Cebuano Artists Surf the Web

C.A.I. Launches Philippines' First Full-Fledged Online Art Gallery

by Jim Ayson
Exclusive to the Philippine Cyberspace Review


CEBU CITY, Philippines (April 15) - Cebu-based visual artists joined a growing global wave of artists exhibiting their works on the World-Wide Web by announcing last week the opening of their very own WWW site. The artists, members of the Cebu Artists, Inc. (CAI) group launched their CAI ART GALLERY on the Internet, said to be the Philippines' first full fledged online gallery. The site is housed at the University of San Carlos' WWW server in Cebu.

The URL is: http://www.usc.edu.ph/cai/.

According to Dong Secuya, a Cebu-based artist who also acts as the CAI's resident webmaster, the online art gallery will showcase the works of well-known Cebuano and Cebu-based visual artists -- in painting, sculpture and photography. According to Secuya, art-loving web surfers should "expect an exciting kick-off as a full-packed battery of events are scheduled for the next six months."

Secuya himself is featured in the online gallery's first exhibit. His one-man exhibit highlights a collection of recent paintings of rustic Cebu scenery.

Other CAI members will be having their own online exhibits, with the works of a different member to be featured every two weeks. The gallery will also house the digitized works of the master Cebuano painter, Don Martino Abellana.

The CAI Art Gallery makes extensive use of Netscape Navigator 1.1b3's new HTML extensions, such as textured backgrounds and colored text. Dong Secuya recommends that viewers use the latest version of the Netscape web browser (currently on beta) to best appreciate the design of the site.

The CAI site is not actually the first WWW exhibition of works by a Philippine-based visual artist. Last January, Manila-based artist Al Manrique unveiled on the Web a collection of computer manipulated imagery previously displayed in a one-man show at the Ateneo de Manila University's Rizal Library. Manrique's surrealistic works are still on display on the Web at http://www.europa.com/~jra/am/amart.html.

Nevertheless, CAI's web site marks an important milestone as the first existing Philippine art gallery to make a committment towards a permanent site on the WWW, with its online exhibitions running concurrently with exhibits at the gallery's "real world" site. Through its Internet site, Cebu Artists Inc. expects to generate global awareness and appreciation of Cebu's artistry and cultural heritage.