High school students enrolled in the Ministry of Education and RBC Finco’s Summer Arts Workshop learned that the government of The Bahamas plans to invest in an All Bahamian Craft Centre in the former Bahamas Customs Department building.

This centre will allow them to have a market to sell Bahamian arts and crafts to tourists, according to Minister of Education the Hon. Carl Bethel.

Presenting remarks to the students, parents, teachers and sponsors assembled at the closing ceremonies for the 28th annual Summer Arts Workshop at the Mall at Marathon, Minister Bethel said, “There is a real market in artistic creations. Artists can make good money. It’s not only for pretty.”

Minister Bethel commended and encouraged the 70 students from high schools in Nassau, Grand Bahamas, Eleuthera and Andros to take advantage of every opportunity and to continue to develop and refine their artistic abilities.

“Every time you paint a picture and you put yourself in that picture you capture an impression, an image of what it is to be a Bahamian. You express to all eternity in your artwork what it is to be a Bahamian; how we look, how our country looks, what is important to us, the flowers, the beautiful old Colonial buildings are touched and born again by your artistic creations.

“The beautiful and positive images first took place in the minds of the students; they then blossomed in their hearts and went to their hands. And that inspiration has led to the beautiful works of art you see around you today,” said Minister Bethel.

The purpose of the Summer Arts programme is to help artistically inclined senior high students in the areas of art and design and to prepare them for the Bahamas Junior Certificate of Education (BJC) and the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations.

Minister Bethel thanked the sponsors and teachers comprising of professional artists and senior high school teachers for their contributions during the four-week long workshop.

He said, “Our students benefited by being exposed to professionals in the field who helped them to hone their natural and fine talents. This is important because we need students to grow and develop and to continue through your art to tell the story of The Bahamas. Tell our story through poetry, through dance, music and art and craft.”

Minister Bethel encouraged the parents present to support their children both in art and in education.

“They are the Eddie Minnis’ and Chan Pratts of tomorrow. They are the leaders of tomorrow,” said the Minister. “What they do tomorrow, what they achieve tomorrow will depend on what you do to help them today. Be good role models to them and help them pursue their dreams through education.”

In her welcome remarks, Senior Manager of Mortgages at RBC Finco Patrice Ritchie said RBC Finco has been a proud and ardent supporter of the Summer Arts Workshop for many years.

“Programmes such as these engender discipline and creativity. They also instill pride in our nation’s youth and help to develop our youth of today to be leaders of tomorrow,” she noted.

More than two thousand Bahamian students have benefited from the Summer Arts Workshop since it began in 1980. This is the third year that the Ministry of Education has joined RBC Finco to sponsor the programme which allowed students to participate in various forms of art including painting, drawing, needlework, ceramics, tie dyeing and mosaics.

Outstanding students representing the various categories in the workshop received medals and awards that were presented by Minister Bethel and Mrs. Ritchie.