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    Belize Art Project

    The Purpose of the Gateway To Sedona Artist Competition / Make Art Not War

    To help talented people in countries where there is no art education or art supplies have the opportunity for an art career, to make a living through selling or licensing their art and design.


    Decorative plate by Nesh Tzib. Nesh is an artist from Belize, Central America, descended from Maya and Creole families. This is the first in a series, with 50% of proceeds used to continue to support Nesh and other talented artists like him. The world is a richer, more beautiful, and peaceful place when talented people have the opportunity to share their wonderful art with the world.

    First Collector Plates in a New Series - BIRDS OF BELIZE by Belizean artist Nesh Tzib




    I lived in Belize, Central America, for 1 1/2 years. There, I learned there were no art classes in the local schools, and art supplies were either unavailable or totally out of reach due to cost. One day, I was shown a painting by a farmer (Nesh Tzib) who worked daily on the citrus orchard surrounding my home near Santa Elena (western Belize). It was amazing, of a peacock surrounded by roses. He had painted it for his mother after losing one eye as a teenager (due to a slingshot). He used housepaint and when he didn't have the color yellow available, he used cool-aid to make it. Very resourceful!

    Vic Oldham web

    Victoria (Vicky) Oldham paints a scarlet macaw during her time in Belize (oil on oil painting paper, 16" x 20"). See it up close here.

    I soon learned that some of the kids in the area were very talented as well. The idea formed: they needed art supplies and direction, and it would give them an opportunity in art that never existed before. I supplied Nesh with paints, canvas, brushes, and paid him to paint designs that could go on objects like plates... first, a series of Belize birds. I came up with art kits for the kids, and Nesh helped to guide some of them in their first projects, even though he has never had an art lesson himself.

    American and European tourists daily visit the Mayan ruins in Belize like Xunantunich (pronounced zoo-nan-too-nich, 10 minutes from my home in Belize) and on the way to the site, the place is crowded with Guatemalan crafts—no Belizean art. This shocked me, especially after learning that the local people show such an aptitude for art and design. Also, there is extreme poverty and lack of opportunity for most Belizean people. I wondered: could an opportunity in art make a difference? I said yes—I believe, a huge difference. This is why all net proceeds from the Gateway To Sedona portion of Sedona Art Prize will be used to fund more art from Nesh and other talented individuals who would otherwise be excluded from participation in the world of fine art. — Victoria Oldham


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