Twenty Nine Artists, Works, Years opens tomorrow at the Art Gallery
Final touches are being put on an exhibition that captures history in art. It covers different eras, known and unknown personalities as well as significant political events in the life of the colony and then the independent Belize. News Five’s Jose Sanchez has a preview of the exhibition that opens later this week in time for the twenty-ninth birthday of the Jewel through the eyes of twenty nine artists.
Jose Sanchez, Reporting
Twenty Nine Artists, Works, Years is the title of the visual exhibit at the Bliss. The number represents the twenty-nine years of Independence.
Bill Skinner, Curator, NICH
“It spans quite far, from the late nineteenth century up until practically last year.”
In fact the exhibit dates back to 1889 via a photo taken for the Crown and stretches over a hundred years to the cool waves of a Belisle painting of the 1970’s. It covers the frivolous musings of angels in 2007 as well as the tempestuous Tower Hill Riot in Orange Walk.
“Sometimes artists do respond to their immediate environment. So you sort of talked about that just now and in particular Pen Cayetano’s Towerhill riot really showcases the turbulence of the political atmosphere. Even if we look ay Winsome, Winsome an artist based in Cayo, she brings up issues of national identity and self representation and those are key as we think of the anniversary of the country this year. But there are pressing at any time for people to think about their own sense of being.”
Contemplating the Revolution is a painting of Frank Orozco; it holds personal as well as technical value for its creator.
Gilvano Swasey, Artist
“Frank Orozco, he actually passed away. He used to be the security guard for us at the Image Factory so it was someone that I would interact with every day, even before I get into my space at the gallery. So I was young, innocent, 1998, pre-puberty and I was very interested in the way how he was seeing life. Frank, I guess being a security guard, he was an old guy, but he still had that vigor of going to war. I experimented with black and white, photography at the time, I experimented with new medium moving from acrylic, into water colors, into guash. So he is something that really stuck with me.”
The pieces are intellectual and also reflect culture though the stroke of brush as well as the shape of its medium.
“Definitely have conceptual art. Yasser with his Banana Boy project, he’s looking at issues of post colonialism, issues of commercialism and consumerism; things that are really of today for him in his work. With JD, his work pushes our boundary of what we consider painting, mixed media and sculpture. His piece here is essentially a hybrid of those components.”
“Being in the historical context, I am attracted to some of the older works, for example, of Benjamin Nicholas. His piece even stands out more because it’s a sculpture. Most people, normally when they hear Benji they’re attracted to painting, that’s the first ting that pops into mind. So there are very few pieces that Benji has done that are sculptures and that have survived. The works of Pen Cayetano, it interests me in the sense of him being a Belizean artist, living abroad coming back every so often doing a Mecca to Belize and then also interested in events. So his style has changed a bit, being influenced by his European environment but also his visions and dreams of Belize have changed a little, being exposed to what’s happening in world terms. But still everyday events jumped out at him and I saw it in his works that he captured whenever he did an exhibition. Manolo Daza, even though he has Cuban origin, he has totally melted in the Belizean landscapes. I’m very attracted to the characters he picks up, the subjects. He does a lot of people but he basically will emphasize certain features that jump out.”
But how to describe twenty-nine years of appreciated art? George Gabb once said “It would be an injustice to think of art in human terms. It is an incalculable expression that is beyond man’s material comprehension.” However, the art, will be preserved past the day it can be truly comprehended. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.
The exhibit opens tomorrow night at seven p.m. it opens until September twenty fourth.