Exhibition Title: Filipina: Beacon of Light
The Filipina Women: Beth Bridges, Carmela Lopez, Christina Matias Johnson, Cita Alba Anderson, Daisy Lupo, Demie Aseron, Emely Lumayno Smith, Erlinda B. Guevarra, Evelyn Dacalos Gay, Felicitas F. Rimando, Frances Acosta, Haydee Moxley, Jessie Nail, Jocylin JoAnn Mariano Jett, Liberty Saburnido Lumayno, Melania B. Domingo, Michelle Matias Phillips, Minerva Cabrera Poblete, Nerry Fernando, Nilda Murillo Colson, Paola Rimando Domingo, Rizza Palmares O’Connor, Rosita Matias Johnson, Ruth Marron Rimando, and Yollie Cabaysa
Name/Origin of Artist: Dominique James, Filipino-American Photographer & Artist
Curators: Jennifer Martinez (Executive Director, Altama Museum) and JoAnn Edge (Member, Board of Trustees & Member, Selection Committee - Altama Museum)
Hair & Makeup Artists: Maddie Adams, Riley Adams, Taylor Hayden, and Serena Hayden
Theme: Formal Studio Photographic Portraits
Type of Subject: Individual Photographic Portrait of Filipino Women
Exhibition Items: Large Format Fine Art Color Photographic Prints, Unframed
Artworks: Signed & Dated
Sale: Not For Sale
Event Partners: Shoney's of Vidalia, J. Leigh Salon, Hair X Maddie
Patron: Ms. Susan Guevarra
Donors: Mr. & Mrs. Lee & Hilda Self, Benjamin Black of City Drug Store, Ronnie L. Stewart & Robbie E. Rosier of Stewart-Rosier, Dr. and Mrs. Tosoporn and Pongsiri Krasaeath, Dr. Melania B. Domingo, Mrs. Erlinda B. Guevarra, Ms. Evelyn Gay, Ms. Yollie Cabaysa, and Ms. Wynell Sombilon Shafi
Media: Mr. William F. Ledford, Jr., and Ms. Kathy D. Hill of The Advance News, and Ms. Stephanie Williams and Ms. Teri R. Williams of Toombs County Magazine
Opening Reception (By Invitation Only): February 17, 2018 (Saturday), 3 - 6 PM
Guests of Honor (Opening Reception): Alexis Reighlynn Phillips, Ariana Nell Shafi, Ethan Rimando, Grant Owen Dykes, Isabella Allen, Jian Matthew Libiran, Judson O'Connor, Kylie Acosta, Maya Allen, Madalee Claire Sanchez, Nicole Acosta, Oliver Miro Domingo, Samantha Estelle Culler, Trey Rimando, William Edward Culler, and Zylee Miguelle Lopez
Musical Guest (Opening Reception): Mr. Downie Moses
Spiritual Adviser: Fr. Ben Dallas of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Saint Andrew The Apostle Catholic Mission
Cultural & Editorial Consultant: Jose Dennis Teodosio
Drop-In & Walk-In Opening Reception (Open To The Public): February 18, 2018 (Sunday), 1 - 3 PM
Exhibition Dates (Open To The Public): February 18 - March 30, 2018 • Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays - 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM • Sundays - 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Venue: Eleanor Meadows Gallery
Museum Name: The Altama Museum of Art & History
Museum Locale: Crawford W. Brazell House
Museum Address: 611 Jackson Street, Vidalia, Georgia 30474 USA
Email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 912-246-1131; 912-537-1911
THE ADVANCE NEWSPAPER
Filipina: Beacon of Light (A Portrait Photography Exhibit of Filipino Women at the Altama Museum)
The Altama Museum of Arts & History, together with the Filipino community of Vidalia, Georgia, proudly present a new portrait photography exhibition titled "Filipina: Beacon of Light" by the Filipino-American artist and master photographer Dominique James. This exhibit is a showcase of never-before-seen unframed large format fine art color photographic prints.
As an artist's tribute, it features portraits of accomplished and influential Filipino women who have migrated to the United States and settled in Vidalia, as well as from nearby cities, to form thriving pockets of communities within Georgia’s geographic and cultural Magnolia Midlands.
“Through my portraits,” says Dominique James, “I aim to shine a bright light on the individual and collective triumphs of this particular group of women. Each of them plays important but often unrecognized roles in meticulously cultivating and fostering cultural and social ties among immigrants. More importantly, they are instrumental in weaving bonds with other peoples from their adopted land that uplift the Filipinos.”
The Philippine Center for Migrant Advocacy asserts that “a long history of migration is deeply ingrained in the social, economic and cultural climate of the Philippines.” Historically, there had been four waves of Filipino international migration. The first wave was in 1417 with the first-ever recorded mass movement. The second wave occurred under Spanish rule in the 18th century brought about by international trade relations. During the American colonial period, a time when Filipinos were considered US nationals, the third wave happened—a large-scale and systematic migration to the United States from the beginning of the 20th century to the 1940s. It slowed down at the end of World War II, but then started to steadily increase (the fourth wave) with changing economic conditions and political policies instituted in the 1970s.
In America, Filipinos first landed in Louisiana and California. A group of migrant workers then settled in Hawaii and Alaska. From there, they fanned all across the different mainland states. Georgia happened to be one of the areas where they have been welcomed and have found economic and social opportunities.
