POP ART II: PIECE OF PEACE ARTSHOP AND CONCEPT DESIGN CONTEST, A PIECEFUL SUCCESS!
By: Nash Usman Abduhadi
“Art is a process, it is not merely a product; art involves time, it is experiential; art can communicate, a reason for art is to symbolize for a real idea or object, including PEACE”- A.G. Saño
The aforesaid statements were proven true during the successful conduct of POP ART 2: Piece of Peace Artshop and Concept Design Contest held at Mount Bayog, Talipao, Sulu on March 11, 2013 by the strengthened partnership of Kusug Batah Sug (a pool of young volunteers advocating for peace in Sulu), Marine Battalion Landing Team 2, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Black Pencil Foundation, Talipao Municipal Government, Community Relations Training, Mount Bayog Eco-cultural Park, to name a few. On the earlier part, Armando Guerrero “A.G”Saño rendered an artshop lessons to the participants emphasizing the importance of art in our daily lives, the history of POP ART, images of peace arts and demonstrating the basics on drawing lessons. A tour at the Mount Bayog was made for the participants to see the views and sights of the place for them to internalize the concept design that they shall be drawing such as: amphitheatre, sundial, fence walls, arch entrance, and waiting sheds. The contest proper began noontime as the Superstar band of MBLT2 serenaded them with peace songs that serve as inspiration for the artists. In the afternoon, the awarding of the Photograpeace (Photos of Peace) which was held last January 15, 2013 at Notre Dame of Jolo College and Jolo Area Coordinating Center was made followed by the induction of new Kusug Batah Sug members. Hon. Hadja Sitti Raya Tulawie (Mayor of Talipao, Sulu) expressed her heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the organizers and participants who conducted POP ART 2 in Talipao, Sulu as a means of bridging the gap between the local government and its constituents and also promoting peace through creative means.
Youth are the future leaders and professionals of the nation. However, due to lack of an avenue and opportunities for discovering prolific, functional and causal to addressing peace efforts, youth has become maimed and others were tempted to engage in some unlawful activities. A thorough understanding of novel aspect for these vulnerable sectors of the society would surface only if they would be given the chance to participate and get involved in the quest for an ever-elusive peace especially in Sulu. Correcting the paths of these future leaders toward a common vision through creatively advocating their voices becomes an ultimate challenge to all the Tausug youths.
POP ART 2 is a sequel of the June 11, 2012’s Piece of Peace Art held in Jolo Area Coordinating Center with three categories: Photograpeace (Photos of Peace), Masterpeace (Poetries of Peace), Magnum O’ Peace (Artworks for Peace). The POP ART was conceptualized by the Kusug Batah Sug, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Community Relations Training (CRT) as part of expressing youth voices and hopes of attaining peace through creative artworks. Peace illusions are best conveyed through depictions of reality and imagination. A gallery on how youth can show another facet of peace. This is peace as seen from the eyes of the youth. Experiences as expressed in their belief that peace is attainable.
On the conduct of POP ART 2, the contestants were screened through submission of sample drawings on how they depict peace and promote Sulu tourism as part of the objectives. The said contest aims at: homegrown concept designs of facilities for Mount Bayog Eco-cultural park, Tausug youth talent development, promote Tausug culture, encourage creative thinking and appreciation, and promote local tourism.
Timing is everything, as the saying goes and POP ART 2 paved the way for Tausugs “first timers” to have a glimpse of Sulu by visiting Mount Bayog Eco-Cultural Park. Ironic, as it may sound since most of the participants came from the 19 municipalities of Sulu but most haven’t get the chance to see the said park that is their own. It was also the first time for the participants to take a ride on a military vehicle and feel the essence of establishing genuine relations with the security sectors. It was also the very first time for the spectators, contestants and observers to be able to join an art workshop and concept design contest rolled into one.
Most of the POP ART 2 participants, organizers, and observers experience a once in a lifetime shared “boodle fight” (a traditional buffet of the security sectors) which served as their lunch during the said activity. The true essence of sharing, brotherhood, unity and harmony were felt amidst the scorching heat of the sun. The unexpected weather during the day didn’t hamper the conduct of the said contest. An experience of “NO AGE LIMIT” participants was also seen as a youth from 11 year old to a teacher of 52 years old participated. An ongoing most liked artwork is to be posted in facebook.com so that the world could see the master-peaces of these peace advocators.
Art can communicate PEACE
Peace is the work of many and this was shown during the activity as a total of almost 200 participants coming from different municipalities, schools, organizations, and other stakeholders drew together their Piece of Peace as embedded in their Magnum Opuses.
Indeed, as A.G Sano once said: art can be a vehicle to advance causes, ideas or philosophies, by turning advocacies and visuals.