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  • By Jasmine Stole Weiss

Imbentibu Famalao’an art show opens at Castro Art Gallery

Tucked away in the Tumon Sands Plaza is a collection of worlds, familiar and foreign, all created by female artists of Guam. Sculptures, paintings on silk, paintings on canvas, palm fronds reconstructed into glistening vessels, sketches, digital art, photographs and more are skillfully displayed in the Castro Art Gallery as part of the Imbentibu Famalao’an art show. “ ‘Imbentibu’ means ‘inventive’ or ‘creative’ and, of course, ‘famalao’an’ means ‘woman.’ So I was looking for something that would describe artists, women artists,” said Dawn Lees Reyes, artist and exhibit curator. “That’s what we do as artists, we’re inventing and creating as we go.” The Castro Art Gallery is filled with pieces from female artists on the island who come from all walks of life. From June 5 to June 26, the public is invited to visit, view and purchase the works. “I wanted to have an exhibit that featured women’s work because I think it’s important,” Reyes said. “Historically, women are not well-represented in the arts and I like to find ways to tip those scales.” Art lovers will find work from well-known local creatives like Judy Flores and Maria Fitzpatrick but Reyes said she’s also excited about this exhibit because it features a lot of work from new, emerging artists. “We even have artwork from very young girls. I think our youngest is 12,” Reyes said. “There’s something there for everyone.” Reyes also pointed out that fiber artist Nanette Reyes Senior’s new pieces, wall hangings and standing vessels crafted from palm fronds, are also a highlight of the show. “It’s something new for Guam,” Reyes said. In past years, local female artists were able to show off their work at the annual exhibit at Nissan but because of the pandemic that wasn’t possible. Reyes was involved in those shows and when it became clear it wasn’t going to happen, she decided to shift gears and put together Imbentibu Famalao’an. “I had been talking with Ric Castro who is the owner of Castro Art Gallery and he was totally willing to support,” Reyes said. “So I was very excited about it and got started contacting women.” Like Castro, the female artists Reyes contacted were fully on board. The artists were very supportive, so much so that Reyes found that she had more art than she had gallery space. Fortunately, the Tumon Sands Plaza had the solution, opening up the space next to the Castro Art Gallery to allow all of the pieces to be displayed. “Before you know it I had 27 artists who were interested but they all had more than one piece,” Reyes said. “We were able to put up everybody’s work no matter how many pieces they submitted, so I’m very happy about that.” Residents can view all of the artists’ pieces in their original glory at the Castro Art Gallery, which is on the second floor at the Tumon Sands Plaza. The pieces on display are also available for purchase by cash, local check or PayPal. The exhibit is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

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