“Tuloy Po Kayo” Mural at FEC

Tuloy Po Kayo from Pueblo Nuevo Gallery on Vimeo.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, October 27, 2011 SOMA COmmunity celebrates new mural at the Filipino Education Center (San Francisco, CA) – Kularts and the Filipino American Community Foundation (FADF) is proud to announce the completion of a new 25×80 foot mural, entitled Tuloy Po Kayo, located at the Filipino Education Center/Bessie Carmichael Middle School with a community celebration on Friday, November 18, 2011, from 4 to 7 pm.

“Tuloy po Kayo,” is Filipino for “welcome.” Designed by internationally-acclaimed muralist Cece Carpio, and painted with Miguel Bounce Perez and other volunteer artists, the mural represents the Filipino community’s shared experiences, history, and culture. Join the festivities with performances by Bessie students, hip hop group Power Struggle, DJs, music, and more.

All are welcome to join artists Cece Carpio and Miguel Perez as they celebrate this enormous accomplishment. Lead artist Cece Carpio was commissioned for this project based on her years of experience working with communities throughout the design process and distilling their ideas into a coherent vision. She says of her process, “I put it all together, sure. But the community; they are really the ones to guide me, to give me the visuals and the ideas. I draw upon their wisdom.”

To prepare for this mural, Carpio led an arts workshop with Bessie Carmichael students, where the children created drawings on themes of self-identity, family, and community. Using the children’s input as her guide, Carpio led a community meeting at the Bayanihan Center to gather more feedback and flesh out ideas. Once a final sketch was in hand, community members came back once more – this time, to paint their mural on the wall with a celebratory paint day. Kularts Director Alleluia Panis, who organized the paint day, knows that it’s vital to keep the community engaged at every step. “It’s their wall, they own it,” she says. “The mural is a powerful validation and an every day reminder for the young Pilipino American students that our experiences, our values and our way of life matter. Welcome to MY home.”

The final work includes several layers of meaning. In the center, a “balangay” (boat) and “araw” (sun) convey the significance of the Filipino peoples’ ancient sea faring ways and the overseas journey of immigration to the US. Cleverly, the poles of the balangay form a star-shape – when viewed with the two star-shaped parol lanterns at each end of the mural, the stars and sun evoke the Filipino flag. The parol lanterns themselves are important symbols of light and blessings, evoking holiday traditions widely celebrated among Filipinos: here in SOMA, the annual Parol Festival brings thousands to Jessie Square each December. Against a foreground of waves and a background of sky, the mural includes many children and family groups, playing traditional games or strolling down city streets. Throughout, the composition creates links between San Francisco’s busy city life and memories of Filipino landscapes.

Tina Alejo, director of Galing Bata, says the mural is “illustrative of the relationships and interactions that defined the evolution of the FEC into the community that it is today. For instance, the two figures rising up to brace the sun illustrate the struggle to create the FEC and to maintain it amidst heavy cuts to education and arts funding.” As a nod to ancient literacy and the importance of education, the mural’s bottom edge contains the “baybayin” alphabet, a pre-colonial written language of early indigenous Filipinos – a western translation is also included. The mural was created through a collaboration of the Filipino American Development Foundation, Kularts, Inc., the Galing Bata bi-lingual school program, and the Filipino Education Center/Bessie Carmichael School with funding from the Yerba Buena Community benefit District.

All are welcome to join these community organizations at the festivities on November 18, 2011, 4-7pm in the Filipino Education Center/Bessie Carmicheal Middle School playground. The school is located at 824 Harrison St in San Francisco.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES From the islands of the Philippines to the streets of Brooklyn, Cece Carpio paints people and places on the edges of survival. Using acrylic, ink, aerosol and installations, her work tells stories of immigration, ancestry, resistance and resilience. She documents evolving traditions by combining folkloric forms, bold portraits, and natural elements with urban art techniques. She has produced and exhibited work in the Philippines, Hawaii, Fiji Islands, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Italy, Norway and throughout the United States. She is currently assisting Juana Alicia Ariaza with the True Colors Mural Project in Berkeley City College, in collaboration with Earth Island Institute. She can often be found collaborating with her crew, Trust Your Struggle, teaching, and traveling around the world in pursuit of the perfect wall.

Miguel Perez received a BFA in Communication Design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and currently works as a freelance designer and muralist. He is co-founder of Pueblo Nuevo Gallery, a community art space in Berkeley, California. He also paints and organizes murals and gallery installations with the Trust Your Struggle Collective which has completed grass-roots mural tours across the United States, Mexico, and Central America. His art work and murals have been exhibited publicly and in galleries throughout the US, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia and Mexico.

ABOUT KULARTS Kularts is the nation’s premier presenter of contemporary and tribal Pilipino arts. Founded in 1985, Kularts aims to inform and expand the understanding of American Pilipino culture through works that address contemporary issues in the community; to preserve the spirit and integrity of ancient Pilipino art forms through research, education and documentation; and to nurture the artistic development of Pilipino American artists. Kularts proudly serves the San Francisco Bay Area, home to the largest number of Pilipinos outside of the Philippines.

For more information, visit www.kularts.org. ### For more information and visuals, please contact: Claire F. Meyler Kularts program@kularts.org (415) 239-0249 www.kularts.org