Drawing the Cayman community together

The first Big Draw Cayman Islands, a month-long festival of exciting drawing events, competitions and workshops for people of all ages, launches this October. The Big Draw KY is a community engagement project designed to bring Cayman’s multicultural community together to draw, think, laugh and dream and is part of the global Big Draw initiative celebrated in 22 countries internationally. The Cayman Islands is the 23rd country to join.

Presented under the patronage of illustrator and children’s author Lady Rabia Abdul-Hakim, in partnership with the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, the Big Draw KY will launch with a unique cartoon art exhibit at the National Gallery on Monday, 1 October at 6pm. On October 13, the official Big Draw KY Day, thousands of participants will be invited to “make their mark” on a huge ream of paper. The continuous drawing project will be photographed and showcased as an online scrolling panorama on the Big Draw KY website.

Throughout the month there will be more than 30 different events across all three Cayman Islands, including cartoon drawing workshops; the Draw Off; the Urban/Graffiti Art competition; the Celebrity Come Draw With Me classes; the Night Lines event, where photographers capture images drawn with fire and light and All Drawn Out, a chilling Halloween event drawing body parts and a costume competition. There will also be Nail Art events for girls.

“Drawing is a great way to make art accessible to the youth and it is a fundamental part of creativity and intelligence. In fact, many of today’s most innovative products combine technology, creativity and design and more young people are opting for creative careers. Therefore, it is vital that we nurture creative skills in our future gamers, fashion designers, architects, illustrators, animators and producers,” says Lady Rabia. “The Big Draw KY is also a great opportunity to unite our diverse community and drawing is the perfect medium to do that. Drawing is a universal mode of communication, transcending language barriers, cultural divides, classes and ages.” “The importance of drawing cannot be under-estimated,” says Eme Paschalides, NGCI education manager.

“Drawing is critical to early educational development and remains an important tool of creative expression throughout our lives,” she adds. “In addition, virtually all of the objects we use in day-to-day life begin on a drawing board. We are therefore delighted to participate in this global project and bring attention to this form of creativity. It is a skill that can be practised by everyone and to demonstrate this we are inviting all members of the public to our ‘open door’ studio day on 20 October. There will be free walk-in workshops for everyone all day long.”

Local organisations, schools and businesses are encouraged to participate by organising their own Big Draw KY activities and registering their events on the Big Draw KY website.

The Big Draw was started by the Guild of St. George, a nonprofit organisation founded by 19th century critic and educator John Ruskin. Now led by the Campaign for Drawing in London, the aim is to raise awareness of drawing’s power as a tool for learning, observation, creativity and social and cultural engagement. In 2011, more than 1,300 Big Draw events took place across the United Kingdom and internationally.

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