Rotary Club sponsors gallery programme

The National Gallery of the Cayman
Islands and the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman are expanding their long-standing
relationship following the club’s sponsorship of Art Unlimited, one of the
NGCI’s art outreach programmes.

The annual grant of $6,000 makes
the club the lead sponsor of the art-based programme, which assist girls living
at the Francis Bodden Girls Home. Art Unlimited is comprised of youth from the
girls home and focuses on the social aspect of creative expression. Its participants
get hands-on training using art as a way of self-expression and as a medium for
social interaction.

Art Unlimited’s members work on art
projects, acquiring and developing new skills through teamwork, and gain a
sense of achievement. One participant said: “This is a very influential
programme for us. We can all evolve from our inner-selves to become something
great in life – more than anyone thought. Being creative like this gives me the
opportunity to do something for ourselves and for our community.”

The Rotary Club of the Grand Cayman
has been a part of the local community for more than four decades. Not only was
the club a key player in the fundraising for the construction of the Francis
Bodden Girls Home in 1983, but Rotary continues to support the home by
committing to another year of funding the programme. The club’s 2010/11
president, Lori McRae, delivered the grant cheque to NGCI Director Natalie
Urquhart as one of her first official duties at the club’s annual changeover
ceremony.

Ms McRae commented, “The gallery’s
[Art Unlimited] programme is obviously having a very positive impact on the
girls. I was very moved to see a collection of their work recently, which
illustrates the progress they have made since the inception of the programme.
Our club is very pleased to continue our support of the Francis Bodden Girls
Home through Art Unlimited.”

Recently, one of the home’s
residents, Kizzie Codlyn, completed her work experience at the National Gallery
assisting NGCI Education and Outreach Coordinator Jessica Wallace.

Noting the all-around success of
the programme, Ms Wallace said: “Using art, our participants have found a way
to deal with daily issues through focused projects. Over time I have come to
see the girls purge themselves of negative emotions, become motivated and
through artwork express themselves in a positive manner. The course also
teaches confidence through technical training; some have found that they have
natural artistic talent.” Michael Stewart, education coordinator for the
government-run Cays Foundation, which presides over the Francis Bodden Girls
Home, is pleased with Ms Codlyn’s development through the art programme.

At the CAYS Academic and Incentive
Awards ceremony held in June, he said, “Kizzie received a special award from
the gallery for her keen interest and outstanding performance in the art outreach
programme”. He also said that as a result of Kizzie’s interest and commitment
to the recent jewellery making course, “[the] CAYS Foundation is willing to
acquire additional materials …for her to continue making her own designs.”

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