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Nov 12, 2015

Pen Cayetano Launches Exhibition Ahead of Garifuna Settlement Day

In time for the celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day, Pen Cayetano is exhibiting a collection of paintings at the Mexican Institute in the City. Entitled Our Heritage, Cayetano says that his art captures the essence of the uniqueness of the people and country. The exhibition opens tonight and will be remain at the Institute for another month. Duane Moody talks to artist in the following report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Cultural heritage—it’s the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a society. And tonight at the Mexican Institute at the corner of Newtown Barracks and Wilson Street, culture will come alive with Garifuna music and the artistic work of well known Belizean painter and musician, Pen Cayetano. Entitled “Our Heritage,” the exhibition is featuring thirty-four paintings created in oil and canvas by Cayetano over a number of years; majority done this year.

 

Pen Cayetano

Pen Cayetano, Artist

“Belize is our greatest heritage and then comes our people and the landscape of the places—the water, the river, the country—is out heritage. So today, you will be seeing some of these paintings that are reflecting our heritage, which means that we as Belizeans have a unique heritage just as other people in the world. We have some modern pieces from this year; the heritage painting here, especially the one with the old Belize; the other paintings with the departure of the Belize boats and also the royal salute.  Most of these paintings have been painted this year and I have also some other paintings of recent years. But we are talking about our heritage for this year and this is the painting for this year.”

 

The exhibition is being launched at seven o’clock tonight and will remain open for one month, through to December twelfth. It is being done in celebration of the upcoming holiday on the nineteenth of November, the Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize.

 

Hugo Juarez Carillo

Hugo Juarez Carillo, Consular of Legal Affairs, Mexican Institute

“This is the eighth time that Pen Cayetano is in the Institute of Mexico. We know Pen Cayetano is an institute of the cultural Garifuna/Belizean movement. And we are so happy to have him here again. Because we are with him and with all the Belizean people celebrating the Garifuna community so close to the settlement anniversary and we are inviting all the people to come to the institute tonight at seven p.m. because we are going to inaugurate this important and beautiful collection of Mister Cayetano.”

 

By midday, the hall at the Mexican Institute was almost completely transformed into an art gallery, which according to Cayetano, is telling a story through scenes from life in Dangriga when he was growing up to the present day.

 

Pen Cayetano

“I think it is going to be very important for them to have a glimpse or to have a reflex of what used to happen here in Belize and what made Belize, Belize and it will be better for them to have a view of the paintings so that they can know or understand about their historical past and tit will strengthen their future. Everything is my favorite, but today, this one…the departure of Belize boats would be one of the paintings that was a lot of work to me. Big work, very hard to get it together because it was an original from memory. So this painting here is one of the hard works that I just did so that we can reflect on the time when the boats used to be running here in Belize and was one of the transports before the roads were built. So that painting was a very important painting for the Belizean youths today.”

 

Entrance to the launch is free. Duane Moody for News Five.

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