International Contest of Children’s Painting
On the occasion of the launching of the children’s magazine MINI-YA, published by the Diario Ya, I visited its director, Alejandro Fernandez Pombo. AMADE offered its collaboration with the magazine, calling for a children’s painting contest. The first theme that we decided upon was Christmas. The response by the children was spectacular; an avalanche of drawings came to the newspaper. Although the quality was limited and the materials poor, we manage to get in touch with over a thousand children.
After the first call, a pitch was made to Hispano-America through " Diario de las Américas" of Miami, "ABC" Color of Paraguay, "El Heraldo" of Mexico, "El Tiempo" of Bogota, " The Excelsior " of Costa Rica, and the "Press Association" of Chile, among many others. The diffusion was very effective, the impact was fantastic, and really "These children could paint!”
Later, we secured representation from the five continents, a participation that still continues today. In this way, the contest strengthens the ties between countries that do note maintain diplomatic relations. It has gained worldwide acceptance, and its diffusion has since mostly been assumed by the Departments of Education of every country.
The quality of the paintings assembled by AMADE Spain, thanks to the painting contest, deserves recognition for emerging from the expressive spring possessed by children. The value of this pictorial collection, which exceeds fifteen thousand images, is reflected in the creative spirit of children.
Illustrious celebrities who have formed part of the jury, and who have proven their value include: Antonio Agudo, Florencio Aguilera, Mario Antolín, Araceli Alarcón, Carlos Arean, Nati Cañada, Isabel Carswell, Soulange da Coast, Countess of Morata of Surveyor's pole, Santiago of Santiago, Cristina Duclos, Christopher Gabarrón, Carlos García de Osuna, Manuel Augusto García Viñolas, Evaristo Guerra, Ginés Liébana, Antonio Lopez, Rosa Martínez of the Gentlemanly one, Isabel Martínez-Bordiú, Merian Mician, Juan Antonio Morales, Lopez Romeral, Manuel Sanchez Méndez, Mayte Spinola, Cristóbal Toral, Cowherd Palaces, Antonio Villatoro, Betsy Westendorp. The main responsibility of these individuals has been to choose a few drawings – pieces that have successively captured the expectant eyes of adults.
At the same time, Queen Sofia has presided over our exhibitions, along with the ambassadors of participating countries. They have received in several occasions and in named of the children of their countries the granted awards.
On the other hand, in conjunction with the paintings realized by the children, it is necessary to especially remember CajaMadrid's cooperation through sponsoring catalogues, prizes, and exhibitions of the paintings from the eighties.
During these years, hundreds have collaborated in altruistic ways, dedicating their profession, their knowledge, or their time to help thousands of children. These children have expressed all the historical and social events over the years with respect to the themes proposed. We have seen their favorite sports, the sites of their cities, their family relationships, their aspirations, and their ideals. The have also represented their vision of the discovery of America, the Olympics, and Christmas. Moreover, they have shown a rainbow of images that have presented their desires in life.
This dream was fulfilled thanks to Cristóbal Gabarrón, who served has in the jury for the past fifteen years. Even though his work or circumstances kept him away from his own country, he always finds a place to look into the universe of childhood creation. He, better than anyone, knows the contents of this collection, and, as great artist and professional in the field, is strongly committed the future of children.
Isabel Carswell de Sanchez Bella
President of Queen Sofia Children’s Art Museum