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Marty Offline OP
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Since 1962, when the first batch of cokes hit stores, the drink has been a favorite among most Belizeans. Fifty years later, coca-cola is still the beverage of choice and can be found at just about every social event. Today Bowen and Bowen inaugurated its celebration of the golden anniversary of coca-cola in Belize with an art competition and exhibit that will be taken across the country. It features paintings by both students and professional artists who were challenged to illustrate Coca-Cola's appearance in important moments of Belizean lives. News Five's Delahnie Bain reports on the competition winners and the launch of the exhibit at the Belize City House of Culture.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Coca-Cola is celebrating fifty years in Belize and its signature event is an art competition and a traveling exhibit called "Open Happiness". Organizer and Curator, Gilvano Swasey, took a hands-on approach and a cup full of carbonate while recruiting talented artists who put their coca-cola moments on canvass.

Gilvano Swasey

Gilvano Swasey, Organizer/Curator, Open Happiness Exhibit

"The exhibition and the organization of it was very interesting for me because I told Shelly [Shelly Stone Seifer, Marketing Coordinator] that I don't want to just send out invitations or just send an email, I wanted to go physically to the schools and I wanted to go physically to the artists-the George Price effect, as I like to call it. We did thirty schools and out of that we got twenty-five who all participated and that was crucial because I would say maybe eighty percent of those schools don't have an art program. But there was a lot of artists, a lot of creative people in the schools and I really thank them for participating. On the other hand, the professional artists, we invited thirty and we got twenty-five too and I was more pleased in the sense that they were real professional artists."

The winners of the competition were announced at the House of Culture this morning. Cash prizes were presented for the top three paintings from high schools with third place going to Mount Carmel in Benque Viejo and second to Muffles College in Orange Walk.

David Craig

"And the winner out of the student artist category is�"

Gilvano Swasey

"Maude Williams High School from Belize City [applause]."

Michael Martinez

Michael Martinez, 4th Form Student, Maude Williams High School

"I don't know it's just great you know. We put a lot of work into this art and to finally get what we put in, it's just great."

Delahnie Bain

"And it was a team of you that worked on the painting?"

Michael Martinez

"Yeah, it was a team. You have me, my friends; Kiara Vargas, Raul Riverol, Gaynell Vernon and we have Marlon Ack. If you see the painting, it has a Mestizo guy eating with a Garifuna lady and they’re having dinner and they seem to know each other from a long time and the Mestizo guy proposed to the Garifuna lady. So it's like two different cultures bonding over dinner and coke."

The students' team work paid-off to the tune of three thousand dollars. Meanwhile, in the professional category, Carolyn Carr took third place, second went to Papo Alamilla and the winning professional painting was submitted by�

Gilvano Swasey

"The man who usually comes in by reggae bus, did he bring the reggae bus? Terryl Godoy, the first place winner� [applause]"

Terryl 'Man at Work' Godoy

Terryl 'Man at Work' Godoy, Winner, Professional Category

"It really caught me as a surprise. I had not a clue that I would have been the winner for this competition. I’m very, very grateful for this. Sometimes I think that the music would take away from painting but today it shows that painting stands for itself and the music. I come here fi play music fi dis function, I neva come here fi collect wah cheque or anything, I never thought about that. We have a little lady on the top and she's hanging out clothes but she has a coke in her hand and she has her mangos downstairs to sell. Then you have this guy that comes with a wooden cart. 00:03:45 they also made their own cart with the type of wheel with the board that they cut and put the tire on and everything right. If you notice he have wah drum wid wata and ih full up di drum cause ih di mek ih supply vi ker back dah fi he village or wherever he going wid dat. But ih also di get wah four, five case ah coke from out di shop."

For his detailed piece, Godoy, the Man at Work, was surprised with a cheque for five thousand dollars. After the award ceremony, the Open Happiness exhibit was officially opened to the public with the symbolic ribbon cutting.

David Craig, Sales/Marketing Mgr., Non-Alcoholic Division, Bowen & Bowen

David Craig

"This exhibition is more than just the product, these amazing pieces o art by Belize's accomplished and budding artists, tell a story of how this product itself having a rich one hundred and twenty-six year history has become intertwined in the very fabric of our Belizean life and is a part of our rich and compelling culture. We want all Belizeans to enjoy this exhibit and that is why we're taking it all around the country."

