Abu Dhabi: Some of the school pupils who won a national-level inter-school painting competition were thrilled to receive the first payment for their works, offered by art lovers.
“I am excited to get a price for my painting,” said Amal Prashand, 13, an eighth grader in Our Own English High School in Abu Dhabi, who sold his painting on children’s rights for Dh200.
He was one among the 20 children whose prize-winning paintings were displayed at a ceremony at the Indian Embassy on Thursday evening. The embassy facilitated selling the paintings to encourage the young artists.
About 450 pupils from schools across the UAE had participated in the competition conducted by the embassy in November last year, and winners were awarded on Thursday evening. Namrata S Kumar, the deputy head of the mission at the embassy, distributed the prizes. She said it was nice to see that children are giving importance to arts along with the academics. Apart from excelling in academics, it is also important to be beautiful human beings [by involving in art etc], Kumar said.
Reema Asnani, artist and art teacher at Dubai International Art Centre, who was one of the judges of the competition, said every painting of the children had a story to tell.
Nandita Vinod, 13, an eighth grader at Our Own English High School in Sharjah , won the first prize in grade 8 to 10 category. On the given subject of ‘Indian festival’ she tried to depict the diversity and communal harmony in the country. Dreaming to be a neurosurgeon in future, she believes her artistic passion will support her profession. “Art gives peace and relaxation in life that will help me to achieve my goal,” Vinod said.
The Australian School in Abu Dhabi, the only non- Indian school that participated in the competition, won two prizes. Amna Al Mansouri, 16, won the second prize in grade 10 to 12 category on the subject ‘climate change’. She portrayed the earth as a teapot surrounded by the smoke [green house gas emissions] that destroys the planet. “I won a prize in painting the first time and I am equally excited that I have sold my painting for Dh 500.”
Anuja Chakravarty, Second Secretary (Culture), at the Indian Embassy, said she was happy that some of the children had the fortune to sell their works. But the response from the audience [to buy children’s works] was not as expected, that’s why all works were not sold out, she said.
Kevin Jacob, a fourth grader at Asian Private School in Ruwais, was delighted that his painting on pet was sold for Dh500. His mother Nisha Jacob said she was proud of her son and did not have words to express the excitement because his first time prize in painting won the cash reward also.
Aiswarya Sidharthan, 17, a 12th grader at Sunrise English Private School in Abu Dhabi, was happy that her work was purchased by her school principal. “I will put the painting on school notice board to encourage the artistic talent of my student,” said Rajendran, the principal.