Abu Dhabi: Hundreds of images of the UAE’s founding father created by Abu Dhabi students are on display at an exhibition being held in the capital under the theme, Zayed: The Story of a Nation.
The two-week exhibition has been organised by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT), in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) at the Manarat Al Saadiyat.
“The aim of the exhibition is to foster and nurture creativity. Each year, the DCT picks a theme, and thousands of schoolchildren submit their pieces for the annual exhibition. Year-on-year, we have seen the enthusiasm grow,” said Rania Nasser, director of education and outreach at the DCT.
This year quite obviously, the theme of the exhibition is UAE’s founding father Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in keeping with the Year of Zayed. A large number of oil-on-canvas paintings are on display at the exhibition, along with hundreds of his pictures of Shaikh Zayed. Milling around the displays were their young creators, who were delighted to be part of the prestigious exhibition.
“Our leader is so inspiring, and I believe his ideals should be a part of our being. To represent this, I chose to paint him using only my fingerprints in the colours of the UAE flag,” said Farah Al Shemairi, 15, a grade 9 student at Nahel School in Al Ain.
“I like painting a lot, and this is my way to pay tribute to our leader,” said Nahyan Al Muhairi, a Grade 4 Emirati student.
“It’s not just through our art that we want to honour him though. In this Year of Zayed, we also want to help the poor and also learn to excel academically,” said Sultan Al Kaabi, also a Grade 4 Emirati student.
According to Nasser, the artworks and photographs had been created in classrooms or at DCT art centres after the students had visited museums in Al Ain, and the Haj: Memories of a Journey exhibition in the capital.
One section of the exhibit also features artworks by members of the Talent Development Programme, an initiative by the DCT and the Adek in which a select group of Emirati students who excel in the visual and performing arts get focused attention in a bid to hone their skills.