Kelmė native, Valdas Kančauskas, who has been working in the field of special children’s education for 20 years, strives for society to accept special children as they are; see what they are interested in and understand how they get to know the world around them. According to this special pedagogue, special children are those who have a variety of special needs lrtyas.lt wrote.
The children create by using a unique technique
What helps Valdas uncover children’s thoughts, authentic images and their theories about the world, is the unique teaching of vector painting. The meticulous and astonishing creations, consisting of thousands of colourful dots, blend separate shapes together into stunning original childish visions. For special children, drawing opens the gates to the world and helps them to not only express themselves but also to create added value. Works created using a unique technique are the best proof of how creativity and art remove any boundaries between people, to unite, surprise and fascinate.
The teacher sees how creative activities change children who have some difficulties controlling their emotions and moods. By being able to create something concrete and receiving an evaluation, they learn to concentrate, focus and achieve a result. Creativity is not only a great way to keep the children busy, but also a type of therapy. According to Valdas, ‘What could be more important than fostering creativity? Creativity and the expression of one’s thoughts are the basis of any person’s growth and development…’
Valdas’ head is full of various ideas. One of them is the project ‘Kites of Happiness’. Valdas Kančauskas transfers the vector paintings created by children to a special flag material, which, when they become kites and ascend to the sky, surprise, delight and amaze many who observe their beauty from the ground.
‘The soul is healed not only by art, but also by attention, warmth and smile’, says Valdas Kančauskas.
The ‘kite-like-flight’ of the new project
The wonderful and unforgettable ascension of the ‘Angel of Happiness’ from the Gardens of Angels took place in Palendriai St. Benedict’s Monastery, Kelmė district.
‘It is an angelic work of a great and strong person with a big, loving heart. The girl, who has had many difficult experiences in her life, shared with us the light, love and hope conveyed through the drawing – the belief that her life will one day be bright and happy as well’, says the initiator of the project.
It is unfortunate that, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, unforgettable moments could not be observed by thousands of people. However, this is only the beginning of the flight of these kites and, after the pandemic, the work will delight not only Lithuanians but also European and world connoisseurs of exclusive and unique art.
Art unites people
The co-authors of the ‘Angel of Happiness’ are Evelina Ralytė, who studies at Kelmė special school and attends vector painting and creativity education activities led by Valdas and a member of the Lithuanian Artists’ Association, famous graphic artist, wall painter, Andrius Seselskas from Kelmė. In the future, it is planned to fly these kites only in special and unique places, as a gift of children’s love, warmth and authenticity.
After the first joint work of the ‘Angels’ Project’, other joint angelic works by special authors and professionals, well-known Lithuanian and world artists, are also being created, which will all rise together as the only such sky exhibition, unique not only in Lithuania but also in South Korea. This is expected to happen in April of next year.
Valdas invites you to admire the paintings of special children currently on display in Kelmė. The exhibition is also unique in that nine of the fourteen exhibited works were created remotely. Due to the pandemic, the works are exhibited on the windows of Kelmė Cultural Centre, so that all the locals, as well as the city’s guests, can admire them.
The authors of the exhibited works are not only special artists known all over the country, but also special children from Vilnius studying at the Vilnius ‘Šilas’ school.
On October 27, the children’s exhibition will be moved to Palendriai St. Benedict’s Monastery, a monastery founded almost a thousand years ago, where the exhibition will continue its wonderful journey through Lithuania and possibly even travel to France.
Making Lithuania’s name famous around the world
In addition to the three exhibitions already held in the United States of America, two unique works of vector painting created by Kelmė natives were exhibited at the global exhibition of special authors, ‘ACEP 2020’ in South Korea (September 12–27). The exhibition, organised by ‘HUMANAID’, was held in the beautiful gallery of Seoul Arts Centre. The participation of Lithuanians was very much supported and encouraged by the Cultural Attaché of the Republic of Lithuania in China and South Korea, Tomas Ivanauskas, and the discussions that he had with the organisers.
Another piece of good news is that the non-profit company ‘VšĮ Angelų sodai’, founded and managed by Valdas, and the branch of the world-famous organisation ‘HUMANAID’ in South Korea, officially signed a memorandum of understanding last week. Accordingly, cooperation will take place by sharing the experience regarding fostering the creativity of special children at the cross-border level. The cooperation will entail organising international art exhibitions, world artists’ conventions, the activities of the ‘Kites of Happiness’ in South Korea and around the world together with ‘HUMANAID’, and initiating global social and creative projects for artists with developmental disorders.
Valdas is also very happy with the changed attitude of the sponsors towards the artistic and project-related activities of special children. This is not the first time that the transfer of new vector paintings to museum-quality canvas receives solid financial support from Petras Račkauskas of Kelmė, the head of the socially responsible company, ‘UAB Račkausko Agrotech’, a businessman and an honorary citizen of Kelmė. Kelmė district municipality also contributed to the printing of the works. The project ‘Kites of Happiness’, curated by Valdas, was supported by ‘UAB Fungerta’ from Kaunas and ‘UAB Žuvys’ from Klaipėda.
The inventor and curator of the integrative social initiative ‘Kites of Happiness’ is a public figure, head of vector drawing and creativity educational activities. He is also founder of a non-profit company ‘Angelų sodai’, laureate of the national project ‘Teachers for Lithuania’ and one of the winners of the national project, ‘Heroes Among Us’, organised in order to honour outstanding teachers. Additionally, he is laureate of the LRT Awards of the Year, and the nomination for ‘Dialogue of the Year’ photographer. He has dedicated his whole life to working with special children – Valdas Kančauskas.
Leave the interpreting to us! Translated by Pasaulio spalvos