Wherever the Filipinos may decide to migrate, their mix of inherent resilience, flexibility, excellent attitude, disposition, and adaptability, along with set skills, educational background, work experience, and talents, usually results in successful integration into their adopted foreign lands. In the process, Filipinos have wholeheartedly embraced their new life, in very much the same way that the world has embraced them. With this outstanding record of migration history, Dominique James says that in a sense, “the Filipinos can be rightfully considered as truly global citizens of the modern world.”
Filipino men were the ones who initially sought opportunities to migrate. It did not take long, however, for the women to carve their immigration paths. So, while the men were the first movers, establishing them as pillars of the growing Filipino communities all over the world, it is the women who not only brought about additional economic gains but also their undeniable touches of cultural and social influences. The Filipina women hold the distinct stature as “beacon of light.” It is the Filipina who primarily illumines the multifaceted aspects of the Filipino cultural identity all over the world.
It is the cultural and social influences of the Filipino women in the migrant Filipino communities that Dominique James finds fascinating. "They are more than their roles as medical professionals, government servants, educators, religious leaders, social workers, office employees, factory and farm hands,” says Dominique James as the purpose of the Filipina photographic exhibition. "Sociologically, they are the ones who visibly and invisibly hold and keep together the Filipinos all over the world."
The “Filipina: Beacon of Light” photo exhibit will be on display at the Eleanor Meadows Gallery of the Altama Museum of Art & History inside the 1911 neoclassic Crawford W. Brazell House located within the historic downtown city of Vidalia, Georgia. It is free for public viewing from February 16 to March 30, 2018, on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and on Sundays at 1:00 to 3:00 PM.
[Source: The Advance Newspaper, October 11, 2017, Page 8A. Note: Information has been updated.]
Of the many representations depicting the Philippines, the name Luzviminda is one that comes up time and again, to personify the motherland, and consequently, the Filipina women.
Luzviminda is the portmanteau of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, the names of three major Philippine island groups. In the Philippine flag, these are represented by three bright yellow stars.
The illustrated depiction of Luzviminda is varied, depending on context—from political to social to cultural. Commonly it seems, however, Luzviminda is portrayed as a beautiful but utterly helpless and hapless Filipina woman with a drawn, forlorn face, crowned with long, flowing disheveled hair, almost scandalously naked in what remains of a tattered Maria Clara traditional dress fashioned out of the Philippine flag, with hands and feet shackled to impossibly heavy chains. A victim of time and tide, chance and circumstance, she is a woman hoping and waiting to be rescued.
With the photo exhibit, “Filipina: Beacon of Light,” my portrayal of Luzviminda, the Filipina women, is far different from such a stereotypical dire and dramatic depiction. My Filipina women are not women in chains. Each and every woman photographed for this exhibition is portrayed as ladies of light—resplendent, radiant, powerful, victorious.
It can be said, at one point or another in their lives, the Filipina women in my portraits have all endured incredibly challenging circumstances. Against countless odds, they have prevailed. They overcame economic hardships, social injustices, and cultural deprivations. They did not wait to be rescued. They took matters into their own hands. They turned their lives around, and in turn, the lives of everyone else around them. Filipina women like these are an inspiration to me. So too, are they an inspiration to many others not just in the Philippines but all over the world.
Resplendent, radiant, powerful and victorious—this is my individual and collective picture of Luzviminda, of the new Filipina women.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER/ARTIST
Dominique James is an experienced international commercial and fine art photographer who migrated from the Philippines in 2007 and is currently based in New York City and Atlanta in the United States.
As a professional photographer, he has worked on a variety of exciting and innovative film and digital imaging projects for more than 35 years. On top of his commercial assignments, of special interest is his ongoing series of personal works that explore the many aspects and dimensions of both black-and-white and color fine art photography.
Starting in Asia, he established a successful professional career by photographing many famous people such as celebrated entertainment personalities and top fashion models, as well as high-ranking politicians and prominent socialites. In addition, he has done numerous commercial, advertising, and corporate photography.
To date, his images have been presented in a number of one-man and group photography exhibits. While he is best known for his celebrity portraits, his scope of work is diverse: it includes cutting-edge fashion, product, food, travel, landscape, architectural, interior, and adventure photography for advertising, commercial, corporate, entertainment, fashion, and media use.
His specialization covers digital photographic imaging (fashion, portraiture, products, still life, commercial, advertising, corporate, food, landscape photography), digital imaging post-production management (editing, enhancement, file management), visual conceptualization and designs (magazines, brochures, flyers, leaflets, posters, CDs).
Dominique James also conducts professional models and photographers workshops. In addition, he serves as a judge and a consultant to photography contests, model searches, beauty tilts, and talent competitions.
To view his professional portfolio, please visit www.dominiquejames.com. For more information, send email to: email@example.com. Also, connect on: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
This photography exhibition is dedicated to two master photographers -- Jun de Leon and Wig Tysmans. Thank you for making me see beauty through your eyes. This is also dedicated to the loving memory of my father, Narciso A. Guevarra, Jr., who always tells me to keep on going, and to my uncle Nestor Domingo, who gave me my first film camera when I was in grade school, setting me off to an amazing photographic journey of a lifetime. My gratitude to all of you is boundless.
This art development project is made possible with the incredible support of many generous sponsors, donors, and event partners like you. Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request information on how to become a sponsor, donor or an event partner. Thank you for your support.
In putting together this special exhibition, I count myself lucky for being able to call on many people who have selflessly shared their expertise, talent, time and resources with me: Susan Brady, Butch Dalisay, June Dalisay, Demi Dalisay-Ricario, Jana Ricasio, Jois Balderian, Rochelle Townsel, Fely Rimando, Frances Acosta, Victor Palmos, and members of The Holy Team. I am in awe of all of you.