Visayas artists’ exhibition, conference opens virtually

The ceremonial lighting of the beacon by Charlie Co, Manny Montelibano and Bong Lopue (l-r) at the opening of the Viva ExCon on Sunday*

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said the Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibition and Conference (VIVA ExCon) that opened virtually on Sunday, November 8, has not allowed COVID-19 to dampen the power of art to create, unite, connect and inspire hope.

VIVA ExCon virtually opened Visayas-wide showcasing the artists in their localities, with featured exhibitions.

Lacson, in his message at the opening of the VIVA ExCon, said COVID-19 came swiftly and harshly, and the art and cultural sector was not spared.

However, this pandemic should not be the reason to suppress Viva ExCon’s 30 years of bridging the islands of the Visayas from networking and cultural exchanges among the visual art communities and stakeholders, he said.

“With the theme ‘Dasun’ or ‘What Now?’, the VIVA Excon is showing the resilience, hope, and courage we direly need right now as we are pressed to move on and move forward despite the circumstances,” Lacson said.

He congratulated the people behind VIVA ExCon for their pioneering initiative.

“May you continue to be relentless in your efforts to empower local art, explore more opportunities for collaboration, to design a suitable future for your community and to be continuously relevant to our ever-changing times,” he said.

VIVA ExCon 2020 conference head, Jade Snow, said they 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 is a Visayas-wide biennale which was started by the art group Black Artist in Asia in 1990 in Bacolod City and whose hosting has since toured the Visayan Islands every two years without fail, she said.

VIVA ExCon chairman is Charlie Co and its director is Manny Montelibano.*

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