With a white bird perched on the right frame, a pair of bright pink glasses stands out against the gray, monotone background. The lenses reflect a rainbow stretching across a blue and green landscape. The background of the drawing contains countless details, depicting endless crowds standing amongst tombstones and tall buildings.
“From a distance it looked like it was just this colorful sunglass, and [the background] was just black and white, but then when I walked over I saw that there’s actually a lot of detail behind it… We see the buildings and the skyscrapers, that’s probably from the city, and there’s a lot of people, so maybe this is a protest. On the sunglasses you see a rainbow, and maybe it’s suggesting hope for a better future through sunglasses,” said Ava Long ’21.
This piece is one of the many colorful drawings that are part of the new art installation in the first floor of Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL). Zoe Yin ’19, curator of the exhibit, cited the drawing of the pink sunglasses as one of her favorites. Yin brought this exhibit of children’s artwork to Andover from the International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) to showcase their pieces to a larger audience.
“Since I personally knew the chairman of the ICAF since I was really little, and I really identified with this foundation’s mission, I thought that I should do my part and give these children this accessibility since as an artist, I understand that getting space is the most difficult thing to do. What better place could there be to do it than at Andover?” said Yin.
Yin framed the pieces over Spring Break, and the artwork was installed last weekend in the lobby and on the bulletin board in OWHL. The children whose art is showcased are mainly ten to 12 years old and send in their work from all across the world.
Adrienne Zhang ’18 said, “It’s so full of passion and vibrancy because it’s done by children. You can see their imagination and you can see their innocence [through] the colors that they use, the combination of people, animals, and landscape that they used. It’s just stuff that a professional or adult artist would never think of, and that quality really captures the interests that these children have in what they’re doing.”
The artwork, apart from demonstrating innovative and political ideas, also features a theme of inclusion.
“[ICAF] believe[s] that art can over time generate positive social change. Art is kind of like this universal language,” said Yin. “So in that case it transcends any kind of barriers that we have between us. These artworks show this sort of desire and wish for people to be connected and to have tolerance and respect for one another. And it’s really amazing that these kids really want to be a part or create this kind of peaceful and harmonious society even though they’re so young.”
Yin hopes to exhibit more children’s artwork in the future, especially those that otherwise might not be seen as widely. She believes that Andover will be able to appreciate their pieces.
“Even though [the artists] might not be here in person, it’s just wonderful to know that there’s someone looking at your artwork and they really enjoy it. So right now there is now future exhibition set in mind, but my hope is that if this exhibition is successful and well received, that maybe we might be able to do another one in the near future, whether it’s here or somewhere else.”