Updated: May 3, 2022
The Women in Art Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (WIAOTT) is a not-for-profit group of professional women artists that advocates for and supports our members and associate members through art exhibitions, courses and a simple sense of community, mutual respect, and camaraderie. Our list of diverse members represents all genres of the visual arts from across Trinidad and Tobago. WIAOTT provides a platform for established and emerging artists to showcase and sell their works. We work with both primary and secondary school students to foster the pursuit of careers within the art industry.
During the last quarter of 2021, WIAOTT held a National Treasures Creativity Competition for primary-school students. The competition, through the kind sponsorship of the National Gas Company (NGC) and under the endorsement of The Ministry of Education, was a tremendous success with submissions from two hundred and sixty-four students nationwide.
The WIAOTT’s commemorative Book of National Treasures is comprised of twenty-five full colour images created by twenty-five of WIAOTT’s national artists. Each original artwork was matched with an outline, and all primary school students from standards one to three, were invited to choose an image and submit a work of art using digital media or analog form of expression – i.e. coloured pencils, paint or mixed media.
The categories were:
1. Historic physical structures and landmarks
2. Traditional characters and local icons
3. National birds
4. Flora and fauna
5. National festivals
6. Religious celebrations, events and traditions
7. Local delicacies and food
The competition ran from November 2021 to January 2022 with the objective of supporting the work of local art teachers and artists throughout Trinidad and Tobago. The six students were thrilled to receive their prizes which included two tablets, each valued at TT$2,000., two gift certificates for art supplies valued at TT$1,500., and two gift certificates for art supplies valued at TT$1,000. The two first-place winners will also be awarded a complimentary one-year Associate Membership of WIAOTT. An additional three students received gift certificates for art supplies valued at TT$500., for “honourable mentions”.
During the second year of the pandemic, Nalini Akal, Vice President of WIAOTT, created the “FilmLab” – a program geared towards secondary school students. The purpose of the Film Lab was for students to have a better understanding of the formulation of creativity in an audio-visual, online world.
In October 2021, the first-term students learned the importance of planning and pre-production with a focus on the Art of the Story, Script Analysis and how to break apart characters.
In the second term, a lot more skills were implemented, - directing, music composition and production management, were a few of the lectures offered.
The students were well motivated until the changeover in 2022, when students returned to in-person school, as some students were unable to make the online class scheduled at 4:00 pm, while in transit from school to home. The schedule was adjusted and FilmLab is now preparing for possible in-person coaching during the upcoming August vacation of 2022.
Quote from Nalini Akal - “As Coordinator of the FilmLab, the first-year alumna, of the UWI BA in Film Program and as an artist, the experience of FilmLab has been humbling and exhilarating as students are so amazingly creative in their analysis of films. Our intention of course has always been for students to journey toward finding their authentic Caribbean Voice.”
Please consider donating to the Women in Art Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago. With your contribution we could fund more students who would otherwise not be able to afford an art education. If you are a patron of the arts, do join our mailing list and be notified of upcoming exhibitions, events, and student programs.