Sponsorship helps artist's creativity flourish
March 28, 2012
Newton, a 21-year-old art student from Kenya, admires all the great artists: Michelangelo, Van Gogh, and, of course, his father.
Newton, an art student from Kenya, shares his paintings with his
sponsor, Scheryn, on a mission awareness trip. Newton is
pursuing a degree in art with the help of CFCA and his
sponsors, Scheryn and Fred Pratt.
"At a very tender age, I was fascinated with art and its beauty," Newton said. "My late father was an artist and as a young boy, I used to admire him.
"Just like any small boy, the admiration I had for him and his work made me want to be exactly like him. When teachers saw my potential, they encouraged me to develop my talent."
Newton flourished under that encouragement and pursued an education in art with the help of CFCA and his sponsors, Scheryn and Fred Pratt, who contribute for his annual art school fees in addition to their sponsorship.
Newton is finishing his second year at Buru Buru Institute of Fine Arts, one of Kenya's outstanding colleges of fine art and design. Upon completion of his studies this year, he will receive an art diploma from the college.
This year, Newton studied painting, sculpture and interior design. And, while painting is his favorite artistic medium, Newton wants to pursue a degree in architecture, with an ambitious goal of someday building an art center for the children in his community.
"It is my hope that my art will inspire anyone who comes across it, especially those that I have grown up with in the Mathare slums," Newton said.
When it comes to Newton's own inspiration, though, he doesn't have to look further than his own experiences.
He and his family live in a small, one-room home located in a neighborhood with very little maintenance or plant growth.
Yet Newton draws from these life experiences, including living in Mathare, to create his own beauty through his artwork – artwork he has shared with his sponsors, over the years.
"Art is unique, and my inspiration is from the depths of my heart," he said. "The passion I have for art is based on my life story."
Scheryn, who has sponsored Newton for six years, can attest to that, even more so now since she met him while on a CFCA mission awareness trip. Scheryn and Fred have received some of Newton's artwork with his letters. He also gave them a wall hanging.
"I think [his artwork] is very personal to him," Scheryn said. "I felt like he was sharing a really special part of himself with me when he would share his artwork."
Meeting face to face
Although Newton is a wonderful correspondent, Scheryn said, there's nothing like finally meeting a friend in person. And last year, that's just what happened when Scheryn and Fred traveled to Kenya on a mission awareness trip.
Scheryn and Fred met Newton's mother and brother and had the unique opportunity to see his home and school. The experience was an emotional one for them.
"He's just such a dear boy," Scheryn said of Newton. "He was very, very attentive to us when we were there. He's a real, genuine, loving, big-hearted person with just a lot of obstacles. To meet him, you just want to break out in tears because you're so happy to see him."
Newton treasured the meeting as well.
"When I met them, I was overwhelmed, excited – I have no words to describe that moment," Newton said. "Spending time with them was the most enjoyable to me. They visited my home and school and I was so proud of that. I really love them; they are God's gift to me."