San Jose, 1 November 2017 (IICA). The Nineteenth Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA), held October 25-26 at the Headquarters of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), provided the backdrop to the opening of an art exhibition entitled “Portrayal of Agriculture in the Americas.”
The exhibition is an art/education project designed to focus the attention of people in the Americas on important issues and challenges facing agriculture across the continent. It showcases 20 previously unseen acrylic works by Mexican painter J. Cruz García that highlight various aspects of agriculture and rural life. Each painting is 60 x 60 centimeters in size, and the collection forms a 240 x 300 centimeter mural.
Each work references the challenges faced and opportunities available as the continent strives to develop more sustainable, productive and inclusive agriculture that will not only guarantee food security but also help to improve the quality of life of farmers and rural dwellers.
García, a self-taught painter, educator and agronomist by profession, has more than 20 years’ experience in the visual arts. He is especially interested in combining art and science in his works, giving pride of place to agricultural subjects and landscapes.
“The project took nearly two years to complete, from its conception through to the creation of the colors and forms. I put a lot of love and heart into it, as part of my endeavors to raise awareness of what is going on in our rural communities. There is still little awareness of the work that farmers do,” García observed.
IICA Director General Víctor M. Villalobos explained that the intention was to present different viewpoints concerning issues that encourage people to reflect upon and consider agriculture now and in the future. “This acclaimed young artist has embellished our 75th anniversary with this artistic treasure,” he concluded.
The subjects addressed in the paintings are agricultural innovation, good practices for mitigating climate change, policies and the institutional framework, inclusion and rural territories, agro-ecotourism, the sustainable management of agricultural resources, climate change, capacity building, value added, management of postharvest losses, bioenergy, biotechnology and biosafety, family farming, production systems and competitiveness, water resource management, agricultural risk management, genetic resources and indigenous crops, agricultural health and food safety, and agricultural markets.
The works on display will also be available in the printed and digital versions of a companion publication, where they will be accompanied by texts prepared by different IICA specialists, whose contributions enabled the artist to provide the ideal context for each of his pictures.
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