“Inspiration” can be one of the few variables left that may fuel this generation’s passion for the arts, past this current world’s fascination with technology and its innovations.

The arts have allowed creative minds to explore beauty, whichever way one perceives it to be. It is safe to say that most artists in town today have been inspired by another “maestro” or “mentor” one way or the other. Ideas could be born out of, and it could be as simple as, reading a single line from an old dusty book, or hearing a lyric from a pop song on the radio. Whatever the case, inspiration can sometimes be downplayed by artists.

And it is important for one to never do so.

The Cebu Art Association (CAA) is the oldest art organization in Cebu, founded in Aug. 22, 1937. Credit the small group then for starting a spark of interest in the arts.

Plans to promote artworks through more mainstream platforms like art exhibits and painting contests were thought out.

It was about 77 years ago, when seven artists met up under a Mango tree. This is the same spot where the Rizal Public Library and Museum stands today. That day, as the seven members of the CAA enjoyed sharing a blend of stories and brush strokes beneath the shade, word of mouth spread and the nucleus for this small town’s art community was formed.

The original seven were Oscar Figuracion, Ricardo Avila, Fidel Araneta, Silvestre Orfelia, Emilio Olmos, Jose Trinidad Alcoseba and Julian Jumalon.

Generations after, the scene blossomed more than those seven could have ever predicted. Unfortunately for the group though, it has had its share of struggles and tribulations, most highlighted by the fact that the association never really had the chance to propel itself into immense popularity.

And even if it did have its share of glory days, consistency was quite an issue.

“Obviously, there were issues along the way during those years that has kept the group from coming together more often, some personal, some financial,” shared CAA president Jess Najarro. “There was also a time when most of the visual artists in Cebu were also into printing and design businesses. When computers came into the picture, some were affected and sought other ways to be able to provide for themselves and their families.”

Now in 2014, an exhibit aptly dubbed “A New Beginning,” aims to jumpstart the association back into regularity. The exhibit, which features more or less about 25 artworks from current members of the CAA, is located at the Qube Gallery housed at the ground floor of the Henry Hotel, Paseo Saturnino, Ma. Luisa Rd., Cebu City.

The works displayed include pieces by Jose “Kimsoy” Yap, Dennis “Sio” Montera, Mar Vidal, Jess Najarro, Bonifacio Gaco, Ramon de Dios, Bobby Gonzales, Boy Barrientos, Irvin Benlot, Karby Beloy, Sharon Handang, Nestor Zamora, Jose Brillo Villaver, Chicoy Romualdez and Kherla Sanchez.

“Hopefully with this exhibit, we can uplift and inspire the local art scene more,” Jess shares.

“A New Beginning” runs until June 12.