Mihira Brihaspathi Children’s Art Competition 2018 : Art and beauty for holistic lifestyle | Sunday Observer

Mihira Brihaspathi Children’s Art Competition 2018 : Art and beauty for holistic lifestyle

The awards ceremony of the very first Mihira Brihaspathi Children’s Art Competition 2018, will be held at the National Library auditorium on Saturday August 11. The competition is organised jointly by Mihira, the children’s oldest weekly newspaper of the country and Brihaspathi Academy, a school of performing arts in Colombo. The effort is sponsored by Ranpath Paper Pvt. Ltd.

The competition received a huge response, said Mihira Editor, Jagath Hewapanna. By the time the competition closed more than 1,000 entries were received. The competition is held under three age categories; 7 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years and 15 to 18 years. Each winner will receive a Vincent Van Gogh Award, a cash prize of Rs. 25,000 and one year’s subscription of the Mihira newspaper.

The organisers plan the competition to be an annual event. The long time objective is to “inculcate aesthetic values in the younger generations, in order to help them become balanced individuals and holistic citizens. It is also to create awareness among parents, of the importance of aesthetics in holistic living,” said the think tank behind the competition, Harish Walpola, Head, Brihaspathi Academy.

The competition is a prelude to an island wide project of holding art workshops at district level. Participants and winners would be followed up, encouraged and supported to improve their talents through these workshops. Two members of the panel of judges had already consented to support the effort. The workshops would enable participants to have individual attention and instruction from famous artists of the country, he explained.

“In Sri Lanka, there seems to be a dearth of artists among the younger generations. Becoming a good artist developing one’s own skill, needs time, courage, effort and mostly commitment. We are there to help them in this and raise a generation of good artists,” commented Walpola. Brihaspathi Academy supports individuals from different age groups to develop their aesthetic skills, such as, art, music and dance, free of charge.

“We’ve created the space for 10 winners, because we wanted to treat their talents equally,” said Niroon Buddhasiri, Managing Director, Ranpath Paper Pvt. Ltd. who sponsors the event. The organizers selected ‘Vincent Van Gogh Award’ to help participants understand that, “in life there are no failures, to motivate them to look for their identity and to develop skills related to that. Vincent Van Gogh, though society at the time called him a failure, the world later recognized him as the best impressionist,” he commented. Agreeing that the pursuit of aesthetic interests would pave the way for children to develop holistic personalities, “I would like to thank the parents who encouraged their children to participate in the competition. It is a welcome change from parents who discourage every little aesthetic attempt as futile, and push their children only towards academic achievement,” he said.

Buddhasiri spoke of the importance of protecting the art of a country in order to protect its culture. “The identity of any country is based on their culture and history. The day we lose our art and culture, we are no more Sri Lankans,” he said. The company’s belief is that as corporate citizens it is their duty to protect the identity of the country by protecting its culture. That was the reason to support the competition, as part of their corporate responsibility project, he clarified. Involved in paper and printing industries, Ranpath is a group of companies established in 1998.

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