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Jun 15, 2017

4 Paintings Added to Belize National Art collection

Robert Sydney Reyes may not be well known among Belizeans at home, but his works of art will endure in the National Art Collection for years to come.  That’s because four of his paintings were today inducted into the compendium of Belize’s patrimony.  The donation was made through the Governor General’s office on behalf of Reyes, a friend and former student of Sr. Colville Young.  A brief ceremony was held this afternoon at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts where the pieces are currently on display at the Belisle Art Gallery.  Director of the Museum of Belize, Alexis Salazar, tells us more.

 

Alexis Salazar

Alexis Salazar, Director, Museum of Belize

“Back in April, we were approached through the Governor General’s office with a series of four paintings from this Belizean Robert Reyes who wanted to donate his paintings to Belize’s National [Art] Collection.  So based on his relationship with the Governor General and one of the stipulations that they had for us receiving, we decided to a brief induction of his four paintings into our national collection.”

 

Reporter

“Explain to us who he was or who he is, sorry, who he is and what is his importance to Belizean society past or present.”

 

Alexis Salazar

“Okay, well if you look at history, I would say that this gentleman is part of Belize’s diaspora.  So he lives in California, he’s an architect and he’s also published books.  He’s an author and he’s also an artist, so he thought, he’s Belizean so it would be best to donate these four paintings to help with our national collection.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, give us a brief idea of which all artists, Belizean artists and their collection are in this national treasure.”

 

Alexis Salazar

“Okay, we have a number of different artists that are part of the national collection.  We try and get from all genres of art and all types of artists who are Belizean.  So off the top of my head, I know we have a number from Benjamin Nicholas, we have from Pen Cayetano.”

 

Reporter

“Now sir, what’s the importance of gathering this collection of these artists and their works?”

 

Alexis Salazar

“It’s a part of our patrimony.  Arts is a part of our culture and it’s a way to express our culture and heritage.  So the museum and NICH see the importance of collecting and having these as part of our national collection.  All countries have a national collection of art and what better way than for us to store it and for us to put it on display.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Have these pieces been appraised for value?”

 

Alexis Salazar

“Yes.  These specifically have been appraised for around three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.  That is what we noted when we received them from the Governor General’s office.”

 

Reyes, a graduate of St. Michael’s College who has since relocated to California, is the author of the book, “Job and the Gospel of Suffering”.

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