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Free ceramics academy for villager children in western Turkey

MUĞLA - Doğan News Agency | 8/25/2010 12:00:00 AM |

The International Knidos Culture and Arts Academy, which has opened in the ancient city of Knidos in the Aegean province of Muğla, gives free ceramic, sculpture and art lessons to children living in the village. Established by the efforts of people from the business and art worlds and open to everyone, the academy aims to become one of the world's most important art platforms in the future

An international art academy established in the village of Yaka, 25 kilometers from Datça, in Muğla, and five kilometers from the ancient city of Knidos, has opened for tuition. Ceramics, sculpture and painting are being taught at the school, which is based in a region whose historical influence over art practices at one time made it one of the cultural centers of the world.

The International Knidos Culture and Arts Academy, or UKKSA, was jointly established by Nevzat Metin, director of the Bilim and Yurt Art Gallery, and leading names in the business and art communities. After a four week course, 12 children between the ages of eight and 14 recently produced the first works of the new school.

Ceramic artist Ümit Can Gören, a teacher at the academy, said the children, using ceramics for the first time in their lives, created works that are really worth seeing: “I believe that each of these children will be among the leading names in the world of ceramics in the future.”

The academy also offers art education for adults. German citizens Claudia Pfeitfer, 51, and Uscu Alev, 57, who live in Datça, have achieved success at a course they started three weeks ago. Saying they had never been interested in ceramics before, Pfeitfer said they planned to open an exhibition at the academy at the end of the course. Pfeitfer’s works drew mush interest from students in the course.

Marmara University Fine Arts Faculty Ceramics department students Gülgün Dündar, 24, Sytaç Çınar, 22, Zehra Kara, 24 and Çağdaş Yıldız, 23, have begun a collaborative project at the academy. Using pebbles and ceramics, which have been used to decorate outer façades in the Mediterranean region for years, the group has been working on a different type of sculpture style in the academy.

[HH] ‘We will promote Knidos to the world’

Metin, who is also the Knidos Culture and Arts Academy Chairman, said that their goal was to become one of the world’s most prestigious art platforms. “We have started education in our ceramics, painting and sculpture workshops and soon we will open a glass workshop. I am very happy that my dream of 30 years has come true. After much planning we have finally opened the academy and are giving painting, ceramics and sculpture courses to some of the children in our village free of charge. There are 12 children attending the courses,” he said.

Metin said that children created impressive artworks using mud and ceramics, adding, “Besides children, young people and adults can attend the ceramics courses. We are trying to create an environment of arts and culture here. We want to make bigger projects in the coming years to promote both our country and Knidos to the world.”

[HH] Villagers support

Metin spoke of the importance of the ancient city of Knidos: “This land has a history spanning 3,000 years and remains part of a very important historical tissue. We have spent four years keeping a historic school alive in the village of Yaka. Construction work is one of the most difficult problems for us here but we overcame it. Some organizations and institutions have made contributions, too, and the villagers are also supporting us. We are trying to provide an employment opportunity here for young people who are graduates of university Fine Arts faculties. This is not a commercial place but an environment where young people will be able to work freely.”

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