The intersection of Gold and Barry streets in central Kingston came alive yesterday with an exhibition of art and craft showcasing the creativity and talent of children and at-risk youths in the communities in Parade Gardens.
The exhibition, which was a celebration of the Art on the Street programme run by the MultiCare Youth Foundation, exhibited the works of participants, some as young as six years old.
The featured works included tie-dye, collage, printing, painting, ceramic jewellery, papier m‚chÈ, pottery, screen-printing and macrame.
Alicia Glasgow Gentles, executive director of the MultiCare Youth Foundation, told The Sunday Gleaner that the exhibition was being staged in the community’s workspace.
“The programme was conceived to engage vulnerable at-risk youth in positive social activities, encourage creativity, and provide opportunities for them to achieve and shine while building confidence and self-esteem.
“The programme has on register more than 100 persons, with a steady 30 to 40 participants on Saturdays,” said Glasgow Gentles.
Some of the participants were eager to show off their work to The Sunday Gleaner, and among them were nine-year-old Renardo Shirley and eight-year-old Kimani Grant, who did papier mache.
Under the programme, children are provided with lunch on Saturdays, and are tutored by experts in the various fields, who are part of a team of volunteers giving back to the society.
Among the volunteers is visual arts coordinator Stanford Watson, who emphasised that there is more than notional evidence that the engagement of art contributes significantly to the holistic development of young people in a positive way.
Chairman of the MultiCare Foundation, Joseph M. Matalon, said the ICD groups of companies is the biggest contributor to the foundation, and this is done for a worthy cause.
“This is a celebration of the children and young people, and the community gets a chance to see what they do and celebrate their achievements. Today, we celebrate them.
“It’s programmes like these that help to develop the communities and foster life skills that can benefit them and their communities,” said Matalon who, along with his daughter, was on hand to view the displays.