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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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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

bill skinner

"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.

Bill Skinner

"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

gilvano swasey

"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.

Bill Skinner

"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."

Gilvano Swasey

"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.

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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29: the Magic Number

It isn't everyday that younger artists like Gilvano Swasey share the same stage with the likes of George Gabb, Pen Cayetano and Yasser Musa but Swasey's 1998 'Contemplating the Revolution' was one of the 29 pieces in The National Collection of Art entitled "29: Artists Works Years."

29: Artists Works Years is a collection of paintings, sculpture, photography and mixed media which feature pieces by 29 artists including Richard Holder, Benjamin Nicholas and Lucky Chiang.

The exhibition which is organized by NICH along with the National Celebrations Commission and has been on a country-wide tour and which ended today in Belize City.

Bill Skinner, Consultant to NICH told Seven News that this is no ordinary exhibition

Bill Skinner, Curator NICH
"We started to discuss having an exhibition for the 29th anniversary and so we decided to go with 29 works of art by 29 artists to celebrate the 29th anniversary of the nation. We have a national collection of art within NICH and so the 29 were chosen from that much larger collection. And we decided to have a range of different mediums so we have photography, painting, and sculpture and then we try to have a range of artist as well from different areas. We are still predominately Belize City heavy but we do have some representation by the districts as well. We decided that a lot of this happens culturally in Belize City but we wanted to get out to the districts and to get to other areas of the country, so as to increase the exposure of the exhibit. So we started in the north; in Corozal in the beginning of June and we pretty much went from north to south. We stopped in Orange Walk, Benque, Dangriga, PG as well as Belmopan before coming here so it was really a chance to get it out and let everyone have the opportunity to see this work. Overall it was very good. A lot of positive feedback, people signed our guest book, gave us their insights and advice and even criticism. But overall it was really fantastic, people were very happy that we made the trip out there and that we brought and we shared this artwork with them."

Gilvano Swasey, Curatot and Artist
"Traditionally exhibitions in Belize will be mainly solo exhibits. It will just be the artist with all his works, or he might do a group exhibit 1 or 2 and it will be similar themes but it's the first time it's put in a historical context. Like I said this is the national collection, it's just a portion of what has been collected through NICH and it's basically showing where we stand as artists, as creative people, what images we have been capturing, there's images of the market scene from the 70s. There are images of Belizean characters, there is photographic stuff, there is contemporary works, and there are installations. So it's like a snapshot of what makes Belize creative. It's actually a piece that I did in 1998 which is a very long time ago."

The Exhibition opens tomorrow at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and runs through to Friday September 24th.

Channel 7

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