Former Mayor Unveils Religious Art Pieces
At this time of the year, Belizeans, like millions across the world, celebrate the Easter season according to their beliefs and their religious denominations. It is said to be the most important Christian holiday and Christians commemorate Good Friday as the day that Jesus Christ died and Easter Sunday is celebrated as the day that He was resurrected. In observing the Holy Week, Belizeans have a number of traditions that they follow – the eating of the fish, the making of cross buns, and so on. Others celebrate it by attending church services and other religious masses. One man who is spreading the message a little differently this year is Frank Lizama. The local sculptor has been making art since he was fourteen-years-old – and so he using his talent and faith to spread the message of the Holy Week. News Five met with Lizama to talk about his four piece installment and why he decided to use art to share the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
Frank Lizama, Artisan
“I started as a Boy Scout whittling. I used to whittle with broken bottles, knife and a machete. That is all I used to use. But now, I started to use my chisels and things like that. But ever since, I love art.”
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
Eighty-five-year-old Frank Lizama has been sculpting religious art for more than fifty years – it is a passion that led him to pursue studies in art and even teaching – eventually to open his own business “Lizama’s Art”. He later took to politics, but nothing compared to his love for art.
“I started my own little business. My own little craft shop. I got myself involved in all kinds of things. I got myself involved in politics. I was your Councilor. I was your mayor. I was your representative. I had the opportunity to receive the Queen when she came to Belize. But all this couldn’t full Mr. Lizama’s cup. All I wanted to do was to express myself and spreading the good news. Most of my art works are religious pieces.”
Pieces like these on display on Cemetery Road. Lizama’s faith and passion for art made for the perfect marriage of two of his loves, apart, of course, from his first love, his wife of more than sixty years. So, the local artist has put together a four-piece installment to share a special message for the Holy Week.
“Belize needs a lot of love. There is too much hate going in Belize and we are forgetting completely the man who loves us. I am a very religious person, so I decided to display my art work which are religious pieces so that people can meditate on them and I take the message.”
Each of the pieces bear a message from the Bible – lessons that Lizama hopes Belizeans will celebrate not just for the Easter, but all year around. Like this first piece of the display, with the message “Do this in memory of me” – represents the last supper. He explains that this installment symbolizes what we know as the “Easter Story” – which tells us of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
“Remember me” this one tells about, if you notice, the wood to the bottom represents sin and the snake represents Satan when Jesus was crucified all of this was going on. And the thief beside him that was crucified with him said to him, ‘Jesus, you are innocent. But I am guilty. I am justified in what is happening to me.’ And he turned – this piece represents when he turned and said, “This day thou shall be with.” The second one is the risen Chris on the letter Y asking the question, ‘Why did you do it?’ He didn’t have to come and get himself crucified. He didn’t. But because he loves us. That is the reason why he has done it. And he left a message that we must love our God with all our heart and all our soul and our minds.And also love our neighbours as ourselves. The last one signifies the risen Christ – he is risen. He is alive.”
Lizama’s display will be up until over the weekend and will be available for sale. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.