Manabi Province/Ecuador – Opening Event/Museo Portoviejo – Friday May 17, 2019 – 7 pm. Art Exposition/Presentation by artists Ivo Uquillas, Vicente Ferrin and Carlos Fernández Ferrín.
Quiet and focused on a set of illustrations, I had lost track of time. Like emerging from a deep sleep, I pondered, “Is this Friday – or is this Thursday?”
It was Friday, and I needed to stop working and prepare to attend the World Museum Day event at Museo Portoviejo. The first stop would be the cyber to confirm the date and time of the event.
Sorting through ten pages of my day’s work, I spotted several areas that needed more attention. “Just five more minutes,” I thought.
A stronger voice overruled, “No. Stop. You need to support your friends.”
Two of the three artists for the event are friends; they are true masters. I reflected on how they support my work, especially Ivo Uquillas, who mentors many artists, and who spoke at the past two inaugurations/expositions of my work.
I realized that I was tired and thought about the hour’s drive to Portoviejo, the event, then an hour’s drive home. I pondered the crowded auditorium and that no one would notice if I were there – or not. I considered my concerns for the planet, and how this drive would negate my attempts to be more sensitive about my choices. I even pondered the costs to drive there and back (fuel prices have risen!)
That “stronger voice” gave a more-assertive nudge, “This isn’t about you. It’s about your friends and their work – and you need to attend. Period.”
If I reached the cyber and discovered that the event was scheduled for next week, I could have a nice long session of internet!
I reached the museum half an hour early and greeted Vicente Ferrin, who was carrying items from his vehicle into the museo.
We took the (light) load upstairs and joined Ivo and the third artist Carlos Fernández Ferrin, the latter a cousin to Vicente. All three artists were preparing for painting demonstrations – yay! Without perusing the paintings, I dashed back downstairs until time for the formal opening.
7 o’clock arrived, and I ventured upstairs while wondering how I missed seeing people arrive. But no- in the auditorium were three other people – perhaps I was wrong about the hour? Carlos Wellington, director of expositions, was equally baffled. The newspapers, television, social media – all had given notices about the event. Where were the people of Portoviejo?
Skipping the formal opening in the auditorium, the three men took their places in the adjacent gallery and began to work; half an hour later, one new person joined the audience. In a way it was an amazing honor, to witness in an ultra-serene setting – three maestros at work. In total contrast, I was also witnessing that sobering reality of a question that nags any artist, ‘What if no one shows up?”
At 7:45, five new people arrived! Yes! Friends of Ivo Uquillos drove from south of Manta and added a much-needed injection of energy to the event! Sylvie Bond, a master painter with a solo show opening May 21st in Jipijapa, joined Ivo’s magical doodling. Over the next hour, more people trickled into the room and watched the artists complete their works.
When visiting earlier, the artists agreed about lack of decent painting materials – finding a brush that holds a good point for more than one day’s work is difficult. They said that I should bring brushes back from the USA – or better yet, perhaps I could arrange for the four of us to have a show in the USA. Can anybody ‘out there’ help make this dream show happen?!!!
An impromptu session of music, song and poetry provided a perfect finale to the evening. Those three artists are indeed multi talented! True to their professionalism, they returned to their work areas and resumed work.
Knowing that an hour’s drive awaited me, I said ‘Goodbye’ around ten and left my friends still working. Perhaps they worked all night and the entire weekend!
If you’re in Portoviejo, drop by the museum and see these works in person!