Tuesday, December 6, 2022

National Arts Month Series Part One: Silent Exhibitions and Museums

by Emmarie May Bonganciso | February 1, 2022

Stealing the last few minutes before sundown, I made a short trip to the city’s famed Dakong Balay fronting the boulevard to supposedly catch a glimpse of the newest exhibition about the preservation of mangroves and where local artists displayed their artworks to support the cause.

But when I reached to open its doors, there was only one person manning it and I had no one to ask around about. The room was silent but if only its walls could speak.

On the first step to the second floor, I was immediately greeted by the information about the mangrove preservation project and a few artworks hung on the staircase’s wall, all of which were made by the students of a partner school in Zamboanguita.

With tiny steps, I made my way upstairs, afraid to disturb a possibly living soul on the second floor. But it was my great surprise that the exhibition was mine to marvel alone at that time.

It was surprisingly calming, and even quite emotional. The crawling mangrove roots on the artworks seemed to blend into the white walls and embraced the lone visitor that soulful night. These coupled with the soothing wisp of air from the balcony made the moment more scenic.

Since no one was present to interact with, I started to run the possibilities of what topic I can write about. During this process, I realized that although Dumaguete is home to many artists, I still wish there were more articles written about them, what they do, and the current situation of art in our community.

From the golden light that shone from the exhibition’s lamps, reflected unto the masterpieces that hung on the walls, to the pictures of mangroves’ roots that seemingly engulf the observer, art is more than just visual aesthetics. It soothes and it moves.

For the month of February, the Weekly Sillimanian shall feature a four-part series about anything “art” on a local and national level. Hopefully through this, the silent museums and exhibitions shall be able to tell their story to the community they wish to touch.

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