iran art.jpgThe event was with pomp and funfair in a colourful ceremony that was punctuated by Iranian music from various musical groups from across Tehran and surrounding provinces.


The ceremony, which attracted 280 visual artists from Iran and across the world was graced by Iran’s officials from the Cultural and Islamic Relations Organisation, the Department of Cultural Affairs as well as governors from various provinces.


Although the weather is quite hot in the Middle East, the programme kicked off with hundreds of artists visiting the country’s heroes shrine where thousands Iranians who died during the 8-year Iran-Iraq War were remembered.


The Head of the Cultural and Islamic Relations Organization, Dr Mostafavi, who is also the advisor to the President of Iran, thanked all the countries who are participating in the festival, saying this is the time for all visual artists to come and share their various experiences and encouraged artists to put their effort in coming up with what he termed spiritual art.


He said each country represented in the festival should encourage their artists to work hard as art has the ability to nurture and build everlasting relations beyond boarders.


More than a hundred artists alone are from Iran, whilst other countries such as Kuwait, Afghanistan, Liberia, Albania, Kenya, Sudan, Ghana, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Serbia, Senegal and Zimbabwe are also taking part.


“We value your presence in Iran and we hope all those participating will enjoy to the full this festival as we try to encourage young artists to be in love with artistic nature,” he said.


Zimbabwe’s young visual artist, Lance Marimo said this is a chance of a lifetime and he hopes at the end of the festival he will walk away with one of the biggest prizes of a gold coin.


Festival director, Gholam-Reza Montazeri, said the aim of the festival is to offer a clear picture of the capabilities of the young generation all around the world.


Participants will also hold 2-day art workshops and exhibitions as well going on tours of Iran’s northern Golestan Province where the festival is taking place.


Art lovers will get a chance to visit exhibitions of visual art works by Iranian masters which will be held during the five-day festival.


According to Montazeri, the festival will also honor six artists from Golestan Province who have received international awards in caricature, photography and calligraphy.


Iran’s 2010 International Youth Visual Arts Festival is featuring various categories of art including painting, caricature, drawing, sculpture, graphic design, calligraphy, illustration, pottery, ceramic and photography.


The festival ends on the 30th of July and is being organized by the Visual Arts Centre of Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in association with its Provincial Office in Golestan Province.