VCon 1 Day 1-3

Three down, two more conference days to go. The Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibition & Conference (VIVA ExCon) 16 is now in the middle of its virtual conference using the lens of Futures Studies thinking. The Visayan art community is excited about the platform chosen given the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Going into the future studies design and perspective, the main objective is to arrive at a possible, probable, and preferable future for the artist.  The artist group has always been peripheral at best but just tolerated and left alone most of the time.  They tend to feel that they don’t factor in most of society’s general blueprint and would like to create a discourse that shifts perspectives and reassures them that they do have a say in how their future is going to be like.

Representatives of four identified sectors were invited to look into the context of existing dynamics in the areas of family, business, education, and governance vis-à-vis the arts. The assembly of artists then examine their own experiences and answered the question of the way these experiences helped or hindered their career in the arts and what their preferred future is in the context of these four sectoral focus.

CHMSC External Relations Director and a lifetime learner and practitioner of futures studies thinking Rhoderick Samonte who is moderating the conference says that “for us to address and achieve one of the objectives of this virtual conference, which is to design a preferred future for the artist community, it is important to walk through some of the basic principles of futures thinking – often referred to as a method for informed reflection on the major changes that will occur in the next 10, 20 or more years in all areas of social life, including the arts. Futures Thinking uses a multidisciplinary approach to pierce the veil of perceived opinion and identify the dynamics that are creating the future.”

The sectoral focus on family featured the sharing of family dynamics by artist-couple Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan as well Rosemarie Jacobo-Sarnate, the wife of Negrense visual artist Susanito Sarnate with reactors Cebu-based artist-couple Raymund and Estela Fernandez, all of whom are intimately aware of how a family can make or break an artist, the theme being community, collaboration, and co-creation.

Last Friday, VCon 1 was graced with the presence of speakers Calixto Chikiamco and Ed Valencia, as well reactor Raul Arambulo in a participative discourse on business with the theme ‘The value of art and artists in Business: Myths, Realities and Opportunities.’ This was followed on Sunday with inputs from Br. Edmundo Fernandez, FSC and Fr. Jason Dy, SJ as well as the reaction of Prof. Palmy Pe-Tudtud in an informative discourse on ‘Art and education: contexts, creativity and criticality,’ where the assembly also surfaced their own experiences to their own educational preparation.

The Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibition & Conference (VIVA ExCon) 16 recalibrated itself for the celebration of its 30th year of unimpeded continuance. Given the reality of the 2020 pandemic, the limitation imposed by necessary precautionary measures and the impact of such to the mindset of artists, VIVA ExCon 2020 has recalibrated the festival design to engage creative spirits in a virtual dynamics that is interactive, online and will bring together the creative community to rise to the challenge of the times.

VIVA ExCon continues with VCON 1 this November 18 and 20 and will continue with VCon 2 every month until June 2021.*

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