From the Resene News – issue 3/2002
Young at art - New Zealand childrens art houses
What would you think about a club where the only rules are "to love art and to be kind to each other" and where everyone must follow these rules, including teachers and parents? These are the rules of the New Zealand Childrens Art Clubs.
The first club was started by a small group of children in a basement of a small pottery factory. Together with their teachers they worked hard to make the club grow until they had to move to a bigger place. They used their art to raise money and wrote a book about their work called The Original R. T. Story in which they invented a dragon mascot, R.T., who helped them create the first Children's Art House in New Zealand.
The children transformed a rundown, vandalised building into a wonderful gallery that has hosted countless solo and group exhibitions. They're even exhibited overseas. In the year 2000 they gave 800 framed works to the local hospital.
The club continued to grow quickly and led to more Art Houses. As of 2003, there are 25 Children's Art Clubs in New Zealand. They have formed a real children's art network where children come and join and then encourage their friends to join as well.
Resene testpots are used extensively in the creative works of the Art House children. Available in easy to hold, handy screw-top pots in a myriad of colours, children can select whatever colour they choose and paint to their heart's content.
Highlight for 2003:
The New Zealand Childrens Art House Foundation Inc was established in 1999 to assist the establishment of Children's Art Clubs into Children's Art Houses within the communities of New Zealand and believes it is a fundamental right and necessity for children to explore their creativity within safe, valued community projects.
The focus of the clubs is on work practices. The clubs only take on children who are going to work and be productive. Exhibitions, exchanges of ideas and books and visits by groups enhance the children's art appreciation.
Visit the Childrens Arthouse website for more information.
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