An Art Museum for Kids
Nepal’s first Children’s Art Museum aims to become a creative hub for youngsters
Located in Hattisar, Nepal Children’s Art Museum (CAM) is the first-of –its-kind non-profit organization in the country.
“This concept is new not only new to South Asia, but also to areas of the globe like Eastern Europe,” says Sneha Shrestha, the founder of the museum.
The graffiti artist decided to open the museum in 2009 when she had just finished establishing a children’s library for a public school in Chhauni, Kathmandu. The experience of working in Boston, Geneva and Bali and a fellowship from the World Learning’s Advancing Fellowship helped the Gettysburg College (US) graduate in Studio Art and Globalization open the museum.
”Here at the museum, children get hands-on experience in using different creative mediums,” says Shrestha. This process also involves initiatives such as educational learning and social awareness, along with the use of different artistic elements.
The museum’s aim is to become a creative hub for children in the 5-16 years age group, says Shrestha. “The museum does not have classrooms. We have a gallery space called Gallery Purushotam and a creativity lab, where all the art happens. We also have the Piyush Library Corner,” she explains.
Installation arts and exhibitions are an essential part of the activities. Children are also taught how to make creative larger-than-life murals.
One of the most important and basic things that the museum’s workshops offer for children are its social awareness programs. These are based on different themes that the museum bureau comes up with. “We also want to bring social awareness and expose children to world cultures and everything that is going on in the world through art,” says Shrestha.
So far, the museum has organized several social awareness events — such as a recent one on washing hands at Kathmandu Kunja School, where 500 students made a 40 feet mural. Likewise, it produced yet another mural in Bhaisighat in Teku, in collaboration with CAM’s International Artists in Residence. The museum also took part in the ‘Half the Sky’ film and arts festival organised by the British Embassy.
In addition, there are workshops that involve youths of different age groups coming together for a common cause: to enhance their creativity to the maximum.
“We encourage children to express themselves through creative and educational outlets,“ says Shrestha.
“The museum’s objective is not to see who comes through to become an artist.
What the museum does hope to do is to produce creative leaders for the future.”
Staying true to their cause, Shrestha and her team members seem quite satisfied with their ongoing projects. Pranjali Singh, program coordinator at the museum says, “So far, the reaction of the kids and their parents have been quite positive, which in turn has motivated us to come up with new and innovative workshops and creative projects in the days to come.”