Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw (centre), poses in front of one of the murals at Grantley Adams Memorial School with artist Kwame Hunte (right) and Head Boy Kristian Riley.​ Three other artists, Sherry Nicholls, Don Small and Nikolai Charles also painted murals at the school. (A.Husbands/BGIS)

Government plans to use the arts as vehicles for social and economic development.

Speaking at a presentation ceremony this morning at the Grantley Adams Memorial Secondary School for the first set of murals to be unveiled at a number of schools during Education Month, Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, said artists were innovators as well as problems solvers.

Four local artists, Kwami Hunte, Sherry Nicholls, Don Small and Nikolai Charles, presented their work to the Minister and the school during the ceremony.

“When the Ministry was approached by one of these artists, Mr. Kwami Hunte, with a proposal to give back to our nation’s youth through the painting of murals on our schools, there was an immediate marriage with our vision at the Ministry to convey positive and powerful messages to our students and our communities, through the use of murals. Having Harris Paints agree to come on board could easily be described as the icing on the cake and we remain deeply appreciative of their commitment and partnership with us in this venture,” said Ms. Bradshaw.

She further added that Government, through the Ministry of Education was committed to providing opportunities and the infrastructure for the arts to be developed in schools and among the youth, “so that they may be seen as viable vehicles for social and economic development”.

“This morning, it brings me great pleasure, therefore, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, to officially present these four murals to the Grantley Adams Memorial School…. I trust that you the students of this school have already begun to discuss their meaning and perhaps are already identifying with their positive messages.

“I encourage all students of Grantley Adams Memorial School, to continue to enjoy the murals, to treat them with respect, love and care and to own them as an important part of your environment. They belong to you. It is important that we all appreciate the time, effort and resources that went into creating these powerful symbols for our enjoyment and we at the Ministry believe wholeheartedly that we can entrust them to your safekeeping,” Ms. Bradshaw surmised.

She encouraged students to use their artistic talents and creative abilities to spread positive messages like the ones depicted in the murals “as we hope to see you designing and creating future murals for your school”.

melissa.rollock@barbados.gov.bb

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