The panel of judges included three artists as well a corporate representative from Bowen and Bowen. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The art showcase will be taken to different venues countrywide over the next five months and will conclude in October.

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Coca Cola, Art Or Artifice?

Coca Cola is one of the biggest global brands - and with no real challenger in Belize - its probably the biggest local brand as well. This year, Bowen and Bowen is celebrating 50 years of bottling Coca Cola in Belize.

And to make it memorable, they invited 50 painters to conjure up quote, "moments of happiness with Coca Cola." Now, patrons are nothing new to the arts - but 50 artists? This one seemed a little over the top - and so we had a few tough questions for the patrons and the curator when it opened at the House of Culture today:...

Jules Vasquez reporting
The ubiquitous logo of the global corporate mothership on every piece of art - one nation under a carbonated beverage.

That's the impression one gets when he or she views the show - and Coca Cola makes no apology for it:

Shelley Bowen Stonesifer - Marketing Coordinator, Bowen & Bowen LTD.
"The idea behind the project is that we've been bottling Coca-Cola in Belize for 50 years, and we wanted to do something celebrate 50 years of Coca Cola."

It is where commerce meets creativity, the blurring of the line between art and artifice - which is some cases can make for an interesting twist:

Melody Sanchez Wolfe - Artist
"So, I am looking at this flag, and I said, 'Who would enjoy Coke more? Who would really enjoy a Coke because it's open happiness? That was the theme, and I said that those guys have been in there since the 1900's. And once it was time for them to take a break, I took them down, and gave them a Coke, and I even had the ship come in."

And once the corporate flag is intact and aloft, don't worry about the national one. Make no mistake, it is a tour de force, 50 artists including many masters such as Pen Cayetano, Carolyn Carr and Nelson Young.

Gilvano Swasey, Curator/Coordinator
"What they were looking for was the feeling that Coca Cola gives us, but most importantly, what I emphasized to them was that I begged the artists to keep the ideas in their own style. So, when you look at the work, you don't see Coca Cola first, you see Terryl. You will look and you will see Carolyn Carr before you see the Coca Cola bottle."

But the panel of judges found that none were better than Teryl Godoy who won the first place prize of five thousand dollars and was more than a little incredulous:

Terryl Godoy - 1st Place Winner
"It's the best feeling, and I am trembling. I just stopped trembling a little while ago because I've never won anything in my life. You really think I won it fairly."

Jules Vasquez
"Yes, fair and square."

Terryl Godoy
"Well, if that is really true, that is great to know. I have to give thanks to God again."

And while the artists were genuinely pleased - for the purist, or maybe even a casual critic, all this branding and kissing of the corporate ring - well, it seems a bit like overkill:

Jules Vasquez
"Well, you're forcing the artists to prostitute themselves for a commercial cost."

Shelley Bowen Stonesifer
"Well, I can see your point, but no one was forced to participate in the competition or painted under duress. We asked if they'd like to be part of it, and they agreed. We financed the painting, the canvass, and they chose to do it. I kinda like it."

Jules Vasquez
"I would expect that you would, but speaking specifically, obviously, mixing in Coca Cola - that corporate logo, I find it a bit jarring. That's my opinion. How would you respond to it that I am offended by that?"

Shelley Bowen Stonesifer
"Well, that's your opinion. It's fine with me that you feel that way, but if you look around Belize, and you see that snap shots of Coca Cola are there."

Terryl Godoy
"If you noticed in that painting, everything comes in naturally. The 'bread and bun' on top of the little Coke sign, that's how they used to do it. The little shop didn't have Coca Cola big on it; it said 'Daddy's', right? That's how it used to be in the 60's and 70's, and I am painting from my mind - this painting doesn't exist - a lot of people wants to know what street that was. Well, because it's so familiar, you can mistake it for one of those areas, but it's directly from my mind about how it used to be."

Melody Sanchez Wolfe
"I didn't feel exploited at all. I heard you ask Shelley that. No, they gave us $350 to do the painting, and it's - we own paint brushes, canvass, and everything. Plus, they gave us a canvass, so a big thank you to them. I was honored to be a part of it."

Jules Vasquez
"How would you answer the criticism that you're just encouraging your entire artist clan to sell out to one of the biggest corporations on earth."

