The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) and the Alternative Contemporary Art Studio (ACAS) launched an art exhibit, titled, “Cuevas: A Retrospective (Iconography and Style)” last April 27 at the Casa Gorordo Museum.
The exhibit opening fell on the 40th day of artist Wenceslao “Tito” Cuevas’ death. It began with a mass at 3 p.m. followed by a solemn program at 4 p.m., which were attended by his family, friends, patrons, and artists.
Cuevas, who started painting late in his life, invigorated the Cebuano art scene by putting out works in the abstract expressionist style. He is considered the “Father of Abstract Expressionism in Cebu.”
The retrospective exhibit in the Casa Gorordo Museum is the first of a series that deals with various aspects of the late master’s life and works. On May 5, “Cuevas: A Retrospective (Personal Memoirs and Influences)” will be opened to the public at ACAS in Sacred Heart Parish. On May 23, “Cuevas: A Retrospective (Masterpieces and Rare Works)” will be mounted at the Cebu City Museum. The concluding exhibit of the series, title and content of which will be revealed on a later date, will be housed in SM City Cebu in June.
JV Castro, curator of ACAS and the Cuevas retrospective exhibit series, said that the exhibition in Casa Gorordo Museum traces the development of Cuevas’ art career.
“It focuses attention on different styles that the master employed all throughout his art career from the late 1970s to 2012. This exhibition shows the evolution of his style,” he said.
Tito Cuevas is one of the “Big Three” artists who do abstract expressionist style. The contribution that he gave is a big contribution to art and heritage in Cebu. “We want to celebrate not his death but his heart. We want to celebrate the life he chose to live because it sets a good example to artists who deviate the style that is in season now and the world,” expressed Castro.
According to Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of RAFI Culture & Heritage, the Cuevas retrospective exhibit series reflects RAFI’s advocacy to bring attention the artistic and creative aspects of local culture, the reason why the foundation is supporting it. She added that the exhibits are significant in giving tribute to a Cebuano master and for making people aware of the diversity of artistic expressions found in Cebu.
“Let the works now speak for the person who never likes to speaks about himself. This is a tribute that we’d like to do to Tito Cuevas for the gift of artistry that he has given to us and we hope that his works will serve as an inspiration for the young and upcoming artists,” shared Gerra.
Culture & Heritage is a focus area of RAFI, believing that a confident community begins with a strong sense of identity. Its other focus areas are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Citizenship, and Education.