Wednesday, February 22, 2012

1st artists’ village in the Southeast Asia inaugurated in Baler

BALER, Aurora, February 22, 2012–The 1st artists village in the Philippines and Southeast Asia was inaugurated Monday here to generate local and international talented artists who are expected to trigger arts revolution in the country.

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, a known arts patron, led the opening of the artists village at the Dicasalarin beach resort in Barangay Zabali together with officials of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of Dr. Juan C. Angara Foundation.

Jun Yee, international installation artist and the BOT member told newsmen that the artist village is a pet project of the Senator - a private-driven institution that will help revolutionize culture and the arts in the country.

“The artist village is intended to serve as the private counterpart of the Cultural Center the Philippines (CCP) which will provide a venue for seminars, workshops and lecture series on various art disciplines such as music, theaters, literature, dance, visual arts among others,” Yee said.

“Our vision is to invite artists from Asia and the Asia-Pacific where they can showcase their arts skills and impart their knowledge to our local artists so that they can hone their home-grown talents by enrolling in our programs,” he said.

Yee was earlier asked by Angara to draw up the conceptual framework for the artists village. He said the project is a living testament to the passion shown by the senator for culture and the arts.

“In the history of the Philippine Senate, it is undeniable that it is only Senator Angara who contributed so much in the promotion of arts and culture in the country, with his landmark legislations that paved the way for the creation of the CCP, the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), National Historical Institute (now National Historical Commission of the Philippines), National Museum and the Gawad ng Manlilikha among others,” he said.  

Yee said that the project will accommodate a facility, called “longhouse,” for a lecture series and a clubhouse for social gatherings among artists. He said a second facility that will rise in the village involves workshop building for stone works, sculpture and experimental works of artists in the various arts disciplines.

The third facility involves construction of six cottages which can accommodate four artists each, where they may design their works of art using indigenous materials from the province.

Yee said the artists village will hold art festivals and painting exhibitions to enhance interaction among artists not only here but also abroad in coordination with the CCP.

The opening of the artists village was graced by national artists for literature Sionil Jose and Virgilio Almario and national artist for visual arts Benedicto Cabrera.

The establishment of an artists village in this capital town followed the earlier creation of an Aurora Arts Council which is also coordinating with various government agencies for arts-related events and activities in the province, an emerging hub for history, culture and the arts.

Senator Angara said that the artists village embraces artists from the widest sweep of creative discipline such as painters, architects, interior designers, landscape architect, dancers, musicians, poets, and writers then eventually expand into the fields of film photography, food, fashion, furniture and even cyber media of the internet and mobile technology.

“We are fortunate to have friends from the diplomatic corps, Mexican Ambassador Tomas Calvillo Unna and Argentinean Ambassador Joaquin Daniel Otero, with us for its inauguration. Three outstanding National Artists were our special guests: National Artists for Literature F. Sionil Jose and Virgilio Almario, and National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera,” Angara said.

Angara believes that this laboratory for artistic development is the first kind in the country and the whole Southeast Asia.

Around it will soon be built Artists Cottages, dwellings that will be designed by Junyee, Norman Tiotuico, Aquilizan and architect Jose Danilo Silvestre. The Artists Village also features an open-air amphitheater, sculpture garden and workshop, and an outdoor stone circle for poetry readings and the like inspired by the indigenous dap-ay.

The village also has special environmental sustainability features like rainwater collection, wastewater management, renewable sources of power and energy-efficient lighting system. (Jason de Asis)


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