Gilvano Swasey
"I used to always think about corporations, about how they are always using the most talented to sell their product, and just to keep you buying and buying. But, I never had the opportunity to this artist, Bobby Dredd, who did - I think it was 15 years ago - who did Coca Cola Olympics sculpture with the big Coke, and the national symbols. I remember my good friend, Yasser, said that Coca Cola gave homage to prostitution - I think it was, which was the same question that you asked. But I never got the opportunity to ask Bobby Dredd about how he felt. I meet him this weekend, and of course, over a couple glasses of black berry wine, he confessed that he was so proud. I saw it as Belizean artists getting an opportunity to express themselves because as you know, everything is in a state of coma right now. I don't even want to be an artist, I don't know if I will sell a piece tomorrow. So when the opportunity comes to express yourself, and we're going to pay you for it to express yourself. How can you resist."

Indeed, the lure of a prize, recognition and working materials in a post comoatose art scene is enough - and the prizes did produce many genuione moments of happiness today.

Student Representing Maud Williams Highschool - 1st place, Schools
"Everyday, we see Belizeans after work, they go to drink a Coke. During dinner or lunch, they would also drink Coke. So, that's how we came up with the idea. And since it's culture and tradition, we did it in the name of the kitchen in Kriol, 'Fu Wi Kitchin'."

Student Representing Maud Williams Highschool
"I feel very proud. Maybe society will look differently and have a different perspective of Maud WIlliams. Maud Williams does have talent. They really put in themselves into the art. It brings out what we speak of our expression and our emotion into it."

Shelley Bowen Stonesifer
"Everyone stuck to their stars, and they created - with Coca Cola in it, granted - but I think they could compete internationally. They're beautiful."

Carolyn Carr won second place and Papo Alamilla won third. The show is a travelling showcase and runs from May to October.

Channel 7

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,052
I can't wait to see the show here in San Pedro! How wonderful to see the heart and soul of our artists being poured into such a traditional Belizean product.

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Terryl Godoy wins Bowen and Bowen Coca Cola Art Competition

"Man at Work", Terryl Godoy, long term resident of San Pedro, is the winner of the Bowen and Bowen Coca Cola Art Competition. Bowen and Bowen inaugurated its celebrations of the golden anniversary of coca-cola in Belize with an art competition and exhibit that will be taken across the country. It featured paintings by both professional and novice artists who were challenged to illustrate Coca-Cola's appearance in important moments of Belizean history. The competition was held on May 8th at the House of Culture.

The San Pedro Sun caught up with Terryl, also known on the island as a One Man Band, to get a little feed back on his grand win. "For this exhibition, we were supposed to do something that represents Coca Cola and happiness, what we can remember about Coca Cola in the past, something that is very happy. I did a piece that showcases what I perceive Belize to have been in the 60′s or 70′s. It really had people's minds wondering like what or where is this painting. Because of how realistic it seems people try to associate it with a certain place or location. In actuality, this piece is a creation from my mind's eyes. I just thought about a scene and I painted it. So the truth is, it never did exist and I don't know if that's the thing that probably got to the judges and forced them to take a good look at that piece more than once. But the painting was created to give viewers the effect of visualizing what Belize used to look like, so everybody that lived in that time could probably relate to that painting."

The exhibition saw the participation of some 50 artists, professionals and novices. In speaking of what the win means to him, Terryl stated, "It's the first time that I have ever won something and this means I've got to keep the art alive. This means to just keep on painting because I believe now that more people will be looking at me and my work and have a little bit more respect for what I do. Even though Papo, Carolyn Carr and Walter Castillo along with all the other artists that were a part of the competition, their work is very good, well, ya now people will look at my work with more respect I believe." For his win as first place, Tyrell took home a $5000 check. Individuals wishing to view Terryl's work can do so by contacting him personally at 661-8867.

Carolyn Carr of Banana Bank won second place and San Pedro's Papo Alamilla won third. The show is a travelling exhibit and runs from May to October 2012.

San Pedro Sun

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,563
For crying out loud - it's called ADVERTISING! Worlds of artists make their living this way and I see nothing to be ashamed of! CONGRATULATIONS to ALL.
Where did his reporter come from?

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
I love Terryl Godoy's work!

--Lan Sluder

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