30/40 is the catchy name of an exhibition that opens on Friday night at the Image Factory. Thirty represents the three decades of Belize’s independence while forty is the number of years since the Art program began at S.J.C. On display are over five hundred pieces of art from S.J.C. and other schools including drawings, paintings, sculptures and photography. News Five’s Jose Sanchez has a preview of the exhibit.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Yasser Musa

The musing of S.J.C. art students is being unveiled at an exhibit called 30/40 at the Image Factory. It is collaboration between S.J.C.’s Art Center and the Image Factory. Teacher, Poet, and all around artist, Yasser Musa explains the title.

Yasser Musa, SJC Art Teacher

“We’re using those numbers because we’re celebrating thirty years of independence and forty years as an art program. So really we are celebrating two big milestones. We have over nine hundred works of art so the Image Factory is packed to capacity so to speak. And the art involves digital photography, painting, drawing and three-dimensional design.”

Jose Sanchez

“The artists themselves are they the usual suspects that we know of or are these new and emerging artists?”

Yasser Musa

“Well every year we have about two hundred and fifty students that take art since we have an expanded art program. This year we are happy to report we have students from Maud Williams as well as a lot of the works are done by the students at the School of Professional Studies, the so-called night school. So it is a mixture between the S.J.C. high school and junior college program as well as the outreach program—E.P. Yorke, Maud Williams, Sadie Vernon and some Saint Catherine’s students this year so it a well rounded group.”

Jose Sanchez

“A variety of artists, a variety of artwork—is there any particular themes we are looking at with this particular exhibit?”

Yasser Musa

“Well I think the most important thing we are celebrating is the freedom of expression. We take these things for granted. Our constitution says that we should have the right to associate, but as artists we have to hold very dear, the value of expression, the value of conscience and I think it is a great lesson to celebrate because young people are in this mode of expression. They look on the TV and they see people dying to express themselves. So sometimes you take these things for granted so I think it is a great opportunity. And we are really pushing forward now with the new advances in technology. So we are hoping in august to start a more accelerated digital art program involving things like video editing, photography and things like that.”

The doors to 3040 open at seven. The public is invited to attend. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

If you can’t catch the grand opening on Friday, you can still view the exhibition up until June fourth.