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Nov 14, 2011

Sculptors take over the Bliss

Opening this evening at the Bliss is a one of a kind exhibition by a group of local sculptors including master sculptor, George Gabb. The pieces on exhibition are a labor of love and collectively represent thirty years of work. The versatility of their talent is captured on materials that range from wood to glass.  The exhibition kicks off a symposium that will be taking place at the Center for Employment Training. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

With twenty sculptures, made from materials including wood, metal, stone and glass, the exhibition, ‘Creation: Belize @ 30…Sculpting the Vision’ seeks to showcase the works done over the past three decades by Belizean Sculptors.

Kim Vasquez, Program Officer, ICA

Kim Vasquez

“We have of course, the master himself, George Gabb, we are proud to have some of his pieces here. He worked at first, many people will know he worked in wood, and after his health declined, he turned to scrap metal. So we have some of his pieces here, we also have promising sculptors like Javier Mendez, he is from Lucky Strike and he has a couple pieces here. We are also pleased to have Paul Stevenson from San Ignacio and he works in glass. So what we are really trying to is to show the different types of material you can work in.”

With thirty five years experience, Curl Gordon’s pieces are artistic works of art. On display, is his masterpiece from driftwood, “The Agony of Slavery”, which is still in the sculpting process with about five or six months to completion:

Curl Gordo

Curl Gordon, Sculptor

“It was a Saturday morning I went to the sea shore and I took all my tools, chainsaw, hatchet and machete and suh yuh know and I also took my food. I also spent the day yuh know combing the beach inorder to find that piece of wood. I found that piece of wood like an hour and a half after I went out there and I thank God and I said my prayers and I asked him to help me to do what I see in the wood. And ever since I started carving that particular piece of wood, yes it did spoke to me but through the voice of God. One of the reason why I did it the way I did it, especially since the stomach of the woman is open up or empty, because back in those days food wasn’t a commodity for them yuh know and they were always being abused, the way the hands were tied and the feet were chained up the way I did it from the wood yuh know.  It really shows the agony that they went through over the years that have passed.”

The exhibition will kick off the Belize Sculpture Symposium which aims to bring sculptors together to foster a sustainable Belizean sculptural identity:

Kim Vasquez

“The 2011 Sculpture Symposium is the first of its kind for Belize. We have eight international sculptors here and they will be working at the old CET compound. They are partnered with young apprentices, people who are interested in developing the art form. They are working on larger pieces, public art, and that is what we are trying to do, yes you can be both artist and artisan. You can make the smaller pieces because everybody has to survive. You can make the bowls and the things the tourists like to purchase, the souvenirs. But you can also find that there are outlets to create larger artistic pieces.”

Anthony Vacario of Maskall Village is one of the participating sculptors. Vacario is an artist and artisan, who makes a living from his work:

Anthony Vacario, Sculptor

“Well I first vision it before I get to work and when I see it all right I get to work physically on it like making ‘Wonder’ which represents an African abstract woman.”

Anthony Vacario

Andrea Polanco

“Mr. Vacario, what’s your inspiration?”

Anthony Vacario

“As a sculptor, love doing a lot of nice pieces like especially wood carvings, stones and I work for what the money is.”

Jules Vasquez, 7News

“Why do you still go ahead with these difficult pieces if you know that they don’t sell as well or people might not understand it?”

Anthony Vacario

“Well, emm I take it for a bank piece yuh know. The small piece I sell it to keep up my skill otherwise I wouldn’t be able to make these big pieces. So these big pieces are just a bank for me. I know they don’t sell easy but I got a lot of people who brochure them for me, I sell a lot of big pieces. I sell to twenty one gift shop around this country.”

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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4 Responses for “Sculptors take over the Bliss”

  1. stayclean says:

    Where is stephen Okeke in all these? Are Belizeans just blind or arrogant? Or is kim Vasquez intent on reinventing the wheel? I think stephen Okeke had gone to represent Belize at an international sculpture symposium in china? I even saw the items on his facebook photo album. Why are we wasting resources. Something seems wrong with these picture everyday. He also staged one of the first and biggest outdoor sculptural exhibition in front of the Atlantic bank on freetown road in about 1999. One of those works is the symbol of the Citrus juice. The other remaining is at the Garifuna Museum in dangriga. He has the drums of our father that has become a national monument. And the George Price at the Price center in Belmopan. And more. I think this is why a lot of Belizeans are not going very far and many foreigners are taking over. Many Belizeans stick their head in the sand as a way of going forward – of course the downward direction. Who will see how you do not acknowledge excellence and want to contribute in any significant way to Belize. Even when these works are in the face of Belizeans in public, individuals and the media want to convince themselves that it does not exist. O!! Okeke is black. Many nigerian sculptors and great artist have come through Belize. And when they see how this gentleman have been treated, they swear not to stay one more day. Wake up Belizeans!! Wake up Creole!!

  2. says:

    Okeke is not Belizean, a Belizean is someone who is by birth. He is a naturalized Belizean!!! I agree that our creole, mayans, mestizos, garifuna, ….. Belizean by birth should wake up!!!

  3. Charlie Price says:

    BELIZEAN is BELIZEAN …. If people come to our country and love our country so much that they swear to uphold our constitution ….THEY ARE BELIZEAN TOO.

    Other imigrants just come to milk Belize and rob the jewels that we have.

  4. Al says:

    Until Belizeans learn to step up, truly develop themselves with education, there will always be a foreigener who will have to represent the country in foreign affairs. Would you as a Belizean want Boots to go and represent this country. This is why parents need to make sure the schools are teaching properly and keep their children in school. Educating the comming generation is the only way to change the future government of the country.

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