In celebration of Arts Month in February, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) launched the exhibit, entitled “Visayan Verve: A Tribute to Bisaya Artists”, which will run from Feb. 17 to March 15 at the Casa Gorordo Museum.
The exhibit is initiated in partnership with the University of San Carlos-Cebuano Studies Center; Halad Museum; Alternative Contemporary Arts Studio; and the assistance of Cebuano artist Marvin Natural and the family of the late Martino Abellana.
It pays homage to exemplary Bisaya artists in six fields of art: Martino Abellana for painting; Napoleon Abueva for sculpture; Fernando Buyser for poetry; Pio Cabajar for cinema; Estelita Diola for dance; and Vicente Rubi for music.
“These artists represent innovation and faithfulness to tradition in the art forms they engaged in. Some of them were selected by virtue of their statuses as ‘masters’ of their crafts while the rest, for their substantial achievements which remain largely unrecognized. All of them have contributed not only to Bisaya but Filipino arts in general,” Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of the Culture and Heritage unit of RAFI, said.
The aim of the exhibit is not to proclaim the featured artists as the greatest or the most influential, but to present examples of what Bisaya artists have accomplished.
Florencio Moreño, curator of Casa Gorordo Museum, pointed out that it is one way of giving the public an opportunity to re-examine and appreciate the roots of their creativity, thereby, widen their perspectives on the potentials of contemporary Visayan-Filipino arts.
Visayan Verve is meant to kick off a series of exhibits on Bisaya arts that will be held every February in the next seven years. Each of the following exhibits will focus on one of the seven fields of art—architecture, cinema, dance, music, painting, literature, and sculpture.
Culture & Heritage is a focus area of RAFI, believing that a confident community begins with a strong sense of identity. Its other focus areas are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Citizenship, and Education.