MENTORING BY THE MASTERS PROGRAMME KEEPS COPPER ARTS ALIVE
Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, along with Ingrid Ryan-Ruben, Director of Culture with the crowns presented to them by the mentees of the Mentoring by the Masters Programme 2016
The Culture Division of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts is fueling the local revitalization of copper works and the art of reposḗe through the fourth installment of the Mentoring by the Masters Programme. According to Glendon Morris, prominent copper artist and one of the mentors of the programme, this was the “beginning of the revitalization of copper arts by teaching the younger ones the art form that has become indigenous to Trinidad and is dying”.
The first showcase of the 2016 edition of the programme commenced with a Copper Arts Exposition at Queen’s Hall on August 12-13. The two-day event highlighted the talent and creativity of fifteen mentees between the ages of 12 to 67 years old from the Copper Arts Workshop. On display were several multi-dimensional pieces, plaques, jewellery, crowns, souvenirs, Carnival decorative pieces and portrayals of several copper costumes created within a five week period. Participants were mentored by renowned local copper artist, Glendon Morris in copper arts and craft while well-known copper designer, Kenneth Forde who was a guest facilitator throughout the programme, taught the mentees how to work with copper to make jewellery.
At the opening ceremony on August 12, Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, along with Ingrid Ryan-Ruben, Director of Culture and Elize Rostant, Culture Support Specialist toured the various booths and interacted with participants and the tutors.
In her address to participants, Minister Gadsby-Dolly commended the students and tutors for the production of high quality products in such a short time-frame. She affirmed that the outstanding pieces on display were “a celebration of our creativity as a people and speaks to what is possible”. The Minister implored participants to encourage others to be a part of the various programmes offered because “there are programmes that citizens can be involved with that can benefit their lives”. She further stated that it was “an investment by the Government in the people of Trinidad and Tobago”.
The event concluded with the presentation of crowns to the Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and the Director of Culture. These crowns were created by the mentees of the programme.
The group showcases of the Mentoring by the Masters Programme are a precursor to the Award Ceremony which focuses on the mentors, honouring them for their contributions to the development of the creative and cultural sectors locally, regionally and internationally and celebrating their work with mentees during the programme.
About the Copper Arts Workshop of the 4th instalment of the Mentoring by the Maters Programme
The workshop covered several areas including the principals of manipulating copper, using man-made tools, the art of reposḗe, antiquing and preserving copper. There were field trips to several sites with major copper collections such as Cara Suites Hotel and Conference Centre in Point-a-Pierre, the Head Office of Nestle Trinidad in Valsayn, Trinidad Hilton, the Arts Society of Trinidad and Tobago, Kapok Hotel and Ken’s Copper Collection. In addition, participants had to create several pieces of work in copper. Participants were given copper starter kits at the conclusion of the workshop.
Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly (centre) with Director of Culture Ingrid Ryan-Ruben (left), Copper artist Glendon Morris (right) and the mentees of the Copper Arts Workshop at Queen’s Hall
Safiya Amoroso, 12 year old mentee, with one of her copper designsat the Copper Arts Exhibition at Queen’s Hall