JIS News

The Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Cultural Center and Education Division is inviting all Latin American and Caribbean artists to submit their artistic work for a contest that seeks to explore, stimulate, and propose creative and artistic alternatives in the natural sciences and mathematics.
Through the hands and eyes of the region’s artists, the Bank hopes to bring attention to mathematics and natural science as an essential foundation skill for the region’s children.
“In today’s knowledge-based societies, understanding basic mathematic and scientific concepts and theories and the capacity to structure and solve scientific questions is more critical than ever,” the IDB said in a press release announcing the competition. “Mathematics and science skills that in the past were only required by a few are necessary to seek employment in today’s global economy,” the release added.
The exhibition will launch a new IDB initiative focused on creating new policies to improve a child’s ability to reach his or her full potential in mathematics and natural sciences, between the pre-primary and the secondary levels.
A seminar entitled: ‘An Even Start: Numeracy Education in Latin America and the Caribbean’ will be held concurrently with the exhibition, with participation of experts in the subject and one of the exhibiting artists. The discussion will be organised around the presentation of an overview of the status of numeracy education in the region, as well as the results of three Bank-financed initiatives.
Aware of the needs of the region, the IDB has included education among its four priority initiatives, and makes efforts along with organisations in the public and private sectors, to create innovative solutions that increase children’s educational level.
Focus is placed on the early development of numeracy, as this is seen as essential in fostering positive attitudes towards mathematics and science, retention and school attendance, transition to more advanced levels of education, and for the region to prosper and gain a leading position in the world.
A solid foundation in mathematics and natural sciences will reduce the disadvantages that children in the region still experience in their education when compared to other world regions, enabling a number of opportunities in academic life, career, and employment, the Bank argued.
“It is proven young people become discouraged and drop out of school at 12 years old if they are unable to read and apply mathematics. The IDB is committed to resolve this situation, by helping improve primary education to ensure children are proficient in mathematics and science, and to provide them with the skills to face the challenges of the globalised economy,” the Bank said.
All artists born in Latin America and the Caribbean regardless of their current place of residence are invited to enter. Each artist must submit a portfolio with the following materials: a) An artist statement explaining interest in this topic, b) An artist resume (maximum two pages) including relevant information about their artistic career, c) Up to 10 photographs of works available for exhibition proposals. The information should include: title, description, dimensions, and medium utilised for each work.
The proposed work may not exceed five feet in any direction in the case of two-dimensional works (paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, mixed media) or three feet in any direction to three-dimensional works. Videos will be accepted, which should not exceed five minutes in length. Installations or multimedia projects others than videos will not be accepted.
The portfolio should reflect experience in the natural sciences and mathematics, their impact or need in individuals, communities, or countries. Portfolios will not be returned.
Deadline for submissions is March 25, 2010. The exhibition will be held at the IDB headquarters in Washington DC, from June 7 to 11, 2010. The winning artist will be invited to the inauguration of the exhibition in Washington, DC.
Simultaneously with the exhibition, the IDB Cultural Centre will publish a catalog with the reproduction of all the selected works and biographies of the artists.
Entry guidelines are available at: and in French at:

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