The Art Olympics is a project started by Peace Corps Volunteers in Cambodia. Its goal is to provide Cambodian students with an opportunity to learn about and express themselves through various art forms. Peace Corps volunteers Kate and Chris Marsh organized the Art Olympics at the BOOKBRIDGE learning center in Takeo.
Many Cambodian schools do not offer any formal art courses. Students therefore often have no exposure to artistic training. Talented would-be artists in Cambodia often have their gifts ignored or discouraged. The Art Olympics hopes to change this. BOOKBRIDGE is teaming up with two Peace Corps Volunteers in Takeo Province, Kate and Chris Marsh, to deliver this art workshop to interested students in the area.
The workshop itself is designed to allow students the chance to become familiar with various methods of drawing, painting and creating art as well as exposure to multiple mediums. Artistic techniques and styles are stressed only as a means to allow students a more nuanced manner of expressing themselves.
Ultimately, students will create multiple sketches, paintings and drawings to start their “artist’s portfolio.” A final work of art will be created by each student along pre-chosen themes. The three best of these works will be sent to Phnom Penh along with the works of art of many other students across Cambodia to be judged in the Peace Corps Art Olympics. Winners selected will be given the chance to come to Phnom Penh to see their art showcased at a local gallery and to learn advanced painting and drawing techniques from professional Cambodian artists.
Last year, students’ art from Takeo’s Chea Sim High School were chosen to be displayed at the art gallery and two students were invited to Phnom Penh for additional art training. Peace Corps thanks BOOKBRIDGE for the use of their learning center and staff resources to help facilitate and carry out this project.