ART reaches far and wide regardless of one’s situation. The ability to create art does not differ. However, the availability of opportunities for the artist and the cultural background surrounding the discipline create a huge disparity between those who were given the chance to create art from the very beginning and those who need to make their own chances. Because although one can be born with the talent to create art, honing it will need a few investments.
In 1991, Leopoldo Aguilar Jr. worked full-time as a company artist after graduating as a Fine Arts student from the University of the Philippines - Cebu. However, this didn’t work out due to the repetitiveness and the restrictions placed on the type of art the artist had to make. This led to a “bumming period,” which was how the artist called it. Together with other art students, he created the Neo-Tribalism Movement whose goal was to provide a venue for the artist’s own brand of art from installation works and performance art to painting exhibits held outdoors.
However, in 1998, its advocacy shifted to “Bringing art to the grassroots” by conducting free art workshops in rural areas as far as in the islands of Mindanao to urban poor areas in Pasay City. With the advocacy of giving equal opportunities for everyone, the organization focused on introducing art to those who are mostly out-of-school youth fusing painting with the basics of tribal music.
As a culmination for this project, an exhibit was held in SM City Cebu’s Art Center entitled “Neo-Tribe 2018, Abstraction Outreach.” The exhibit ran from Feb 16. to March 1. The artworks featured were by two of the outreach’s indigents namely Daryl Quiros and Kenny Joy Relampagos, along with Leopoldo Aguilar, Jr. as project director. The exhibit featured a total number of 45 paintings which was collected in a span of two years. The paintings ranged from sizes of 1x1 feet to as large as 4x8 feet.
The next episode for the organization is to promote its art space called “Drawing Museum” (DraMus) which is situated along the shorelines of Tabok, Maslog, Danao City.
“It is an art center we created to bring out new ideas while coming out as a place of fun, to promote exhibits, fabrications and conducting outreach workshops. The dream of DraMus is to bring patrons to the provincial side of Cebu,” said Aguilar.