Noble project to help Penan children


  • Metro News
  • Monday, 23 Dec 2019

Vaz (left) and her young team who are raising funds to set up a mini library for Penan children.

MIRI: A prominent artist is teaming up with Pustaka Negeri Sarawak IT library in Miri to raise funds to set up a mini library for Penan children in the remote Long Latie settlement in northern Sarawak.

Mary Anne Vaz and more than 40 of her young artists are currently holding a “Joy of Painting” display at the Pustaka Miri where teens and artists as young as five are drawing paintings on Sarawak nature and culture.

The display will run until Jan 7.

Vaz said for every painting, RM10 will be donated by the young artist to a fund set up by Pustaka Miri to buy books for Penan kids in Long Latie.

“Pustaka Miri and my team of artists are aiming to set up a mini library at the Long Latie Penan settlement.

“The artists are drawing many beautiful paintings and part of the proceeds from the paintings sold will be used to buy reading materials.

“Pustaka Miri will set up the reading facility next year,” said Vaz.

Long Latie is located about seven hours by timber road from Miri.

Vaz is an accomplished artist, having won numerous local and international awards for her paintings since young.Her paintings are a way of expressing what she sees and feels about Sarawak, and she uses her skills in painting for purposes beyond the ordinary.

Vaz has a studio in Miri where she teaches painting to children, youths, adults and senior citizens and even has whole families attending her classes.

This is a form of family bonding, emotional therapy, mental health exercise and psychological growth, she said.

Born in Penang and married to a local in Miri, she has grown to love Sarawak and the people here.

She is now retired from teaching and runs an art studio in Miri.

“I love to draw and paint scenes of local cultures and natives.

“Painting is also a form of therapy that benefits patients suffering from dementia and the autistic,” she said.

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