64 for 64: Karl Gaspar’s 64 paintings on exhibit

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/01 June) – Redemptorist Brother Karl Gaspar is turning 64 this month and is celebrating that with a month-long exhibit of 64 of his paintings at the Museo Dabawenyo and a book launch.

The exhibit, which opens June 1 at 4 p.m and will run until June 30, is titled “Seisienta y Kuatro (64)” and will feature 64 art pieces, “mainly paintings in pastel, a few in acrylic, a few mosaics, collage of mixed media and pen-and-ink drawings,” most of these he did during his sabbatical in 2006 to 2007.

Before it became a museum, the venue for the exhibit used to be a courtroom which, in the early 1980s, was the venue for Gaspar’s trials as a political prisoner.

“There is a bit of irony here. As many of you know – the Museo Dabawenyo used to be the Regional Trial Court before it got converted to being a museum. My trials as a political prisoner were in that building. The room that will showcase my art works is the same room where my trials were held. Very interesting how history connects all the dots,” he wrote friends in April.

Gaspar spent 660 days as a political prisoner.

Gaspar is also holding the Davao City launch of “Manobo Dreams in Arakan,” a book published by the Ateneo de Manila University Press and launched there on May 18.

“Manobo Dreams in Arakan” is the popular version of Gaspar’s dissertation (PhD Philippine Studies at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City) entitled “Contestations, Negotiations and Common Action: A Study of the Arakan Manobos’ Struggle for Self-Determination.”

“Manobo Dreams” is Gaspar’s second book in five months.  “The Masses are Messiah: Contemplating the Filipino Soul,” was launched on December 12 at the Titus Brandsma Media Center in Quezon City.

Gaspar’s paintings on exhibit are not for sale. At the end of the exhibit, the art pieces will go to “64 closest of family and friends.”

Gaspar, however, asked his 64 recipients to pay for the equivalent of the cost of framing, which will actually go to a scholarship fund of some children he is helping send to school. (MindaNews)