workshop.
The first project started a little slow. It took awhile for some of the kids to make their design. I guess they were a little afraid to make mistakes or were afraid that their designs were not good enough. But once they saw their design inked, transferred to paper and water colored, there was no stopping the kids from producing artwork after artwork. All the kids were so focused on their work that the only time they leave their table was when they needed more paper.
By the time the workshop finished at 12:30 pm, we had 4 walls full of artworks made by the kids.
It has been 2 weeks since the workshop and it still makes me smile whenever I remember the look on their faces once they finished their works; how their eyes lighted up when their design was transferred from the acrylic sheet to the paper. I hope one or two of these kids be given the opportunity to pursue arts in the future. I hope I am still around to see their works displayed in galleries and museums. I hope that will continue to have art in their lives.
The Printmaking Workshop by the PAP is the educational component of the exhibition, Ukiyo: Art and Tradition held last July 17 to August 4, 2013 at the Karapatan Hall of the Museo Pambata. The exhibition was presented by the Japan Foundation, Manila in cooperation with Museo Pambata, Philippine Association of Printmakers and the Embassy of Japan. The exhibition and workshop was part of the celebration of the Philippines – Japan Friendship Month and the 40th Year of ASEAN – Japan Friendship and Cooperation.