Saturday , 20 April 2019
Custodians of culture

Custodians of culture

Culture and heritage are what make up a civilisation, and preserving these two for the future generations is of importance so as to remember our roots. Those few instrumental in protecting and exhibiting works of art will be conferred with a special award by a Brazilian art institute. In an interview with NT BUZZ, vice-president of the institute, Luis Gracias speaks about the institute, the award and salvaging lost art.
Alisha Nicole Carvalho | NT BUZZ

On November 29 the Instituto Felga-Gracias Arte e Cultura of Rio de Janeiro, will felicitate those instrumental in preserving and promoting heritage, culture and art in Goan society namely Savia Viegas, Rajendra Kerkar, Victor Hugo Gomes among others. To hand over the awards co-founder of Instituto Felga-Gracias Arte e Cultura, Luis Gracias is in Goa. Gracias is a Goan by birth and he moved to Brazil in the early nineties. His love for conserving and restoring art and culture led him to collaborate with artist Felga de Moraes to start the Instituto Felga-Gracias Arte e Cultura in Rio de Janeiro. The institute was created with the objective of giving back to society and contributing to fields of art, culture, sports and education in Brazil and countries or cities closely associated with Brazil.
The institute seeks to create awareness and widen horizons towards heritage and works in partnership with individuals and recognises those who preserve, conserve and maintain lost history. They also pay tribute by constructing monuments.
“Whenever we visit a country, we see monuments. Structures made from steel and concrete last, they stand the test of time,” said Luis, when asked why they build monuments as tributes. The basis of any civilisation is its culture and art and in keeping with this philosophy the institute will acknowledge Goans like environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar, artist Savia Viegas and curator of Goa Chitra Museum and Goa Chakra Museum Victor Hugo Gomes and Brazilian sports ambassador Arthur Antunes Coimbra, alias Zico with a special one of kind, original sculpture made by Felga, for their extra-ordinary service of promoting arts and culture in the community. A diploma of excellence will also be given to those who have contributed towards the preservation of arts and culture in the state.
The unique trophy called the ‘Dignity Trophy’ has been carved by Felga. The trophy’s body is made from Brazilian cedar wood and its base is Brazilian pine wood. The award is unique to this event as is it the institute’s first wooden trophy. The inspiration for the trophy’s design comes from Victor Hugo Gomes’ works, which are mainly of wood.
When asked about his thoughts on preserving art and culture as well as art created by upcoming artists today, Luis said: “Today the focus is mainly on commercial art, creative art seems to have taken a setback.” According to Luis, time and again, artists have displayed that creative art is the way to go. It isn’t only about the easel and a few paint brushes anymore. Artists these days are using acrylic paint and modern intelligent material like steel, glass, plastic, concrete and wood he said.
“There is a need to be open-minded about various elements that are at our disposal now and we need to use them in an efficient manner to create something that will talk about our time here. Students should be encouraged and exposed to different mediums in order to create art that will break the barrier between commercial art and creative art,” said Luis. On a concluding note, when asked if the institute would return to Goa for another award ceremony, he said they definitely will come back if the event receives favourable enthusiasm.
(Students of Goa College of Arts and art graduates are welcome to attend the award ceremony at Goa Chitra Museum, November 29, 5:30 p.m. The event is open to public as well)

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