Heidi Trautmann

902: Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much - 3 art studio students showed their work

By Heidi Trautmann


Three art teachers, Nilgün Güney, Osman Keten and Aşık Mene, got together and decided to show their students’ art work in one and only art venue, shortly before the end of the year 2016, a year which has given us a lot of stress in all fields and worldwide. All three artists have been dedicating their life to art education and after retirement they turned their activities to private tuition, always besides their own work as artists. With all three I have led interviews in 2006 that are included in my book ‘Art and Creativity in North Cyprus, Volume I’ in English and Turkish. With much pleasure and satisfaction I noticed that art tuition on the island is continuously increasing; for all my life I have been working in the arts, not only as an artist but also as a writer, journalist and passionate supporter of the arts in general because it is my strong belief that education in the arts delivers to humans the tools to learn to use their senses. My philosophy, as simple as it may sound, has always been: ‘If you want to paint a chair you must become one’.  Especially in today’s times that people turn to the internet for advice and communication, a sort of second hand experience, where there is the danger of manipulation from powers we don’t know yet, it is of vital importance to improve our own powers. This helps us to understand the complexity of our own self and helps us to understand other people’s doings and thinking. Every politician should have a handful of serious artists at his side to assist him.

This is a long introduction to this event of cooperation of art schools but it shows perhaps the importance it has for society. The three art teachers opened the exhibition together and expressed their views and experiences. People of all ages had come to see the works of students of all ages, even some children had some works to show. One could recognize the philosophy of teaching at each individual art school, all within the walls of the Old City, all three beautiful art studios in renovated Cypriot houses. I also know many of the students and have been following them in their individual art exhibitions over the years, but never was there an event of joint display.


We could see works with life models, landscapes or still lifes, or abstract, works with different tools, pencil or pastel drawing, acrylic, oil, or collages. My congratulations.

In a condensed way, Aşık Mene explained to me his idea of the joint event: “Alone we can do nothing, we don’t move anything, we need to work together in order to get somewhere; why not establish a sort of art colony where students have the possibility to work with one of the other artists to expand their knowledge and understanding; we may even take up other art groups.” What a great idea.  Nilgün Güney and Osman Keten have both been Presidents of the local art association EMAA, Nilgün Güney has founded it in 2002, more or less with the same argument:

Alone we are nothing, together we can……


Unfortunately the exhibition was open for four days only and closed on the last day of 2016 but I do hope that we will see a continuation of such joint events in the future.




Together we can
Together we can

Three artists teaching people to train their senses
Three artists teaching people to train their senses

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