Murals during Festival di Pueblo 2019
Every year on the 2nd of July, Curaçao celebrates flag day with an official ceremony on Brionplein. The ceremony begins early in the morning and ends around noon. In 2018, Fundashon Bon Intenshon initiated a program for the afternoon, called Festival di Pueblo. In 2019 the Festival di Pueblo was organized once more. Just like the previous edition, it attracted a large and festive crowd to town.
The Festival di Pueblo takes place in Breedestraat Otrobanda and consists of five different stages. Four of those offer musical performances by popular bands. The program for the fifth stage, Stage Elis Juliana, is organized by Kas di Kultura. This stage, situated on the square of the St. Anne Basilica, offers a varied cultural program. In addition, murals are made on the garden wall of the square.
As in the previous year, 4 artists were invited by the visual arts consultant of Kas di Kultura, Josée Thissen-Rojer, to create murals in the recesses of the wall. The artists for 2019 were: Pito Polo, Suzet Rosaria, Shartella Santiago and Giovani Zanolino. This time, the wall niches that were left empty last year , were also painted.
This project, executed during the festival, stimulates exchange, awareness and appreciation of the visual arts. As the artists are painting during the festival, the public can easily approach and make contact in a casual setting. Since the paintings remain at the location, something permanent and valued is added to the square.
The artists started painting at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. They were asked in advance to work in their own style and to adhere to the theme of the day: the 35th anniversary of Flag Day. Also, the painting had to be completed that afternoon.
The murals and the cultural program on the square and in the basilica attracted a lot of attention. The atmosphere at Stage Elis Juliana was festive and casual. Between performances, the stage presenters regularly inquired about the progress of the murals and held short interviews with the artists.
Giovani Zanolino, who mainly works digitally, chose to attach a print, in which the flag of Curaçao is incorporated, in the wall niche. He devised an interactive way to directly involve the public in his work. People were approached to put the text ‘Ami ta Kòrsou’ (I Am Curaçao), in a rainbow color of their choice, on the wall.
Suzet Rosaria in her mural elaborated on the flag of Curaçao, which she combined with the popular slogan ‘I Love Curacao’. Above a wavy yellow stripe she placed 3 ladies’ portraits in her characteristic style. Each lady carries a symbol on top of her head: flowers, a fish and a crab. The bird on the right appears in many of her works and often represents freedom.
Shartella Santiago painted the flag and decorated it with colorful flowers on both sides. Some passers by stopped and volunteered with filling in a bit of the mural.
Pito Polo created a landscape with cacti and a special species of flies. In the center he placed a smiling blue skull with a gold tooth. Yellow and orange rays of a rising sun fan out from behind the skull. One eye socket of the skull holds a camera lens. On top of the skull he put a critical note with the words: ‘Amor’ and ‘Wifi’.
The last ’empty’ niche was spontaneously filled by Bethyamin van Nieuwenhuizen, who was actually present for face painting sessions. In between her duties she created a half-hidden face, peeping just over the lower edge of the wall. She gave the figure a blue headscarf and a yellow hibiscus flower in her hair. The yellow and blue are of course referring to the colors of the flag. On the front of the headscarf she wrote the Roman numeral XXXV, for the 35th anniversary of Flag Day.
The cultural program was quite varied with performances by, among others, Crisèn Schorea i su 8.40, Albert Schoobaar, Guineta de Palm, dance group Memoria di Kòrsou, finalists of Arte na Palabra and dance group D’Art PM.
This text may only be reproduced with reference to the source: Curaçao Art®️, www.curacao-art.com. Copyright of the artworks remains property of the artist.