Virtual Art Gallery for Development
It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance…and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process. –Henry James
Poverty exists in all countries, even in the wealthiest nations. Nearly a billion people do not have enough food to meet the most basic nutritional needs. Less than one per cent of what the world spends every year on weapons was needed to put every child in the world into school by the year 2000, and yet it didn't happen. Half the world lives on less than 2 dollars a day and nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read or sign their names. It is apparent that the social and economic needs of people and communities have to be addressed.
Among the various ways to address such issues, the AMR Innovation Fair will advocate art as a versatile tool in addressing social, educational, and economic development issues in communities around the globe.
The idea of the Virtual Art Gallery for Development is to utilize art as an important and effective means to enhance awareness and consciousness of urgent global challenges. The main reason behind this concept lies in the will to attain improvement as well as the belief in the power of art in our daily lives to make a constructive difference for all of humanity. Art is an industry that promotes local businesses as well as strengthens the creative minds of individuals. Art encourages people to strengthen their skills and abilities and to nurture their imagination and intellect to appreciate global problems and cultural differences. It is a tool to build a sustainable and peaceful world and is a therapy for people to overcome their trauma caused by violence. Furthermore, any medium of art, whether it be painting, sculpture, drawings, sketching, architecture, photography, film making, music, drama, poetry, etc, has the power to create positive change.
International Civil Society Fair
The purpose of this blog is to disseminate the eight Millennium Development Goals through the creative expression of individual visions. Pieces are meant to communicate a message of incentive to the human actions that are necessary to overcome global challenges. This site, then, is a forum for artists around to world to share their innovative pieces as versatile tools in eradicating poverty, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, providing universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and ensuring environmental sustainability.
As Leo Tolstoy said, “the task of art is enormous. Through the influence of real art, aided by science, guided by religion, that peaceful co-operation of man is now obtained by external means-by law courts, police, charitable institutions, factory inspection, etc.-should be obtained by man's free and joyous activity. Art should cause violence to be set aside. And it is only art that can accomplish this.” In this age of detachment for each other and from our environment, art is necessary to reunite people with their peers and their surroundings.
Art is a powerful tool- one that transcends boundaries both geographical and emotional. One that recognizes no differences- caste or creed; one that appeals to all- age no bar, sex no bar!
That is the beauty of art; every person is an artist, and in their own way, can work towards the eight Millennium Development Goals. According to a definition given in 1968 by Norman Potter, “Every human being is a designer. Many also earn their living by design –in every field that warrants pause, and careful consideration, between the conceiving of an action, the fashioning of the means to carry it out, and an estimation of its effects.” When design is seen as a tool, every person can create their own, personal art that works to eradicate widespread poverty and starvation.
Therefore, the Virtual Art Gallery for Development has a mission to promote art as a mechanism for peace and development, and this initiative and its interdisciplinary approach is an important tool for advancing the overall quality of life.
International Civil Society Fair, “Open Voices-Active Citizens,” Nicosia, Cyprus (2-5 May 2007)