“Art is beautiful and sometimes hard to understand”. This and other thoughts are shared by some of the over 500 students of the Agrupamento de Escolas do Cerco that participated in the initiative themed “Descobrir com a arte e natureza. Labirinto de ideias” [“Discovering with art and nature. Maze of ideas”, free translation]. Artwork made by 1st to 4th graders of that school were on display at the Casa de São Roque, in the space Cubo Branco.
The drawings and the collages are displayed, on purpose, to convey the idea of a maze. All the sheets that cover the walls in the space Cubo Branco, at the Casa de São Roque, represent the ideas and thoughts of the children that visited the space.
And what they saw were the exhibitions on display at the casa de São Roque, namely the displays “Footnote 14: Angel of History” and “Inventória”, as well as all the architecture of the house of the Ramos Pinto family. The children also had the opportunity to visit the famous maze of the Parque de São Roque. This is the follow-up of the activities carried out in the school background initiatives that encompass a musicological regard.
“It was really gratifying to see all the work developed in the past months and which resulted in this exhibition”, explained Rita Ferreira, project monitor, adding that “it was interesting to see the combination of art and education, and start promoting, at this young age, artistic culture. To show that art and that it is everywhere is important. We must start cultivating and motivating [for culture] at an early age. Every day they can evolve at cultural, creative and social levels”, shares the student of visual arts at the Higher School of Education (ESE).
The Educational Programme of the Casa de São Roque, which relied on the support by ESE and the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto, opened doors to parents and relatives of the children during the weekend. “It is a good thing to see the students bringing their parents for the guided tour”, enhances Rita Ferreira, “we can tell they have learned and have enjoyed the experience and want to share their knowledge”.
In turn, the coordinator and curator of the Casa de São Roque, Monique Bernardine, affirms that the goal of the project was to ‘break the ice’ that exists as regards the “difficulty that exists for the youngest ones to appreciate art, in an old setting that still keeps much of the materiality of its owners”. “To make them learn more about that space that today accommodates a contemporary art centre and see the interesting reception by the children themselves was the accomplishment of the original idea”, furthered Monique Bernardine.
The President of the Casa de São Roque stated that “it is quite satisfying” to see the result “of such important work that engaged the youth at the Agrupamento do Cerco”. “It was extremely motivating to see them here with their families and to realise the impact of such initiative as regards creativity and the future of this youth and their families”, affirmed Pedro Álvares Ribeiro.