Mindanao Artists Convene at AdZU for Mindanao Visual Arts Conference 2014
Visual Artists from all over Mindanao converged at Ateneo de Zamboanga University for the first Mindanao Visual Arts Festival, a grand consortium of creative talents to celebrate the art and culture of Mindanao.
The conference lasted from October 21 to 23, 2014 in Zamboanga City. It was organized by the Ateneo Center for Culture and the Arts (ACCA) and the ADZU Gallery of the Peninsula and the Archipelago (GPA), with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
The conference was a showcase of Mindanao’s excellence in the visual arts as well as a venue for discussing the role of culture and arts in the island’s peace and development issues.
The conference kicked off with a forum on October 21. A line up of experts gave lectures on various topics including the role of art in advocating social development issues such as the Mindanao 2020 Peace and development Framework Plan, Research, Environment, Sustainable Media, and Ethics. Creating Opportunities for Exhibition of work was also discussed to teach the artists strategies that will help raise public awareness of Mindanao art. Okkil and creative art accessories were also discussed. The conference speakers were Mr Alnezzar B Ali Southern Mindanao Representative Visual Arts Committee, Rhyan Casiño Northern Mindanao Representative Visual Arts Committee, Prof Jose Alberto C Tañedo Chair, National Committee on Visual Arts, Fr Albert “Paring Bert” E Alejo, SJ Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Dr Jose Jowel P Canuday Department of Sociology and Anthropology Ateneo de Manila University, Prof Abraham A Garcia Philippine Women College Davao City, Mr Felimon B Blanco Artistic Director Teatro Guindengan, Mr Nemesio R Miranda Jr Founder Rizal Lakeshore Artist Association Inc., Prof Reuben Ramas Cañete Associate Professor, Department of Art Studies College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman and Ms Janine Michelle D Cabato Visual Artist/Curator.
On the following day the Mindanao ArtBest Exhibit was formally opened at the ADZU GPA. It features the works of the participating visual artists. Ms Janine Michelle Cabato, guest curator, discussed the ArtBest as “a trailblazing endeavor that hopes to shatter regional boundaries and to spark more solid Mindanao-wide creative undertaking.”
Major concepts tackled by the artists in the exhibit include a showcase of the ethnic and religious cultures of the South, observations as witnesses to ordinary to tragic events in their hometowns, effects of the humanitarian crisis brought about by political unrest in the region, remarkable pieces on feminity conveyed by female protagonist, personal musings, advocacies, and ideas. The exhibit is open to the public and will run until November 15, 2014.
A collaborative mural painting was also done by the artists on the morning of October 23. The mural is on display at the Jose Maria Rosauro Building lobby in the Ateneo Salvador campus. The artists were also given the chance to tour Zamboanga City before the closing program. The culmination program of MVAF 2014 was held at the National Museum of Zamboanga.
ADZU Father President Karel San Juan SJ declared that the MVAF 2014 is “a celebration of the soul and spirit of Mindanao. It honors the greatness of our humanity.” Prof Tañedo of NCCA also expressed that “Visual Arts play a very crucial role in the course of nation building” because it is an effective tool in capturing the hearts and minds of the Filipinos.
Prime movers behind Mindanao Artbest were Marco Alfino Miranda ACCA Program Director and Tricia Manulong of the Gallery of the Peninsula and Archipelago.The event was also sponsored by the City of Zamboanga, Max’s Restaurant, and the National Museum.