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Sep 13, 2006

“We are Belize” highlights 25 years of art

Story PictureWith the development of the arts so evident over the last quarter century, no twenty-fifth anniversary celebration would be complete without a good show. Today one opened at the Image Factory in Belize City. News Five’s Janelle Chanona offers a tour.

Gilvano Swasey, Curator, We are Belize
?It?s just a way to see how people look at us too because what we put out is basically how they look at us. So it?s very crucial for us to come and see it and basically just reflect on it.?

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
After debuting to more than twenty thousand viewers in Taiwan in April, today the ambassadorial art show ?We are Belize?, was officially introduced to the Belizean public. According to curator Gilvano Swasey, the paintings, photographs, sculptures and installations on display seek to define Belize at twenty five.

Gilvano Swasey
?The fine arts section of it, which we have here at the Image Factory today, basically deals with the different mediums that artists have been using in Belize since Independence and even before, because we have artists like George Gabb and Benjamin Nicholas that have been creating long before Independence. We wanted them to see and we wanted the people of Belize to see basically how artists have been expressing themselves.?

The show displays the work of twenty five different Belizean artists including Pen Cayetano, Nelson Young, Manolo Daza, Richard Holder, Sarah Estephan, Jeremy Spooner and Roland Parks.

Gilvano Swasey
?What we are trying to do now is provoke new artists, which is very crucial. And of course to try to keep the audience captured, because if we don?t keep the audience captured, there wont? be any need for us to create art because we won?t have an audience in a sense.?

With that reality in mind, over the past two years, Swasey teamed up with colleagues Michele Perdomo and Yasser Musa to tour primary schools across the country. Swasey says the idea was to teach educators how to turn basic materials into art.

Gilvano Swasey
?We have to have people who appreciate it. So through the Art in the Classroom project, and through the catalogue that we?ve produced, that will be given to the students and teachers, we are hoping to basically cultivate them at a young age. But most of all have them understand why we are this way, and why we create things and why it?s important to be creative.?

Free copies of the manual will be distributed to every primary school in Belize.

Reporting for News Five, I am Janelle Chanona.

The Art in the Classroom project is the joint initiative of HIVOS, the Image Factory Art Foundation and the Ministry of Education.


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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