Updated: Mar 3, 2020
Our year has started off in a colourful way already, with the release of the Enga School Art Calendar.
The calendar features the work of 12 school students, selected from hundreds of entries from across Enga Province that were submitted in the 2019 Enga School Art Competition.
Each year the students are given a different theme to follow in their creations. This theme for 2020 focussed on traditional forms of trade in Enga Province.
The calendar is an initiative of the Enga Cultural Show Society and fits in with the Enga Provincial Government’s cultural education program.
In 2017, the provincial government introduced cultural education studies to its primary schools to combat eroding traditional cultural knowledge. The curriculum was developed through the Take Anda (House of Wisdom) Museum in Wabag, which holds a rich collection of firsthand accounts of Enga’s pre-contact history.
Chairlady of the Enga Cultural Show Committee, Margaret Potane said, “The students have not only created colourful and eye-catching images of Enga’s culture that helps promote us and what we do. They are also displaying the aims of the Enga Cultural Show, which is to preserve our customs and traditional knowledge. The calendar also includes a statement from each artist about their artwork, showing that the next generation holding on to this knowledge.”
Nearly all of the works submitted use basic, accessible mediums like pencil and ink pen. Coloured texta and paints are a luxury here. But while the children of Enga Province may lack the resources of acrylics, oils, brushes and canvases, there is certainly no lack of artistic talent.
The calendars have been sponsored by the Enga Children’s Fund and Theodist, who also provided prizes of art supplies for the 12 students whose works appear in the calendar. Each calendar comes pre-marked with special dates for Enga Province, including the Enga Cultural Show, which is goes from 7-9th August, 2020, when the works of the next year’s calendar art will be selected and displayed.