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Oct 21, 2010

An Ode to Louis Belisle; Art Gallery Rededicated

Louis Belisle; he is an artist of yesteryear whose images form an important part of any collection of serious Belizean Art enthusiasts.  Belisle’s love affair with art started at age five in Punta Gorda and continued into adulthood. He won two scholarships in London, one of which was for sculpture.  Belisle once said “You cannot teach a man how to paint. You can encourage him and he will make his own development by himself.” Belisle lost his battle with cancer in 1991 and posthumously received the Belize Arts Council outstanding Artists’ Award. And in 1992, the Belisle Art Gallery was first installed at the Bliss Institute in his memory.  But after the reconstruction of the building, the gallery moved upstairs and was never rededicated. And tonight Belisle’s daughter, Leonie, will be the main speaker at the rededication ceremony.  This afternoon News Five took a look at Belisle’s art.

Shari Williams, Communications Officer, NICH

Shari Williams

“Tonight, Thursday at seven p.m. we are having a rededication of the Belisle art gallery. We felt it was important to rededicate this area because if you can recall in the old bliss building, downstairs housed a gallery which was called the Belisle Art Gallery and upstairs was the library. Since the constr4uction of the new building however, there was not a space for a gallery. Since October is his birthday, October seventeenth to be exact, we decided to honor this guy with renaming this particular space as the Belisle Art Gallery. Besides the rededication of the art gallery, we are also going to launch an exhibit featuring thirty pieces of his work.”

Jose Sanchez

“What is the scope of the years of the pieces?”

Shari Williams

“We have pieces ranging from 1979 up to 1991. All the pieces, well majority of them are privately owned, so we’ve had to borrow a couple pieces from private citizens, from businesses, a couple comes from NICH and some from the Belisle Family.

Jose Sanchez

“And the pieces themselves, Mister Belisle. Are they all in oil? I know that is his primary medium.”

Shari Williams

“Yes, majority of them are in oil and it features a cross-section of work—we have some landscape some portraiture and some still life. The main speaker will be his daughter Leonie Belisle, an artist in her own right. She was away but decided to come back especially for this even tonight. So we are happy to have her here. We are hoping that people will take advantage of this opportunity to come in and view this rare collection. I don’t know if we will ever be able to pull off something like this again since we’ve had to knock on doors to actually get these pieces.”

The public is invited to tonight’s opening of the gallery.  This exhibit will remain open through November twenty-first.

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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5 Responses for “An Ode to Louis Belisle; Art Gallery Rededicated”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    Did he used to be on New Road??????????????

  2. D-Power says:

    Wow…This is great. I was good friends and classmates at St Josephs school with one of Mr. Belisle son, Denzil. I remember some days going over to their home near cinderella plaza. Mr Belisle had a studio on his property. I recalled the bearded mister Belisle selling his paintings. I suspected at the time this man must be making very valuable art due to the steady trek of white tourist buying stacks of his work.
    Ignorance of youth to me the art looked like junk. I know his art fectch good prices because my classmate revealed prices to me. I now know Mr Belisle was one of Belize’s artistic genius. Glad to have met him. Glad to know Leonie is continuing the legacy.

  3. Denzil says:

    Wow I am happy that Belize has done this for my dad.
    D-Power thank for remembering the St.Joseph days.
    Please check out the website

  4. Vera Agonafer says:

    My parents were in Belize in the mid- 1970′s as leaders of the Goshen College (Indiana) student Study Service Term. They knew Louis Belisle, included visits with him as part of each groups’ experience of Belize. I also visited him in his outdoor studio and treasure that photo! We have 2 original oil paintings they purchased from him. My favorite is the one of women washing in the river with trees that have hanging “blobs” on them. Dad said when people asked your father what those “blobs” were, he asked, “What do you think they are?” LOVE that painting! Thank you for keeping his memory and art alive – he was truly THE Belizean artist.

  5. Franco Cristina says:

    Dear Sir,
    in early 1970 I was in Belize,coming from Milan (Italy), for a Project for the devolpment of Telecomunications of the Country.During that period I knew Mr.Belisle and I purchased a beatifull paint of Belize Harbour which I still have in my home in Milan.
    I think that you may be pleasded to know that the paints of Mr.Belisle are also present in Europe.
    Regards Franco.

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