For most kids, seeing their art hanging up on the fridge is the pinnacle of success, but Shalini Kapoor and the team at Little Artists Arts Studio see things differently. In September, Little Artists celebrated its 20th anniversary with a two-day exhibition at the National Gallery Singapore. Featuring over 250 budding young artists aged from three to 17 years, and a guest list that reads like a who’s who in the Singapore arts scene and beyond, the inaugural Little Artists’ Laureates Exhibition was a resounding success.
Little Artists was founded by Shalini Kapoor in 1997. Two decades later it’s an award-winning fine arts school with art classes that have trained thousands of students (many of whom have gone on to study art and design at top universities around the world). Shalini’s “fine arts for all” approach encourages creativity across of Art for all ages (there are classes from 2.5 years onwards), mediums and skill levels. She explains why it’s so important to nurture creativity from an early age: “Some think that you are either born with talent or not. We’re all born with an innate desire to express ourselves, and art encompasses a wider range of activities than you may have ever imagined.”
“We expose our young students to a vast world of visual arts experiences. We help them first to have fun, then build their confidence in expressing themselves. We give them a platform to be themselves, communicate openly and release their talents. This inaugural Laureates Exhibition was a launchpad for these emerging talents. The development of each and every individual is at the core of what we do.”
Guests of honour from various fields came together to celebrate with Little Artists Art Studio and launch its sister company “Artrageous”. They included: His Excellency, Deputy High Commissioner of India to Singapore, Ninad Deshpande; Dr Trisha Craig, Dean of CIPE, Yale-NUS College; Mrs Ong-Ang Ai Boon, Director of the Association of Banks in Singapore; Mr Milenko Prvacki, noted contemporary artist and Senior Fellow, LASALLE College of the Arts; Mr Alan Koh, Fair Director, Affordable Art Fair; and, Ms Saskia Joosse, Managing Director and Owner of Pop and Contemporary Fine Art. They were joined by Little Artists Founder and Director, Shalini Kapoor, and Senior Business Development Manager, Shantoba Carew.
Young at Art
Aesthetics aside, art can make you a happier, healthier person. Here are just a few of its benefits:
Boosts your brain: Practising art sharpens the mind. Students must think conceptually to bring an idea to life, but unexpected outcomes also call for outside the-box thinking. This stimulates the brain, develops important problem-solving skills and aids memory; children who frequently use creative outlets have less chance of developing memory loss when they get older.
Builds confidence & positivity: Painting allows children to express their feelings without words; they use art to overcome shyness and tell their own story. Creating beautiful work also encourages a more optimistic approach to life.
Builds fine motor skills: Handling materials such as pens and paintbrushes improves dexterity and mobility in the hands and fingers.
Nurtures emotional growth: Children learn to pour out their feelings and take stock of emotions they may not even realise they have. Understanding their own emotional state helps them recognise which factors contribute to their mood.
Relaxes and distracts: Painting, sculpting, drawing and photography are relaxing and rewarding activities that distract your brain from its usual thoughts.
So, pick up a paintbrush, roll up your sleeves and get creative with your kids!
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