The fair was launched during a short ceremony at the Carrefour de Arts on Wednesday morning. Present was Zambian Deputy Minister for Arts and Culture Esther Banda with her delegation, principal secretary for culture Benjamine Rose, principal secretary for youth Alain Volcère, among other distinguished guests and artists.
According to the National Arts Council (Nac) the aim of this two-day Arts fair which ends today is to provide opportunities for artists to exhibit their artworks, encourage original artistic expressions in Seychelles, support visual arts artists and promote the arts as effective educational tools. This year’s fair is concentrating on visual arts such as paintings and sculptures from collections of work from all ages, from kids probably aspiring to be future artists, from the youth, visual arts students, semi-professionals and professional artists.
Artists as well as members of the general public who are interested in the arts can benefit from sharing ideas and be able to interact with one another from this fair which was initiated two years ago after Nac officials visited various artists at their homes, galleries or wherever they function.
The National Cultural Centre car park has been transformed into a big fair area giving a feeling of an open-air visual art gallery with the crowd buzzing in the rows of exhibits. These are found inside the Carrefour des Arts as well as in the National Library gallery. There are also exhibits from children who attended the holiday arts workshop which started earlier this week in the Sculpture Garden next to the Nac building. Aside from the showcase there are CDs, paintings, sculptures, prints and books which can be purchased by the public.
During the launch, two poets – Helda Marie and Edwin Henriette – each read out a poem to the crowd.
In her opening speech PS Rose said “in the moment where our President is encouraging all Seychellois to empower themselves, to create wealth for their families and prosperity of Seychelles, this is an important time for the artists to grab this opportunity and use the facilities at their disposal to contribute effectively to the Seychelles economy.”
She added that artists make the world a better place as she quoted the beautiful words of Marc Chagall: “Arts must be an expression of love or it’s nothing”.
Nac chief executive Jimmy Savy said “artists now need to unite, join their interest group and focus on things that will bring more development to the creative industry”.
“We have here some marvelous and good quality works of art, artwork of different styles using various medium,” he added
Mr Savy availed of the occasion to announce the first music fair coined by Semufa in collaboration with T.G.V. Music which might kick off in the fourth quarter of this year.
“The Nac has come up with a number of other projects and the fact that we know what we want, we stayed focus to our objectives. The number of activities Nac has achieved over the three years is amazing. We do not make noise but the results of our work are there for everyone to see,” said Mr Savy.
After the ceremony, the guests and general public had the opportunity to view the artworks and interact with the artists.