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Free school for talented artists opens

Offers three-years course for girls who cannot afford usual fees

Free school for talented artists opens
New students of Flowerdaymorning Art School
John Choi, Seoul

March 3, 2011

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Seoul archdiocese has opened a free alternative art school for talented girls who cannot afford expensive tuition fees at regular art colleges. The Flowerdaymorning Art School in Yeoncheon, in Gyeoggi-do province, opened yesterday, with nine girls comprising the first batch of students. "As Jesus Christ, the son of a poor carpenter, achieved what no-one in the world could do, I hope the school will develop from a small seed to become a big tree giving hope to people,"  Auxiliary Bishop Basil Cho Kyu-man, episcopal vicar for Seoul youths, told  the students at the opening ceremony. The school is offering a three-year course, in painting, sculpture, computer graphics, pottery, metal work and natural dyeing. "I'm a bit apprehensive, but at the same time, excited about what lies ahead,” said Agatha Lee Bom-nuri, a new student. “We will use what we learn here and thank the Church with beautiful art," she said. The school was the brainchild of Father Bernard Hong Mun-taek who says he wants to develop the talents of gifted students who might not otherwise get the chance. Three full-time teachers and around 30 volunteer professional instructors, including art professors, will teach the students. The school has been recognized by the education authorities, who say graduates will gain qualifications equivalent to those who graduate from high schools. According to the school, there are around 300 alternative schools in South Korea, but only 10 have full recognition by education authorities. Funding for the school comes through donations, and Father Hong says he has around 6,000 sponsors from 20 parishes in Seoul. “With this support I will try to build a great school and bring through some brilliant artists,” Father Hong said. KO13490.1643
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