55<sup>th</sup> Children’s October Salon

55th Children’s October Salon

My Pet

10 October - 28 November 2020

55th Children’s October Salon - My Pet

Catalogue and Exhibition Authors: Milica Cukić, museum advisor, and Lea Zei, art pedagogue

Organizer: Museum of Applied Art

My Pet is the slogan of the 55th Children’s October Salon of Museum of Applied Art, held during October 2020.

Museum of Applied Art announced the contest for the 55th Children’s October Salon in February. We have never even imagined, though, that we and the whole world will, already a month later, face the pandemic of the COVID 19 virus. Thus, the society as a whole found itself in the midst of a grave medical crisis. In the following months we watched attentively and went through the circumstances that were themselves hard and that represented a psychological burden, which still lasts, regretfully. But, what was the thing that could divert us, relax us, and fill us with optimism during the last several months? Our pets.

From this perspective, it seems that the subject we proposed for this year, animated, in the best way, a large number of the children and youngsters. In the situation of the limited mobility, when many ordinary children’s, sports’ or family and social activities were missing, our young participants turned to their pets. They were their only consolation and salvation, but also a huge inspiration to express their creative potentials.

Animals keep company to children, they are our great treasure, and as such they should be cared for and watched over well. Various research has shown that growing up with animals and taking care of them may teach children important life lessons. With animals, children discover the world of nature and learn how animals behave in their abodes. Living close to pets children learn responsibility and empathy for others. With pets, children also learn how to express their feelings. The very fact that a pet needs to be stroked, fed, walked or taken to a veterinarian, makes children responsible and better little people. Pets gather all family members around the common activities. Sharing and playing with pets teaches children appreciation of the sentiments of others. Also, playing with animals our children spend less time with electronic devices. Pets ease tension and stress.

It should be emphasized that many a research pointed to the very important role of pets and animals for sick children, and especially for the children with special needs. The selfless devotion and pure love of these dear creatures have a beneficial influence on the health of healthy, and especially on the health of the sick children.

This year’s contest for the 55th Children’s October Salon was answered by 70 institutions with 766 works. The selection jury: Marija Labudović, textile designer and conservator and Lea Zei, art pedagogue, chose 350 works for the exhibition. The most of two-dimensional works that arrived for the competition, were created in painting techniques (tempera, dry pastel, or combined techniques on paper). Of the motifs, the dominating ones are dogs, cats, parrots, and horses. Among the works about pets, there appear bunnies, turtles, fish, birds, but also wolves, hedgehogs, baby tigers, exotic fish and bugs, as well as the irresistible sloths.

The Children’s October Salon is visited by several thousands of children, with a couple of hundred of them taking part in the workshop programmes each year. This Autumn will be specific, as we will have to limit the number of visitors of the exhibition, as well as the number of the participants in the workshops, in compliance with the proscribed measures for the protection from the COVID 19 virus. Although there will be less audience than previous years, we will see that the fans of this manifestation are not short of all the little joys and creative challenges, owing to which this manifestation lasts for so long and with such success.

Photographs from the Presentation of Diplomas and Awards

Author of the photographs: Veselin Milunović