A calligraphy and painting exhibition opened in downtown Shanghai on Sunday with works from the first graduates of an art training session backed by the city's Jade Buddha Temple.
The 51 graduates who studied landscape and Buddhist painting as well as calligraphy exhibited 100 works at the Juequn Calligraphy and Painting Institute.
The yearlong training program is mainly for amateur lovers of painting and calligraphy.
Famous artists such as celebrated contemporary artist and educator Le Zhenwen, curator of the institute, are invited to teach the students.
"The program aims to promote traditional Chinese culture as well as charity," said Le.
All training revenues will be donated to local charity foundations, the curator said.
The institute, which was founded in the temple in 2016, has donated 200,000 yuan (US$28,909) to the Shanghai Charity Foundation to mainly help children with congenital heart disease. Le donated another 300,000 yuan personally.
After graduation, the students are encouraged to create more works to promote Chinese contemporary art and contribute to charity, said Jue Xing, abbot of the temple.
Zheng Liehua, one of the graduates, said he had not only acquired painting skills but also improved his outlook on life through the yearlong study.
"The teachers encouraged us to paint with an open mind and also explained the skills through Buddhism and philosophy," Zheng said.
The exhibition will open to the public free of charge through June 2 at the institute at 1518 Xikang Road in Putuo District.
Recruitment for the second training class also started at the institute. Local expats who can speak Chinese are welcome to participate.