The Tennessee School for the Blind was visited in June by a diplomat representing the embassy of the Czech Republic, who shared the news that a student art project is receiving an international honor.

Zdenek Berank, the deputy head of mission at the Czech embassy to the U.S., told school officials that the student art project had been accepted for display in International Children’s Exhibition of Fine Arts Lidice (ICEFA Lidice), according to a release from the Tennessee School for the Blind.

A student from Greene County attends the Tennessee School for the Blind.

The School for the Blind students’ project, “Be Good Beach,” was one of two artworks by American children chosen for the exhibit, the release stated. Works selected for the exhibit are given “Honorable Mentions” by the judging panel, the release said.

“Be Good Beach” is a stop-animation video created as part of a collaborative effort the school has with the Middle Tennessee State University Art Education program. The students molded figures from clay, created a backdrop, developed a script, staged the figures and recorded the video. Forty-one students contributed more than 25 hours into making the video project.

One of the MTSU art professors submitted the project to ICEFA Lidice for consideration for the exhibit. What has become an international children’s art exhibit began in the in 1967 as a way for Czech children to remember the children from Lidice who were killed during World War II when the village was destroyed by the Nazis, the release said.

In a few years, the exhibition grew to include entries from the Slovak Republic and then other nations. By 1973, thousands of entries for the exhibit were arriving from all around the world.

Recent years have seen ICEFA Lidice annually receive around 30,000 works of art from children globally, the release stated. The children participating range in ages from 4-16, represent all types of schools, and 60-70 nations. Through a screening and judging process circa 1,400 of the works are annually selected for display, the release said.

A copy of the finished video “Be Good Beach” can be viewed at the Tennessee School for the Blind’s YouTube channel.

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