There is some significance in the fact that the Visual Arts Exhibition showcasing the work of secondary students is taking place at the Old Spirit Bond, a stone???s throw away from where Government is laying in Parliament the Cultural Industries Development Bill.???

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Harry Husbands, made this comment today, as he officially opened the four-day exhibition in the old warehouse facility that forms part of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison.

The exhibition is one of the activities being held to mark Education Month 2013.

Acknowledging that it was ???some strange fate??? that both of these activities were occurring at the same time in the City of Bridgetown, Senator Husbands stressed that the Cultural Industries Development Act would transform the cultural industries, including Arts and Craft.

???It is aimed at transforming the cultural industries in Barbados and taking it just from a vocation to an actual industry. The Bill proposes that there will be serious concessions of a tax nature to people involved in the cultural industries, whether it be music, art or craft or visual arts ??? to acquire equipment and whether it be in the case here [at the exhibition] materials in the form of paints and whatever else is required,??? he said.

He also noted that it would play an important part in transforming our cottage industries ???to the level of internationally accepted contributions as serious forms of employment???.

While stating that students should not only view their work ???as eye-catching or important in satisfying examination requirements???, the Parliamentary Secretary said, ???this is an opportunity to fashion a life-long career out of the skills that they have acquired???.

Senator Husbands, a former teacher, also recounted there were times when art and music were not recognised as potential careers and said the new legislation would offer great opportunities for children who were skilled in these areas.

Deputy Chief Education Officer, David Clement, who also echoed similar sentiments, noted that the Visual Arts Exhibition gave some credence to how education was being delivered across the island.

He said: ???We [the Ministry] deliver education along the learning styles and multiple intelligences, since we know that everybody cannot learn just by reading, writing and in the old traditional forms.???

Adding that an examination of the pieces on display highlighted not only ???the beauty that hits the eye???, he said it also showed the comprehension that had gone into the pieces, as well as the symmetry and precision, which, seen through the lines in some pictures, showed the students??? mathematical skills.

???So that as children prepare these pieces they are not just doing art – drawing a picture – but they are into developing and honing many other skills,??? he stressed.

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