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Art from Nea Kavala

Running from April 25, 2017 to May 6, 2017 in the Holzwasser Gallery

The New Art Center in Newton (NAC), in collaboration with guest curator Mia Rosenblatt Tinkjian and founder of Love Without Borders Kayra Martinez, is pleased to present Art from Nea Kavala: Paintings and Drawings by Refugee Children in Northern Greece.

About the Exhibition: Featuring drawings and paintings by displaced children living in the Nea Kavala refugee camp in Northern Greece, this exhibition stands as a powerful testament to the transformative power of art. Created by untrained children using limited materials, the artwork elegantly communicates the experience of transition. Some pieces relate to journeys, many of which are still ongoing; airplanes, boats, and roads stretching endlessly towards the horizon are common themes. Other works express a longing for normalcy with images of brightly colored sunsets, birthday cakes and animals that represent a desire for place to call home and feel safe. All works in the show are available for sale. Proceeds will directly benefit the children and their families.

About the Curator: Mia Rosenblatt Tinkjian is an artist and independent curator living in Newton, MA. She holds an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Rosenblatt Tinkjian first connected with Martinez through NeedsList, an app that connects humanitarian groups with volunteers and donors. Hoping to raise funds and awareness for the refugee crisis, Martinez was looking for a curator to organize shows of the artwork by displaced children and Rosenblatt Tinkjian was drawn to the project. The bright colors and bold strokes of the children’s artwork spoke to her. “Children are just children, no matter their circumstances,” says Rosenblatt Tinkjian. “These are just kids, and they are stuck. They long for shelter, food, clothing, a place to call home, and peace.”

About Love Without Borders: Kayra Martinez, founder of Love Without Borders, has actively volunteered to help families fleeing Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq since 2015. While based in Germany for work, Martinez began volunteering at the Hauptbahnhof-Gleis 24 train station in Frankfurt, handing out food, translating, and sorting donations for refugees arriving at the station. An avid traveler, her desire to assist soon took her to Leros, Greece, a port of entry for refugees crossing the Aegean Sea. As part of her humanitarian efforts there, Martinez holds art classes for children living in the Nea Kavala refugee camp. These classes provide a safe space for children to express their emotions and escape the harshness of their everyday realities. “The children are at their happiest when they can draw and paint,” says Martinez, describing the workshops as a form of therapy for the displaced children. “They draw about the sadness and also the happiness of life.”
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