By Madara Lazdina, Art Ministry Director Latvia
Is it possible to create an art exhibition about complicated subjects that creates empathy in viewers? One that encourages them to know more about the subject, to explore possibilities, and to make the subject better?
I think that we at BBI/Partneri have succeeded. Last week, we opened the art exhibition “Courage to Be.” The theme of this art exhibition is disability and its related issues. Artists shared their personal experiences, as well as their opinions and thoughts about the subject. I admire the openness of these people! These paintings reveal real struggles and pain, they reveal a true grasping for hope, and nobody can walk away unmoved.
At the opening of the exhibition were representatives from the Ministry of Welfare of Latvia, the Welfare Department of the City of Riga, the Paralympic Committee of Latvia, the Union of People with Disabilities and their friends, Apeirons, the Embassy of Lithuania in Latvia, and the Embassy of Estonia in Latvia.
Friendly conversations took place around the coffee table, and artists shared for several hours throughout the opening event.
Significant seminars will take place during the month of the exhibition, including such topics as:
- The importance of physical activity for everybody, including persons with disability
- What we should know when communicating with persons with disabilities
- How to see opportunities if your life includes disability
I think that the timing makes a wonderful opportunity for this exhibition – during the 101st anniversary of Latvia, and also during Advent . . . a time when we tend to listen more to our souls and look at the world around us with the eyes of love.
Let’s be a gift to each other!
Madara Lazdina is BBI’s Latvian Art Ministry Director.
A graduate of the Latvian Academy of the Arts, Madara has a Masters in Painting and has curated BBI’s major exhibitions in Latvia, Estonia, and the USA, including “My Secret Double” and “Courage to Be.”