Monterona art exhibit at the UBC campus
VANCOUVER, BC. — Artist Bert Monterona flashed a big grin as he held the yellow ceremonial bow up in the air. With Gordon Yusko, the Director of the Irving K Barber Learning Centre, Monterona cut the ribbon and formally opened to the public the Bert Monterona Art Exhibit, in collaboration with the PANCIT Art Collective. The exhibit is on view from September 21 through October 31, 2012, at the UBC‘s Barber Learning Centre Lobby and Café Gallery.
The date of the opening of the Monterona art exhibit also marked the 40th anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the Philippines. UBC Prof. Nora Angeles asked for a moment of silence to remember the victims of the dark years of the fascist Marcos dictatorship; she also provided the context of the current exhibit and the role of art in addressing social and political issues and in making social change.
Under the Community Arts Engagement project Diaspora, Diversity, and Dialogue: Cross-Cultural Conversations on Art, Justice, and Sustainability, the Monterona Art Exhibit features his several tapestri??es and mounted art work. Sharing the exhibit space are the collaborative murals as well as individual art pieces by the members of the newly founded PANCIT (Philippine Art Network for Community Interactive Transformation) art collective. The PANCIT artists are practicing and self-taught artists and art enthusiasts from the youth, caregivers, and professionals.
The Monterona tapestries are suspended from the ceiling tracks in the Café Gallery and attract a lot of attention from the students who occupy the Barber Learning Centre that opens its doors from 6:30 am till 1:00 am! Monterona’s tapestries which reflect the artist’s indigenous Lumad roots touch on the issues of war, censorship, diversity, miscarriage of justice, and women’s empowerment. The trio of PANCIT collaborative murals highlight the subject of identity, overseas workers and the environment. The individual art pieces in the glass cases and on the walls constitute a testament to the skills and talent of these community artists under the guidance of Monterona.
The other speakers at the art opening: Gordon Yusko, Director of the Barber’s Learning Centre; Alden Habacon, Director of the Intercultural Communications and Diversity Strategy Development; and Henry Yu, History Professor and Principal at St John’s College touched on the themes of community engagement, lifelong learning, community and academic connections, diversity and the arts.
This Community Arts Engagement Project was also made possible with the support, inspiration and contributions from its several community service providers. Those who graced the opening event and delivered short messages were: Tatay Tom Avendano, director of the Multicultural Helping House Society, Maita Santiago, Constituency Assistant of MLA Mable Elmore, Beth Dollaga of Migrante BC, Erie Maestro of the Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights, and Jay Catalan of Tulayan.
Philippine-born artist Monterona, who is also an indigenous person from the southern Philippines gave his response and talked about how his works were “strongly influenced by social, cultural, and religious, spiritual and political norms.” He introduced the community artists from the PANCIT art collective, ta new art collective born out of the most recent visual arts workshops and interactive mural productions he facilitated with his skills as an art educator. These workshops were made possible by the City of Vancouver’s Community and Neighbourhood Arts Development Program.
The Monterona Art and PANCIT Exhibit is not to be missed. Visit the exhibit and use the trip to go around the spectacular UBC Campus which is only half an hour away from downtown Vancouver.
Migrante BC thanks the UBC’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre for providing the wonderful space for the exhibit (until Oct 31), the community forum/dialogue (Oct 27) and the closing ceremony and silent art auction (Oct 27).