A traditional exhibition of children’s artwork, Children’s October Salon at the Museum of Applied Art, lasts in continuity for four decades. This annual event, the oldest amongst those held ath the Museum, connects generations of art pedagogues and pupils through cultivating creativity, visual thinking of those who are still growing up, visual culture as an integral part of general culture, understanding of contemporary artistic trends and familiarizing children and youth with applied art media and design as well as with standard artistic skills. By allowing children’s imagination to persue originality and freedom of spirit characteristic for their age, it has been a source of spiritual vitality and a laboratory of artistic ideas of its kind.
41st CHILDREN’S OCTOBER SALON PROGRAMME
This year’s 150th anniversary of Nikola Tesla’s birth, dedicated to paying respect to his genius, presented us with an opportunity to promote Tesla’s endowment abroad, as well as here. Education department of the Museum of Applied Art wanted to give a chance to children and youth to learn about his exciting life and extraordinary scientific discoveries that can serve as an inspiration for their artwork. The programme of the 41st Children’s
October Salon is meant to be entitled – “Nikola Tesla – from a curious boy to an ingenious inventor (1856-1943)”. The programme is realized in cooperation with the Museum of Applied Art, the Nikola Tesla Museum, the Institute for Education Enhancement and the Education Secretariat of the City of Belgrade, and it included a visit to the Nikola Tesla Museum, conversations and lectures on Nikola Tesla, as well as the final exhibition of children’s artwork inspired by Nikola Tesla.
COMPETITION AND EXHIBITION
Nikola Tesla has been accepted by children as a newly-found hero who opened the door to future with his inventions and discoveries. The uniqueness of his ingenious mind marks him as one of the greatest people of all time. Many images coming from his vivid imagination have been enlivened through patents and applied in our everyday lives, even though sometimes we are not aware of that, because we perceive them as given. Fascinated by Tesla, children entered the magic world of science and together with their professors they discovered what may be in store for us in this millennium. Many boys and girls, so alike scientists and artists, feel free to imagine and contemplate the future. Together, they belong to a family of visionaries, whose prominent member is Nikola Tesla.
At the exhibition of the 41st Children’s October Salon at the Museum of Applied Art, held in October 2006 and dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Nikola Tesla’s birth, we have the opportunity to see works by children and pupils, aged 5 to 15 from numerous playrooms, kindergartens and elementary schools of Belgrade, Pančevo, Vršac, Kikinda, Zrenjanin, Kovin, Sombor, Novi Bečej, Sremska Kamenica, Srpski Miletić, Kać, Nova Pazova, Banatski Despotovac, Velika Plana, Dolav, Draževac, Užice, Ivanjica, Kraljevo, Kragujevac, Sokobanja, Obrenovac and Lipljan. Beside the participants from our country, a chance to present their work was equally given to the children from the Belgrade International School, as well as the students of the Grammar School of the Russian Embassy.
This year, children from abroad have also shown keen interest – artwork came from Greece, Denmark and Canada. It is with particular pleasure that we emphasize that the works from the children of Greece came as an exchange, and that the accomplishments of our students will be presented at the exhibition of the 3rd Biennial of Children’s Art at Xanti, which will also visit Thessalonica and Athens, while their art will be exhibited in Belgrade. The Electricity Museum is situated in a small town of Bieringbro, where an old power plant had been turned into a tourist attraction. This museum has a permanent exhibition featuring some of Tesla’s inventions, so that the children of Denmark have the opportunity to learn about them, too. Works created during a workshop organized this summer, under the supervision of curator Jytte Thorndahl, will represent this Nordic country in the year of Tesla’s jubilee.
The Museum of Science in Toronto is the place where the students of the Don Mills College were given a chance to explore their creativity, which resulted in their artwork inspired by photography and physics. Their moderator was Anja Rajković-Klašnja, an artist whose origins are in Belgrade, who has for many years been helping organize exhibitions and youth programmes at the Toronto Museum of Science. The first time she contacted us, she mentioned that she had exhibited at the Museum of Applied Art and that as a child she had participated at the Children’s October Salon, whose impact as being an event that never lost its strong connection with the world is in this way proved in the best way possible.