By Heidi Trautmann
When you have reached a certain age you will start remembering and you will admit that you have enjoyed school and learning years, that it perhaps was the most wonderful time in your life, that there were people who were supposed to teach you something, care for your education and when you were talented in one or the other discipline, you will remember a handful of people who have helped you to make the right decisions or have taught you something which has been most important for your later life. For me it was my first really professional art teacher, I was ten years old, who taught us to stand upright and paint with our arms outstretched and a big brush on big sheets of paper. It makes me smile, I am still doing it.
I have made it a habit of going to see young people’s art exhibitions, of students, it is a period in their lives when they are still capable of developing, they are still open to learn, and good teachers have the best of chances to really teach them something valuable because the material is still unspoilt and moldable.
So, when I received the invitation issued by the Fine Arts Department of the Near East University I went there on March 20, to find all assembled at the Atatürk Cultural Congress Centre.
It is painting, graphic design, printing, ceramic, photography and sculpture I got to see. I missed drawing though. The main part was taken up by graphic design.
I would like to make my humble remarks as a guest viewer, if I may: In the painting section there was one student who caught my eye immediately, he obviously loves Egon Schiele as much as I do, and there is perhaps a touch of Picasso’s early years, but in his own style, and it seems to be modern to have the paint running, but I like it.
I absolutely loved the ceramic art work, my respects, Mr Teacher, you and your students’ team have already surprised us with last years’s work. It is applied arts, for architecture, perhaps it becomes the rule of having a certain percentage of art in the construction business, hopefully.
In graphic design I liked the idea of playing with simple, basic forms, with letters and numbers; also, there were some themes worked on such as Bellapais Music Festival, using the elements of music. I like graphic design, it is something that you have to research, go to the very bottom of things to get at the essence. I was pleased to discover exercises with calligraphy, it is an art form in itself; writing in general gets out of use.
In photography it is always interesting to photograph face landscapes and old people are the best material to do so, but here they were shown alternately with young faces which balanced it all out.
Printing, my old love, lino cuts, is still being taught, not enough, I think; with wood and lino cuts we have one of the oldest graphic forms. As the Dean of the faculty, Prof. Dr. Uğurcan Akyüz, said, we try to put our main efforts on giving our students a good basic art education, the old methods will not be forgotten.
I met some of the teachers of the various departments and I expressed my astonishment that there were no names of student artists, no department teachers mentioned but I was told, that it is regarded as teamwork, the impact of art education comes from all faculty teachers.
It was a very satisfying experience and I am looking forward to see the coming events, such as Academiada (Island Academy or Island of Academies?) end of March and later the graduation exhibition. At the end I was able to get all teachers together on one picture.