Photos and text by
Luis Alonso Pérez
Paint is more than colors made to cover paper. In a kid’s hands paint can make their imagination blossom, express their feelings and shape their dreams. That’s why the children’s day painting festival celebrated last Saturday April 23rd made the Centro Cultural Tijuana’s (CECUT) front courtyard look like a living mural flourishing with life.
For the fifteenth year straight, children in Tijuana had the opportunity of celebrating their day painting the morning away in the traditional children’s festival “Ven a pintar con nosotros” (Come and paint with us). The event was created by CECUT in 1991, with the purpose of encouraging creativity and a pleasure in the plastic arts among children.
The front courtyard began receiving young painters early in the morning. Children from 3 to 12 years could join in the celebration. For many kids, the main motivation for their creativity was the opportunity to take home a prize for the best painting in any of the three categories in the contest.
The event began at 9 a.m. with the free registration. When children signed up they received paint cups, brushes and paper so they could express their artistic talent. Everyone placed their pieces of paper and paint cups on the floor, making long and colorful rows, local artists walked around between rows, to guide and teach the kids some basic painting techniques.
Hundreds of kids walked happily, holding their paint on one hand and with the other hand holding the hands of their moms, aunts, sisters, or grandmothers. Very little fathers could take their kids to the festival on a Saturday morning, most of them where busy working. But José Gutierrez had the chance to be there since he owns his own business, and has been taking his kids Eliu and Ruben for the last four years. For José this is very important, because it not only encourages art among children, but it helps them grow with good mental health. “But it also helps us parents, because it allows us to have a day of family sharing” said José.
The event was complemented with an artistic festival put together by Rafael Oseguera, followed by the folkloric ballet Ixchmad and Licual, integrated kids from local elementary schools.
Diana Gabriela is part of a folkloric ballet from the state of Nayarit, organized by Colegio Nuevo Mundo. After stepping off the stage she grabbed her paint cups, brushes, paper and began painting with the help of her mom, Gabriela Garcia. “I have been bringing my kids for two years now. They like painting a lot, Diana Gabriela is taking painting classes in her school and her young brother is taking embossing and painting classes, they have a lot of fun”.
Ruly the magician turned up the party and made children in the audience jump, sing and dance with his magical-comedy show. The celebration continued with the Latin-American folkloric music of Arbol Azul, followed by Luis Delgadillo and the Kueliguenes.
The event concluded with raffles among participating children and the painting contest awarding ceremony. The winners of the first places will have a chance to display their paintings in the exhibition “Ven a pintar con nosotros”, which will be inaugurated on May 14th in the community expo hall in CECUT.