Just for Kids
of Children's Art
For nearly a century,
children's art education has been emphasized and encouraged in
Azerbaijan. During the Soviet period, each region had a Pioneers'
Palace with a fine arts studio where children could go to learn
drawing and other art skills. Many great Azerbaijani artists
got their start at these Pioneers' Palaces.
For example, painter Rasim Babayev, now in his late 60s and recognized
throughout the world, remembers his first art experiences at
the Pioneers' Palace in Baku: "I was about ten years old
when Asaf Jafarov brought me to the Pioneers' Palace for the
first time. (Now the Turkish Embassy is located in that building.)
Above: Alexander (Sasha)
Dinets, 10, "Still Life"
I was very timid.
When the teacher, Kamil Khanlarov, asked Asaf if he was alone
or if he had come with someone else, I hid behind the door because
I was so shy." Rasim received his first introduction to
art at the Palace along with other artists who later became very
well known, including Gorkhmaz Afandiyev, Togrul Narimanbeyov,
Hafiz Zeynalov, Faig Ahmadov and Tagi Tagiyev.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, teachers began
offering private lessons. However, the Children's Art Gallery,
the only children's art program still run by the government,
still plays an important role in today's art education by offering
children free classes in art, carpet-weaving and toy-making.
Children's Art Gallery displays the children's works to the public.
When you walk inside, you enter a world illumined with children's
fantasies and viewpoints. Bright, colorful pictures hang on the
walls, showing surprise, joy and even suffering. If it were left
up to children, the world would be a cheerful, optimistic place-at
least, that's what their paintings reflect.
The Gallery also organizes events, contests and exhibitions for
the young artists. Exhibition themes have included "Children's
Perceptions of War," "Refugee Children are Drawing,"
"Let's Save Our Caspian" and "Noruz". Through
the Gallery, children from Azerbaijan have been able to participate
and win medals in international art contests in Japan, the Ukraine,
the U.S., Switzerland and Spain.
Right: Vugar Talibov, 8,
These days the Art Center has expanded its programs to include
handicapped children as well as those who are afflicted with
genetic blood diseases such as thalassemia and hemophilia.
Katana Sharifova is the Director at the Children's Art Gallery
in Baku. You can visit the Gallery at 28th of May Street, No.
21. For more examples of Art from the Children's Art Gallery,
see the article "Children's Art: Perception of War."
Summer 1995 (AI 3.3). Children's art will be exhibited on the
AZ Art Gallery on the Internet that is being organized by Azerbaijan
International magazine. Visit www.azer.com beginning in mid-summer
Left: Ilgar Talibov, 7,"Pushkin's Grandma"
Right: Urkhan Bagirov, 11
Javid Mammadov, 8, "Inner
Right: Kamilla Hajiyeva Tsiperovich, 9, "Girl
in National Dress"
© Azerbaijan International 1999. All rights reserved.
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AI 7.2 (Summer 99)
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