Utzurrum: Artists, architects and artifacts-A A +A
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
FATHER of Abstract Expressionism in Cebu, Wenceslao “Tito” Cuevas—whom we, regrettably hardly knew—was honored on the 40th day after his death, by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi) and the Alternative Contemporary Art Studio (Acas). An exhibit at the Casa Gorordo Museum called “Cuevas: A Retrospective (Iconography and Style)” was held recently.
This exhibit was the first in a series that dealt with various phases of the late artist’s life and works. Following this were two more events last month, “Cuevas: A Retrospective (Personal Memoirs and Influences)” at Acas at Sacred Heart Parish, and “Cuevas: A Retrospective (Masterpieces and Rare Works)” at the Cebu City Museum.
A concluding art event will be held sometime this month at SM City Cebu. Executive director for Rafi’s Culture and Heritage Dr. Jocelyn Gerra mentioned that the Cuevas exhibits reflect their advocacy to focus the creative aspects of local culture, a reason why the foundation is supporting it. Also more significantly, it is giving tribute to a Cebuano master.
Lastly, Acas curator John Vincent Castro added that these works showcase the different styles the artist employed during his career from the late 1970s to 2012.
This year’s Gabii Sa Kabilin was to say the least, a superb success as expected!
Adding to the growing list of must-see-must-experience heritage enclaves is the Fr. Pedro Chirino Gallery, located at the 1730 Jesuit House, which helps to make locals especially Cebuanos, more aware of the relevant Jesuit presence in local history.
Giving their unstinting support to Hotong Hardware’s Jimmy Sy, caretaker of the 1730 Jesuit House along Zulueta St., Parian, Cebu City, are dynamic members of the UAP-Sugbu Chapter (United Architects of the Philippines), in creating a gallery which documents the historical influence of the Jesuit mission in Cebu.
Historian Fr. Rene Javellana, S.J., also assisted in the documentation of the art site named after Fr. Pedro Chirino, a Jesuit historian whose task was to convert the Chinese setters in Parian to Christianity in 1595. The good father also became the first rector of an all-boys school run by the Cebu Jesuits.
The interesting gallery also spotlights prominent Jesuits like its founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and his student, St. Francis Xavier. Further, it relates the historic arrival of the first Jesuits in Bicol in 1585, their travel to Manila and subsequent Christianization of the Visayan pintados.
Fast forward to 2012 and voila! The once murky and neglected basement area of the Jesuit House metamorphosed into a well-lighted gallery. Leading inaugural rites was Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, with Jesuit House caretaker, Jimmy Sy, Fr. Rene Javellana, and UAP District C1 director Sarah Abadia.
Kudos to the hardworking members of the UAP-Sugbu Chapter, who labored weeks on end on this challenging and unique heritage project. Well, the mind-boggling task finally paid off, and guess what? Jimmy Sy’s lifelong dream came true!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 21, 2012.