By Heidi Trautmann
The news of the end-of-the-year-exhibition of the Kyrenia Art School was spread like hot news around town and many people had come to look at the pieces the students had done over the past school year starting every September. The building is next to the Anafartarlar School but has nothing to do with it, it is a school by itself and responds directly to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. There are five big rooms where the students are being taught for five different sections: ceramics, fashion and patchwork, fine arts, arts and craft and wood work.
I met the Headmaster of the School, Mr. Mehmet Erenler, who gave me a bit of history and the technical details of enrolment. “The mayor of Girne Mr. Sümer Aygin, also gives us his support, for example he provided us with a new parking area next to the building.” During the mayor’s speech at the opening evening I could feel his engagement with the project.
“The art school is not at all a new institution”, Mr. Erenler explained, “it was moved to Girne in 1975 from Limassol after the troubles there in 1974.” He had taken over as headmaster in September 2011 after he had come back from London when the 2nd TRNC President Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat had appointed him Cultural Attaché in 2004. He had been a teacher since 1981.
“The aim of the school is to discover and support talent among people of over the age of 16 years. To be accepted as student of the art school, students must have completed their compulsory education and may be of any nationality, age or gender. The school is open for classes every day: on Mondays from 14-16.00 hrs and on other days from 09.00 – 12.15 hrs, and as I understood, there are two days per subject but it is planned to have three days in the future, as the demand is high. During school holidays the art school is also closed. The costs are TL 100 for one art class chosen for the entire year, for two subjects TL 50 more.”
I am meeting the teachers who are all highly educated and trained in their subject, the headmaster confirms. In the fine arts section, I am told, beginners start with pencil drawing, which I can attest is very important. They later start with painting in oil on canvas. The students will learn how to use the tools, will learn about colour, composition but as with everything in life,… you have to discover your own abilities and subject for yourself and with involvement and intensified exercise on your own also at home you will get somewhere…
In the ceramic section all tools are available, extra costs are due for clay and firing.
In the arts and craft and the wood cutting section tools are also available, but students might want their own and will be advised by the teachers. Wood cutting: that would interest me too!
In the fashion and patchwork section you learn how to do embroidery on all kind of materials, even handbags, sewing, and to create wonderful quilts; you will be advised by the teachers what you need.
That sounds interesting, doesn’t it? I spoke to some non-Cypriot students, Christine from Norway and Judith from England. Christine has joint the painting section three years ago and feels very welcome and at home with her classmates. Judith is with the wood cutting class and says: I just love it and wouldn’t miss a day! At home I did porcelain painting, now I am fascinated about working with wood.
The office at the Art School is open for registration as from Monday next week, that is after the exhibition when the halls have to be transformed into class rooms again.
Girne Praktik Sanat Okulu / Kyrenia Art School : Tel. 815 2418