Putting charity on the CMAP
Art created by street children from Ecuador and Mexico goes on show to mark the launch of a new International Children’s art charity programme.
A collection of artwork made by disadvantaged children from Ecuador and Mexico will be exhibited at the Studio 54 Gallery, in East London, from 26th-31st January. The showcase is an initiative of the Charlotte Miller Art Project (CMAP), an international charity that aims through art to improve the lives of kids that work or live on the streets in Latin American countries.
Founded in 2005, in memory of art student Charlotte Miller, the NGO works with children aged from 5 to 18. The activities, organised in partnership with the local charity Juconi (Junto con los niños: ‘Together with the children’), offer kids the opportunity to express themselves through painting, photography, textiles, animation and filmmaking.
“Before I was approached by Juconi, I was selling bread on the streets. If I had not been involved in the programme and attended CMAP, I think I would probably have ended up in a gang”, says Ricardo Velez, who participated in the activities from 2002 to 2008 and that today, now 20 years old, is in his last year at university and volunteers for the programme.
The workshops have as its main goal to give these kids a break from their immediate circumstances. All the classes are run by volunteer artists from the UK and they not only aim to help children to develop their creative skills, but also to stimulate communication and a sense of confidence. Thinking of this, the opening evening of the exhibition will be streamed live so that the children have the opportunity to see their work being appreciated.
Sophie Bray-Watkins, CMAP Chair, adds that the kids love to see their pieces on show. “It gives them a real sense of pride and achievement. It also helps build up their self-esteem and motivation”.
By Zaira Brilhante
January 26th – 31st, FREE