More than 50 works on paper and canvas from Belizean faculty and students are on display through March 23 in the Donna Service Gallery (Building A) on the BPCC campus

More than 50 works on paper and canvas from Belizean faculty and students are on display through March 23 in the Donna Service Gallery (Building A) on the BPCC campus, 6220 E. Texas St.  The Gallery is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A virtual artist talk with Belizeans featured in the exhibit will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in conjunction with an opening reception at the Gallery.  Area artists and the general public are invited to attend.

The collection of artwork was gathered and selected by Kirkland Smith, adjunct professor at Galen University, San Ignacio, Belize, and full time instructor at St. John’s College.  Smith is currently collaborating with BPCC Associate Art Professor Kelly McDade on a Virtual Exchange for students at BPCC & GU.

The purpose of the exchange is to develop course materials that encourage direct, real time, engagement on projects among exchange participants; create learning materials and pilot objectives, using Design Thinking as a guide; and establish a framework for gathering data and evaluating results, using the Kirkpatrick Model as a guide; as the model for expanded offerings within additional course offerings. The work will serve as a model for expanded course offerings and further collaborative partnership opportunities between Galen University and BPCC.

BPCC Chancellor Bateman co-wrote an opening statement for the exhibit:

Perhaps… beauty cannot be judged objectively. Perhaps… what one person finds beautiful may not appeal to another. But we have never encountered another human being that has failed to see beauty in Belize.

From the rainforest to the cayes, the roots reggae to the punta rock, the barrier reef to the ancient Mayan civilizations, the rice and beans to the meat pies… there is an abundance of beauty in Belize. Yet, the source of authentic beauty in Belize is clearly her people. Influenced by colonization, slavery, and immigration… Belize is multi-ethnic and multi-lingual. This diversity of Creoles, Mestizos, Garinagu, Chinese, Lebanese, Mayans, Mennonites, and more… have given rise to a truly multicultural society.

Araceli and our three children were born in Belize and we lived in Belize City from 1993 to 2006. We taught at St. John’s College while Brandon and Kimberly attended Belize Elementary School (Cailin began schooling in Texas). We were active in the community and enjoyed travelling to Caye Caulker, San Pedro, San Ignacio, Hopkins Village, and to various destinations in Southern Mexico such as Merida.

From time-to-time, we are asked about Belize and we enjoy sharing about “the Jewel” as Belizeans refer to their homeland. We certainly encourage you to learn more about this young Central American nation on the Caribbean Sea and suggest you plan a visit soon.

Is Belize beautiful… you better Belize it!

For more information regarding the Virtual Exchange, contact Kelly McDade at (318) 678-6324.