By Eleni Philippou
It’s a day that singletons dread, couples spend heaps of money for and businesses thrive on. Soon after the Christmas decorations and lights disappear from the streets, heart-shaped balloons and red plant pots start to decorate flower shops in anticipation of February 14; Valentine’s Day.
Besides the standard romantic dinners, more ways to spend the day of love have appeared over the years; poetry readings about love, the rare speed dating event and film screenings of all-time love affairs. Adding to the variety is Nicosia’s Leventis Gallery, which has planned love-themed events next weekend.
Educational visits aren’t something new, the museum has been running them since its opening. It is an “all-inclusive museum open to the whole world and takes on issues such as diversity, tolerance, innovation and creativity,” as the Educational Programmes department says.
“Our aim as museum educators of the AG Leventis Gallery,” adds educational officer Theodara Dimitriou, “is to create a positive and enjoyable experience for our young visitors. Our goal is not only for them to learn about art and history through our own words, but to become active participants in this unique story which they will manage by emerging through our stories.”
This year, the Gallery is teaming up with Sophia Foundation for a morning session titled Paintings Spring to Life. Run by Nopi Nicolaou Tilemachou from the University of Cyprus’ Education Department and a volunteer at the Sophia Foundation and by Rebeka Katsari, the two will awaken the gallery’s impressionist paintings with the children.
On February 16 and 17, they’ll take kids on a journey to discover impressionist art. What’s great about these types of events is that you, or children in this case, don’t realise this is an educational programme because it’s presented in a fun, participatory manner.
Using colours, sounds and songs, Nopi and Rebeka plan to explore the possible stories paintings hide through music and interactive activities.
The afternoon Swirling Hearts session, running from 2.30-3.30pm on both days, also has love as its main theme. Katerina Stephanidou in charge of AG Leventis Gallery’s education programme and Theodara Dimitriou will lead a more hands-on workshop for children.
Spending an hour doing arts and crafts, they will create hand-made designs of swirling hearts the children will be able to take home with them and hang from the ceiling. The point of this workshop? To be reminded of the special role giving and receiving love has in our everyday lives.
Both workshops cost €10 each and Saturday’s activities will be exactly the same as Sunday’s so pick whichever day suits you best. All proceeds from these workshops will be going towards Sophia Foundation as the Gallery frequently supports charities and NGOs through cultural activities.
Only 25 children will be able to take part in each session as there is limited space so if your young one is between five and twelve years old and is interested, it’s best to reserve a place soon.
Sticking with the love theme at the gallery, from Tuesday to the following Monday 100 hearts will be on display at the gallery that were created in Kenya and turned into works of art by Cypriot artists. Visitors can express their love further and take a piece of the love home by purchasing the hearts, which are priced from €100 and up. All money generated will be given to the Sophia Foundation.
100 hearts that have been turned into works of art by local artists for sale from €100. February 12-18, A. G. Leventis Gallery. All proceeds go to the Sophia Foundation.
Paintings Spring to Life
Interactive workshop for children aged 5-12, with music and theatre games. February 16 and 17. A.G. Leventis Gallery, Nicosia. 11.30am-1pm. 10euros. Info and reservation: 22-668838 / [email protected] all proceeds go to Sophia Foundation.
Arts and crafts love-themed workshop for children aged 5-12. February 16 and 17. A.G. Leventis Gallery, Nicosia. 4.30pm-3.30pm. 10euros. Info and reservation: 22-668838 / [email protected] all proceeds go to Sophia Foundation.