Our Mission

It is our goal that a portion of entry fees from PaintingContest.org contribute to our mission to discover and support student artists without easy access to art supplies or art instruction. How? By funding the design of guided art projects.  See a Sample Project HERE.

BACKGROUND STORY - MY BELIZE ADVENTURE

by Victoria Oldham

 

I lived in Belize, Central America, for 1 1/2 years. There, I learned there were no art classes in the local schools, and art supplies were either unavailable or totally out of reach due to cost. One day, I was shown a painting by a farmer (Nesh Tzib) who worked daily on the citrus orchard surrounding my home near Santa Elena (western Belize). It was amazing, of a peacock surrounded by roses. He had painted it for his mother after losing one eye as a teenager (due to a slingshot). He used housepaint and when he didn't have the color yellow available, he used cool-aid to make it. Very resourceful!

Vic Oldham web

Victoria (Vicky) Oldham paints a scarlet macaw during her time in Belize (oil on oil painting paper, 16" x 20"). See it up close here.

I soon learned that many people in the area were very talented as well. The idea formed: they needed art supplies and direction, and it would give them an opportunity in art that never existed before. I supplied a local farmer, Nesh Tzib, with paints, canvas, brushes, and paid him to paint designs that could go on objects like plates... first, with the idea of creating a series of Belize bird designs. I put together art kits for the kids, and Nesh helped to guide some of them in their first projects, even though he has never had an art lesson himself.

American and European tourists daily visit the Mayan ruins in Belize like Xunantunich (pronounced zoo-nan-too-nich, 10 minutes from where I lived in Belize) and on the way to the site, the place is crowded with Guatemalan crafts—no Belizean art. This shocked me, especially after learning that the local people show such an aptitude for art and design. Also, there is extreme poverty and lack of opportunity for most Belizean people. I wondered: could an opportunity in art make a difference? I said yes—I believe, a huge difference. This is why net proceeds from PaintingContest.org will be used to help talented individuals who would otherwise be excluded from participation in the world of fine art. — Victoria Oldham

 

 

Collector Plate Series - BIRDS OF BELIZE by Belizean artist Nesh Tzib

 
 

 


MAKE ART NOT WAR™

"Make Art Not War" is our slogan, expressing the concept that art promotes peace through teaching and sharing the excitement and passion for visual arts among all people and cultures.

 

 


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