​2nd Workshop in Preparation for the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts: Visual Arts Committee

In 2016, Guam hosted the Festival of the Pacific Arts (FestPac), a region-wide festival celebrating the various arts and cultures of the Pacific. As the host of FestPac 2016, Guam chose what kinds of events to highlight, although traditional performances, arts and craft displays and demonstrations, music and story-telling are often part of the many activities available for participants. Hosting the Pacific wide festival represented an important and exciting opportunity to highlight cultural identity and heritage among a diverse group of Pacific islanders, many of whom share a colonial past and have felt its impact on traditional practices and lifestyles.

In addition to the artists, there were many other people who visited during the course of the festival to see the various performances and demonstrations and to learn about the arts and rich traditions of the people of Oceania. Guam artists who participated in FestPac 2016 were encouraged to share their knowledge about history and culture in addition to their creative and artistic expressions in its myriad of forms.

The Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency (CAHA) spearheaded the organization of FestPac 2016, as well as organized workshops to assist local artists, artisans and other cultural producers to tell the story behind their work.

The first workshop, Cultural Design with History in Mind, was held in February 2013 and focused on finding inspiration in traditional Chamorro designs and motifs evidenced on material culture of the Mariana Islands. The second workshop, Intellectual Property, was presented in August 2013 and provided information about intellectual property rights and protections as they can be applied to artists and other cultural works.

This next in the series of FestPac workshops entitled, Connect Me | Create Me | Promote Me, offered a more in-depth look at the organization of festival committees and activities, and outlined Guam’s specific efforts to help participants prepare for FestPac Guam 2016. The first workshop of the series, “What is FestPac?” discussed the history of Guam’s involvement in FestPac and the impact the festival has had on Guam’s cultural identity and representation at the festival. This second workshop summarized below, featured a presentation of the history of Guam’s visual arts from the 20th century and forward, and included two concurrent breakout sessions featuring panelists of 2D/3D artists and filmmakers.

Guam Visual Arts

Historical Overview 20th Century and Forward

By Dr. Judy Flores, Pacific Arts Scholar and Artist
In this presentation, Dr. Judy Flores discussed the history of visual arts on Guam through the 20th century and today. With images and examples of Chamorro art, Flores connected different points in Guam’s history to the movements and shifts visible in the creative works of Guam, from jewelry to paintings, to carvings and crafts. The influences and changes in Chamorro art also reflect the Chamorro people’s awareness of ongoing issues of identity, politics and culture, and the desire to connect with their ancient past.

2D/3D Breakout Session

In this session, workshop participants were introduced to the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica National Museum as one of the gallery sites during FestPac. With a panel led by Ron Castro, there was discussion of how other host countries have organized and displayed 2D and 3D art during the festival. In addition discussants brought up environmental and aesthetic considerations the Visual Arts committee faced as they planned the displays in the galleries and the festival’s satellite venues.

Film Breakout Session

In this session, led by Raph Unpingco, panelist Simeon Palomo reported on how film arts were presented during the 11th FestPac in 2012 in the Solomon Islands. Participants then discussed various topics related to FestPac 2016, including film categories, funding, venues, timelines and quality of film projects. CAHA continued to explore other options to support Guam’s filmmakers, but also decided that local film artists should continue to meet regularly and help each other succeed in their work.

Download Simeon Palomo presentation here.

2nd Workshop epublication

Download presentation here.

Summary Workshop Report epublication

Written and presented by Guampedia.com

Download Summary here.

Ron J. Castro slideshow presentation