Karachi's SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls’ School, adopted by Zindagi Trust, celebrated its annual art exhibition with a colourful display of ingenuity at the school’s art room this weekend.

The exhibition was based on the theme of ‘Rangon ka Karwaan’ and featured a diverse set of student artworks by children enrolled in Classes 1 through 10, ranging from portraits, sketches, installations of optical illusion, word art, pop collage, newspaper collage, abstract art inspired by Paul Klee and Picasso, crafts, pottery and more.

One of the artworks that really stood out was an installation titled Open Your Mind — where a figurative head was unzipped to show a spilling out of ideas and thoughts portrayed as three-dimensional pyramids with patterns of optical illusion.

Another impressive piece was inspired by Mantiq-ut-Tayr (The Conference of Birds) – a jewel of Persian Literature of Fariduddin Attar. The art work showed a journey of birds made from origami on their way to find their destination through seven layers of struggle. A 7th-grader explained the concept and its adaptation to a student's life with a maturity and confidence beyond her years.

Some of the other impressive displays at the show included clay models of the Minar-i-Pakistan, the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam as well as other historic places of Pakistan.

The activity, warmth and vibrancy of the art room and the explanations by the students of their work were a witness to the hard work and dedication shown by the school, especially its art teachers and students.

The day began with filmmaker Uzma Zakaria giving an inspiring talk on the importance of studying art to the students, parents and teachers. She urged the students to discover their talents for their holistic development and also encouraged parents to believe in their children's abilities to achieve success notwithstanding their grades. She also appreciated the vision of the students: "I am so pleased to witness them share their emotions through bold colours."

Other than parents, the show was well attended by college students, private school students, art enthusiasts, activists, and leaders in the government and industry and the larger community.

Program Manager Zindagi Trust Shahnaz Hunzai said: “Art is an unconditional source of contentment and in today’s world of turmoil and pressure, it gives immense inner sense of meaning, satisfaction and happiness which helps develop a confident and versatile personality.”

HeadMistress Ghazala Soomro said: “The students of Government School all over our country are brilliant and they only need opportunity and exposure to show their talent.”

IG Police Kalim Imam visited the art show and expressed his joy on seeing the quality of work and the diverse ideas on display. He especially appreciated their interpretation of Iqbal's poetry as art, and was thrilled to see that his favourite couplet also got featured. He said he felt a sense of pride to see a government school achieve so much in this field.

President Zindagi Trust Shehzad Roy appreciated and encouraged the students and the art teachers and mingled with their parents and the audience.

Zindagi Trust teaches art from Class 1 to Class 9 at its adopted government schools and hopes this caravan of colour travels to other government schools. Anam Shakil Khan, a visual artist in attendance who developed the art programme for the school, shared her joy at seeing her vision translated into practice by the school's teachers.

Actor, theatre artist and teacher at NAPA Sameena Nazir was also wowed by the talent and confidence on display at the show and shared her desire to bring performing arts to government schools.

"Through regular student art shows such as these, we hope to demonstrate what is possible at a government school and advocate for art to be taught in all government schools," said Shehzad Roy, Founder of Zindagi Trust.

The show goes on till May 4.

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