Indepth Arts News: |
"Our World in the Year 2000: The Winsor & Newton Worldwide Millennium Painting Competition"
2000-07-12 until 2000-08-28
United Nations Headquarters
New York, NY,
USA United States of America
During the summer, The United Nations will host a unique exhibit, Our World in the Year 2000: The United Nations
Millennium Art Exhibition, in the Foyer of the United Nations Headquarters, New York. All UN Ambassadors and
exhibiting artists have been invited to attend.
The exhibit comprises over 130 winning and selected paintings from the largest international art competition ever held:
The Winsor & Newton Worldwide Millennium Painting Competition. Over 22,000 amateur and professional artists
from 51 countries entered paintings to the competition on the theme of My Country in the Year 2000.
Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations, comments: The exhibition is an excellent example of how the
universal language of art can bring nations together and promote greater understanding between peoples and
In February 2000, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Chairman of the International Judging Panel, presented
awards to the winning artists at St. James’s Palace, London. In his Foreword to the exhibition catalogue he comments:
We can all learn a great deal about our world by looking at it through the independent and perceptive eyes of artists.
The winner of the worldwide competition, Ramón Piaguaje, a Secoya Indian, is a self-taught artist who has only been
painting for five years. He lives deep in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, South America, and his painting shows a
highly detailed view of the rainforest near his home by the Aguarico River.
Ramón Piaguaje comments: I entered the competition because I wanted to deliver a message to the rest of the
world about keeping this lung of the world free from pollution and destruction. The forest is all we have. I hope that
when people see my picture, they do not just look at my art, but realise that it is their obligation to help to preserve
the Amazon rainforest. My tribe, the Secoyas, have lived in these forests for thousands of years and to see a tree fall
is like seeing a loved one die. Ramón Piaguaje is making a special journey to New York to see the exhibit, and
hopes to meet Kofi Annan to talk to him about the threat to the rainforest where he lives.
The exhibition has already been shown in London and Stockholm where it attracted large crowds. Steve Pleune,
Managing Director of Winsor & Newton, the famous British art materials manufacturer, which organised the competition,
comments: We are delighted with the incredible response to the competition from artists all over the world. Perhaps
through them we will have a better understanding of the need to act to make our world a better place for future
generations. Visitors to the exhibition can find out what artists feel and think about some of the most pressing concerns
facing mankind, such as damage to the environment, the well being of children, poverty and famine. There are also
wonderful paintings which celebrate multiculturalism, and imaginative images of what the future may bring us.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated, 144 page, colour catalogue, price $25 sold in aid of UNICEF.
Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, UNICEF comments: UNICEF is honoured to be selected as a beneficiary of
funds raised from the sale of this catalogue, and from the sale of a painting of the Amazon Rainforest by Mr. Ramón
Piaguaje, winner of the Our World competition. The funds raised will go to assist children and women who are among
the poorest of the poor.
The River Slaney 2000