Visayan Artists Take the Spotlight in “By No Means” Exhibit

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Artworks from women across Cebu, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Bohol, and Iloilo will be showcased at the first-ever Visayas Art Fair.

This weekend, 10 women will have the space to show their works of art and prove to the world that Bisaya talent is a force to be reckoned with.

“By No Means” is an all-women exhibit that will be among the roster of activities happening at the first Visayas Art Fair on November 25-28, 2021. Besides being the first time a cultural showcase of this magnitude will be staged, the exhibit itself marks a historic event as the first to combine artwork by women from Regions 6, 7, and 8.

By No Means will feature the works of Amelia Duwenhoegger from Dumaguete; Karina Broce-Gonzaga, Elwah Gonzales, and Angela Silva from Bacolod; Gabi Nazareno from Bohol; Shiela Molato from Iloilo; and Golda King, Jan Sunday, Greys Lockheart, and Alyssa Selanova from Cebu.

The exhibit will be curated by Selanova, a Cum Laude graduate from the University of the Philippines.

The story of how By No Means came to be is one of women supporting women. Selanova credits Boquiren for the idea to hold a Bisaya women exhibit. “She expressed her passion and enthusiasm to create an exhibition for women,” she shares in an interview with g.spot. “I was really excited to gather women across the Visayas. It was just a dream since before.”

With her background as a Fine Arts major and working for galleries such as 856G and Joya Gallery, Selanova took the opportunity to gather female artists who inspired her as a student, as well as those with who she has worked in previous exhibitions. “I know them also, I love their thought processes as artists. They have different styles, but I look up to them and their narratives, stories, and technicalities.”

As for the story behind the name, Selanova shares that it’s a simple wordplay. “This exhibition, all women, that we can stand, we have names, we can be heard.”

“During the process of mounting this event, I noticed it was all men [involved],” Boquiren explains. “It’s a male-dominated industry. There was no representation of women. So I thought, why don’t we highlight the works of women? Women supporting women. They need to be centerstage. “

The booth for the exhibition was also funded by friends and women of Airspeed International Corporation. Boquiren spearheaded the donations and was vouched for at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts by artist Kitty Taniguchi.

With the pandemic still ongoing, Boquiren and the rest of the Visayas Art Fair faced several challenges in organizing the event. It was initially slated for the Regional Galleries and Museums month in October 2021, yet the rising cases became a hindrance. However, they were set on making it a face-to-face event. “I wanted the city to heal better and be at least a bit more open and safer. Art is a visual relationship. Luckily the situation improved in Cebu,” she says.

Yet the timing ultimately proved to be, in Boquiren’s words, perfect. “Most artists were cocooned in their own homes. Confining them, cocooning them, helped them create more beautiful works,” she explains. “So when the Visayas Art Fair came, it’s the opportunity to show the art they did during the pandemic, to show the world their beautiful works. They realized they need other people to appreciate their work and they’re clamoring for human conduct. We came at the right time.”

See the By No Means exhibit at Montebello Villa Hotel from November 25-28, 2021, and check the full schedule for the Visayas Art Fair below:

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