Seychellois artist Channel Alphonse has received a wide range of specialized equipment and arts materials which will enable him to create more works of art, a promise made and delivered by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Mr Alphonse made this request recently to the Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St.Ange a few months ago when the latter visited his workshop, located in the Port Glaud district.
Minister St.Ange presented the artist with this donation a few days before the New Year at his residence, where he also runs a small souvenir shop. Attending the short handing over ceremony was the principal secretary for culture Benjamine Rose, chief executive of the National Arts Council Jimmy Savy and family members of Mr Alphonse.
Though he has a speech impairment, Mr Alphonse has never let his disability affect his creativity. For a while now, he has been showing his creativity through the locally made handicrafts.
Minister St.Ange commended the artist for being able to create works of art ‘Made in Seychelles’ and for not selling those imported that have no feel of Seychelles whatsoever. He added that more Seychellois artists should be producing locally made art works.
“We need to support you because you are doing a great job which in return is a plus for our island’s tourism industry. Today, I commend you for your work and your devotion towards it,” said Minister St.Ange.
He added that his ministry not only focuses on tourism establishments and our ‘Seychelles Brand’ but also on the culture side of the industry.
During one of his door to door visits to stay connected with the industry at large, Minister St.Ange stopped at Mr Alphonse’s workshop, saw his art works and appreciated his efforts in creating local products for the tourism market.
Since the artist was requesting for help from the ministry, we decided to support him in continuing to create more quality locally made products of greater quality, Minister St.Ange added.
He said Seychelles has unique style handicrafts which we must encourage our artists to create ‘Made in Seychelles’ items as these are what visitors to our shores are looking for.
Also speaking Mr Savy said the National Arts Council is happy to have been of assistance to Mr Alphonse and will continue to support all artists.