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Jan 31, 2000

Seventy-eight in “art for the people”

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When Yasser Musa opened the Image Factory, one of his goals was to document visual art in Belize. On Friday night, that goal transformed itself into the largest collection of artworks to be displayed so far. The show is called “Art for People.” Musa says one main aim of the display will be to inspire young Belizeans. He also hopes the show will grow as it travels around the country.

Yasser Musa, Director, Image Factory

“I see the young people get very excited and very inspired when they see artwork or when they experience art. To me older people are more detached from it because they grew up in a time when they had no contact with artwork. So I think the younger generation will be energized and feel that there’s something special about their country because the artists have made such amazing works of art.

Many of the artists are unknown, and many of the people are, they don’t, many Belizean people don’t have the desire to be shown. They are not going out there, showing people their work so it was difficult from that perspective to try to dig up as much as possible.”

Janelle Chanona, Reporting

Sponsored by a Dutch organization, HIVOS, the exhibition is doing another first, moving around the country. Musa hopes that as they introduce people all over the country to the show, new artists will want to sign on.

“Art for the People is not something regimented, not boxed in. We have seventy-eight artists so far but our intention is that while we are moving, let’s say Belmopan or San Pedro or San Pedro Columbia for that matter, we hope to attract and add to this exhibition so that by the end, in December, we should have one-hundred fifty rather than the seventy-eight and that is, in a way to us, the exciting part.”

The exhibit also includes archaeological pieces. Musa says the difficulty he had with the Department of Archaeology, trying to display the pieces, was disheartening.

“Not to sound critical, they are very disorganized when it comes to the pushing for the exhibition of our Belizean artifacts. They should be the ones promoting it and its difficult for them to take it out of their hands and put it into somebody’s hands, cause they talk about security. But that was the biggest disappointment on my part, on the part of this project to get the good archaeological artifacts. You go to any foreign museum and find dozens of our things yet we can’t exhibit it properly here so that’s ironic in many ways.”

Musa hopes that the exhibit will set the pace for future exhibitions and artists will start displaying their work around the country. A portion of the show is at the House of Culture, which is also hosting an exhibition on Bob Marley during the month of February. If you can’t see “Art for the People” in person, you can view it on the Internet at

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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