RP kids join bid for world's largest art lesson

By Karen Galarpe, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Oct 02 2010 06:41 PM | Updated as of Oct 04 2010 08:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Around 30 kids from Manila joined many other children in Asia Pacific, Greater China, Japan, and the US on Saturday, October 2 in a bid for a Guinness World Record for the world's largest art lesson across the most number of cities.

The art class was conducted by young Singaporean artist Peter Draw in conjunction with Children's Day in Singapore. The event was presented by Cisco as a corporate social responsibility project on the company's 25th year.

Most of the children from the Philippines were orphans in the care of the Asociacion de Damas Filipinas in Paco, Manila. They were joined by children of Cisco employees at the Cisco office in Makati for the art lesson beamed from Singapore to 18 sites around the world through Cisco's high tech video conferencing technologies: TelePresence, Cisco TV, and Cisco WebEx.

Draw holds the current Guinness World Record for drawing the world's largest caricature (he made a caricature of action star Jackie Chan).

He is also credited for establishing a world record for drawing nearly 1,000 people non-stop, without food, for over 24 hours, which he did to raise funds to provide a home for a family with 4 children in Batam, Indonesia. Both world records were achieved in 2007.

Dream come true

More than 730 people took part in the October 2 world record attempt.

The children joined the art lesson from their locations in Manila, Hong Kong, Adelaide, Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Bangkok, Taiwan, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Jakarta, Bangalore, Tokyo, and San Jose, California, where Cisco's headquarters are located.

"This is not just the world's largest art lesson. This is also a dream come true for me: a dream to teach art to children all over the world, no matter who they are, or where they come from. A dream made possible by everyone who shared the same vision with me for children, especially the wonderful people from Cisco," said Draw.


From Singapore, artist Peter Draw (in red) coached children in many cities in a bid to have a Guinness World Record for the world's largest art lesson. Sitting beside him is Edzard Overbeek, president of Cisco Asia Pacific and Japan. Cisco made the event possible. Credit: Karen Galarpe, abs-cbnNEWS.com


The artist revealed he was 6 years old when he first attended an art workshop conducted by an artist in Singapore. The first lesson was free and it was good; he enjoyed it.

When he came back for the second lesson, he was asked to pay $40. "I was surprised. I don't have money. The artist said nasty things and pushed me. I hit the floor and he slammed the door. So I stayed outside, peeked through the window panel for 10 to 15 minutes. After that, my toes hurt so much I went home and cried," he said.

"My grandfather said, 'Peter, you are special. Just believe in yourself.' And so I dedicate this lesson to all of you who have a dream. Anything is possible. Believe in yourself," Draw said.

Jackie Chan and the kids

Hollywood actor Jackie Chan joined the event from Hong Kong and encouraged the children. "Never give up and work hard for your dreams, just like me and Peter," he said.

Before the art lesson, Draw first told the children the story entitled "The Sweetest Gift," about a boy who gave away his scarf to help others get warm on a cold wintry day.

He then taught the children how to draw the characters in the story, and asked the children to show their drawings to the camera so he can see them clearly.


Children from Asociacion de Damas Filipinas in Manila follow art teacher Peter Draw's instructions on how to draw. Credit: Karen Galarpe, abs-cbnNEWS.com


The high definition technology allowed Draw to coach the children in real time with no lag step by step, as if they were just across the table.

Angelica and Honeybee, 2 kids from Asociacion de Damas Filipinas, said they enjoyed the art lesson.

Even Edzard Overbeek, president of Cisco Asia Pacific and Japan, joined the lesson and made drawings himself.

"Connecting and collaborating with others is a key element of Cisco culture, and our technologies make the world a smaller place and enhance life experiences. I'm heartened by the commitment shown by my teams in all the offices and am even more excited by the opportunities. We had to show these children how technology is changing the way we live, work, play and learn. Together, we are the future," said Overbeek.

Cisco announced that the top 20 drawings made that day will be made into greeting cards, the proceeds from the sales going to charities.

The results of the world record attempt will be announced within a week.