Not that we are turning a blind eye on them but today we take a much needed breather from all the somber and shameful issues and talk about something more uplifting. Let’s talk about art, which has been our guiding light in the prevailing darkness as we search for the true, the good, and the beautiful.
And when it comes local art promotion, a major player and one of the oldest groups regularly and actively organizing all sorts of art events is the Arts Council of Cebu. The Arts Council is a private institution consisting of donor members, who are mostly entrepreneurs sharing a common love and concern for the arts.
The group has long been behind yearly film festivals, classical music and jazz concerts, ballet and theater presentations, and occasionally literary and visual art events. Well, last Friday, the group turned the spotlight on the visual artists as it formally opened the three-day Tubo Art Fair at the activity area of Ayala Center.
Named after the Cebuano word which means “to grow,” the art fair is aimed to help the arts in Cebu grow, according to Allen Tan, who headed the Tubo project. While some of the more seasoned artists like the Cebuano master Jose “Kimsoy” Yap, are featured in the art fair, Tubo is meant primarily to give attention to the “bag-ong tubo” or the budding and promising young artists who are given an opportunity to display their work and sell them directly to the public. And the shopping mall is where the public goes more frequently nowadays so the choice of venue for the first ever art fair organized by the Arts Council is very appropriate indeed.
Art schools are also seen displaying the work of their students there. Our own students in the painting program of the fine arts department in the University of San Carlos have a booth there. It’s a good chance to ask these young artists about the USC painting program and the other offerings under the fine arts department.
A good selection of mostly classic Cebuano songs were played by a string quartet along with a drummer and keyboardist as an artist makes doodles with a marking pen on a big makeshift canvas in a kind of live art performance on stage during the opening program. This is a good reminder that the arts are best when they are combined into one big spectacle, a “total art,” experienced together by a community, similar to what the ancient Greeks had when they went to the theater hundreds of years ago to purge themselves of anxiety and stress.
Today, Sunday, is the last day of the Tubo Art Fair and it formally closes with another afternoon program filled with art talks and more stage presentations. It’s your last chance to view the work of our local artists, talk to them personally, or better yet buy an artwork as a souvenir of this rare experience. And for the kids, well, their encounter with art might just be the start of a lifelong interest if not a career in the fine arts. Indeed, it’s good to plant that seed early and see that it grows.
So bring them to the art fair today and make it happen. Adding a little art to our usual weekend family mall shopping is probably just what we need to relax or to redeem our souls from all the untrue, evil, and ugly things that now befall on us as a community.
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