Belmopan, the quiet and unassuming capital of Belize, is considered a perfect place for retirement rather than youthful activity. However, if you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss some of the details that make it great – like it’s rising art pulse. There is life here, there is talent, and there is a movement which has taken root. With proper nourishment, Belmopan can become an artistic oasis.
Belmopan’s newest gallery, The Art Shack
In January 2020, the idea of Belmopan’s “Art Shack” was just an idea from a round table conversation with a group of artists. Individually, each artist wanted to create and push the envelope of social norms. The responses from these conversations were invaluable. Why do artists create? As children, we dream about careers that can make a difference. We envision life as superheroes. As we get older, sometimes dreams are trumped by the necessity to feed and sustain ourselves. However, more brave souls are willing to take that risk, and they’ve taken up hold in Belmopan.
The founder of Depiction Paintings talked about the idea of making an impact. Noble effort looks like the decision to become a full-time artist or to create art that challenges boundaries. The rising pulse of art in Belmopan has taken on many faces. Musicians like Mervin Budram have found a way to enlighten people through faith and music. Mervin travels the country through his uplifting sounds, which Belmopan residents particularly appreciate during the holidays. A Belizean Christmas, a wonderful concoction of Belizean sounds, artists, and passion.
But what of Poetry? Felene Cayetano has been creating for quite some time now – pieces that are both moving and thoughtful. She advocates daily for cultural continuity and literacy, and for a community of artist to transform Belmopan into a hub of expression. If these pieces, this music, and their prose become recognized on the same level as local cuisine, then imagine how Belmopan can be transformed. This pandemic is the time for recognition of the arts. Artists create during times of turmoil, and they create when they’re happy. They say, in their way, what many of us fail to express. So while Belmopan grows, it is time to honor its art community as one of the wondrous byproducts.
Contributed by Saidy Godette