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Headlines   Bank of Valletta Joseph Calleja
‘Growing through Art’ programme launched
Published on: 29 Jul 2015
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On Wednesday evening, an art exhibition entitled ‘Art through the Eyes and Soul of the Child’ was inaugurated at St Patrick’s Salesian School by the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation. The exhibition was officially inaugurated by Mr Roderick Chalmers, Chairman of the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation who was accompanied by Tenor Joseph Calleja, Father Jesmond Apap, Vice-Rector at St Patrick’s and Ms Daniela Guevska, the curator and artist who coached the group of seven boys who participated in the arts programme which was specifically designed around their needs.

In his address, a visibly beaming Joseph Calleja said, “I am very excited to be here today with these exceptionally talented boys. I had the opportunity to meet them earlier on this week when the exhibition was being set up. I was overwhelmed not only by the quality and imagination of their work, but more so, by the sheer excitement and enthusiasm of these children, as they proudly pointed out their works, and explained what it was all about.” He went on to thank Ms Guevska and the St Patrick’s School administration for their dedication during the term of the training programme. 

Father Jesmond Apap said, “In this artistic world, our youngsters have exercised dominion over the ‘universe’ in which they live. Indeed, these creative art sessions promoted by the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation have been unquestionably meaningful for our children. This creative mode of expression has definitely helped them to feel in control where they sometimes feel helpless, has allowed them to express themselves where words can’t describe the situation, and finally, it has opened their eyes to see that others are journeying with them.”

Spread over ten weeks, these boys were exposed to different techniques and media during the course of the workshops. Their coach Daniela Guevska explains, “The point of these sessions was – and still is - to encourage young people to figure out their niche and interest. I really wish I had more time to work with these young gentlemen.” She went on to say, “All of them have the desire to become artists. Their will and dedication is quite obvious. In fact, most – if not all – have an eye for it, and they’ve worked very hard at it. I am glad to say that I have never had such a calm group. They have good education and structure, and it really shows.” 

Mr Roderick Chalmers briefly explained the Foundation’s role. “The BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation is all about promoting art and culture in its various forms. So far, our focus has been on providing a launching pad to exceptionally talented children and youths who are working hard to build a career in the world of performing arts. Today, we are launching a new pillar of the Foundation – “Growing through Art.” He went on to explain, “Growing through Art is all about mobilising the therapeutic power of art through programmes like this one, where art is used as a means to reach out to children, not necessarily make artists out of them all, but to help them come to terms with emotions and circumstances that they might otherwise find it hard to express.” Speaking on behalf of the other members of the Foundation’s Board and Joseph Calleja, Roderick Chalmers concluded by saying, We are all very excited to launch this new phase of our mission, and are really pleased to do so through this exhibition, which literally pictures what this drive is all about.”

The exhibition ‘Art through the Eyes and Soul of the Child’ is open to the general public at St Patrick’s School from Monday to Sunday between 09.00 and 19.00 hours,  until the 5th August 2015. 

Launched two years ago, the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation has the objectives of supporting talented young persons in realising their full potential in the field of performing arts, and providing assistance to underprivileged children whose situations are not catered for by existing social support programmes.

The BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation is being managed by an independent Board of Trustees and can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] 
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