Challenge Art Festival in Tsukuba Shows that with Art, There Really Are No Limits (thru Sunday March 6th)
By Avi Landau
Ideally, an art exhibition should excite and delight, thrill and chill, stimulate and fascinate – and of course, get you to think about all sorts of things. The 15th Challenge Art Festival exhibit at the Tsukuba Art Museum succeeds in delivering on all these counts and has had me coming bad on several consecutive days for multiple viewings of these works – all created (you might or might not be surprised) at the 2 dozen or so different facilities around Tsukuba which dedicated to the care of the mentally and or physically disabled.
The creation of and appreciation of art is one of distinguishing features that separate us from the other species – an essential part of what makes us human. With the help of their teachers (who deserve a lot of credit and respect) have given these artists (who range in age from young children to older adults) to express their inner worlds – their humanity – in ways that physical and mental disabilites do not permit them to do out in the everyday world. And they do hit the various media with a vengeance, letting loose with a barrage of color, shape and form – and plenty of wit and humor.
Unfortuantely, the event will end tomorrow (March 6th) at noon. I will be looking forward to next year`s 16th Challenge Art Festival – and thank the artists and their teachers for proving how powerful the act of making art can be – as a form of expression and self discovery, building confidence and a sense of achievement, and giving others like me a few momets of pleasure (and an escape from the everyday humdrum world!)
The Tsukuba Art Museum (Tsukuba Bijutsukan, つくば美術館) is located in the Ars Building (which also houses the Tsukuba Central Library) just north of Tsukuba Center and the TX Tsukuba Terminal. It is on the eastern edge of Chuo-Koen Park.
Admission to this exhibition is free.