Sunday, September 28, 2003

On View In The Islands

Filipino arts
get new home

Thanks to the unflagging interest of retired director George Ellis, the Honolulu Academy of Arts opened a new gallery Wednesday that is dedicated specifically to Filipino art. The fittingly named Art of the Philippines: The George and Nancy Ellis Gallery houses the academy's rich historical collection, including textiles, sculptures, household implements and personal adornments. Pieces on loan or donated from Filipino art collectors past and present are now on display in the gallery.

A head cloth tapestry woven of cotton and silk was created in the Sulu Archipelago by the Tausug People.

A large St. Thomas Aquinas wood sculpture, shown at right, for example, is among a group of wood sculpture works donated by Henry Clark.

The gallery is divided into three areas of study: Art from pre-western contact times, the Spanish Colonial period and the indigenous arts of the Northern and Southern Philippines.

The gallery is the culmination of Ellis's 20-year, career-long dedication to growing the academy's Filipino art collection. In alignment with academy founder Anna Rice Cooke's intention -- to educate isle youth about their own ancestry and the ancestry of their neighbors -- the collection has long provided cultural education for the community, as more than 16 percent of Hawaii's population have cultural ties to the Philippines.

The Honolulu Academy of Arts is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $7 general, $4 students, seniors and military and free to children under 12. Call 532-8700 for more information.

A sculpture of St. Thomas Aquinas from the Spanish Colonial Period is carved of molave wood.

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