Students the Hope of Art Future

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK AT present some 300 student art works are being displayed as part of the Annual Students’ Art Exhibition of the Product Development Diploma in Applied Arts of the College of the Arts. The exhibition was officially opened on Monday evening and will run until 31 October at the Katutura Community Art Center’s gallery. “Art, in whatever form, needs to be recognized as an integral part of our cultural heritage. This is the form in which we give expression to our heritage and our aspirations for the future. It is in this form that we hand down to our children what we have learned from our elders and our ancestors,” said Norah Appolus when she officially opened the exhibition. A number of invited guests and other stakeholders in the local art sector attended the opening of the event, a sequel to the work done with students by artist Alfrieda du Plessis over the past few years. “Unfortunately art has not always been recognized as an important component of our development. The exhibiting students are to be applauded for having chosen this field of study, which is difficult to break in to say the least. You are the custodians of our cultural heritage and sooner or later you will be recognized as such because in as much as we need doctors and scientists, we also need artists,” Appolus said. She was further of the opinion that artists can contribute to the self-reliance of the Namibian people. “We have numerous resources that can be creatively used to produce works of art. There is scope for you students to grow as you develop your own brand of Namibian art,” she said inspiringly. The works can be bought at reasonable prices. In the meantime, rumours are rife that the tutor of the diploma course, Alfrieda du Plessis, is to resign from her post as the head of the art course and to leave for greener pastures in South Africa. Thus far more than 16 students have qualified as artists through the project, Du Plessis indicated during a previous Art/Life interview.