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Georgian Consulate Mounts Successful Three-City European Art Road Show

The Consulate of Georgia in the Philippines, led by Consul (a.h.) Thelmo Cunanan Jr, the Dean of the Corps of Honorary Consuls of Georgia, has organized a successful three-city European art roadshow of Georgian-inspired paintings. The exhibitions were held in Innsbruck, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Paris, France from November 29 to December 13, 2015.

The exhibit, entitled “Colors of Hope 2: The European Roadshow” was in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Georgia’s Independence, Georgian Culture, International Friendship, and Climate Change Awareness and featured the paintings of master Filipino visual artist Pancho Piano. The latter was the first Filipino artist to formally exhibit in Georgia and the Caucasus.

Mr. Piano’s first exhibition, entitled “Colors of Hope” was organized by Consul Cunanan at the Shalva Amarinashvili Museum of Fine Arts of the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi last November and December 2014. During his stay in Georgia, Mr. Piano was a guest of Consul Cunanan and the Georgian National Tourism Administration, which brought the artist all over the country in order to paint its landscapes, sceneries, and monuments.

“Colors of Hope 2: The European Roadshow” started in Innsbruck, Austria on November 29, where it opened at the gallery of Management Center Innsbruck, in partnership with Honorary Consul of the Philippines Dr. Christian Traweger and MCI Director General Andreas Altman. Present during the opening night were prominent Austrians, led by guest of honor Dr. Herwig Van Staa, President of the Regional Assembly of Tyrol.

“I am very pleased to formally open this exhibition and extend my congratulations to the honorary consuls and the MCI for hosting this successful event,” said Dr. Van Staa. “This is a special occasion as I have been to Georgia and have very good ties to the country.” As former mayor of Innsbruck, Dr. Van Staa was instrumental in establishing a sister-city relationship with Tbilisi. He is also a close personal friend of Ms. Gabriela Von Hapsburg, the former Georgian Ambassador to Germany.

From Innsbruck, the exhibition travelled to Bratislava, Slovakia, where it was exhibited on December 4 at the ICT Gallery on Venturska Street, in the city’s historic, medieval town center. The event was co-organized by Georgian Ambassador Alexander Nalbandov and Georgia Consul (a.h.) in Slovakia Franco Pigozzi and was attended by members of the diplomatic and consular corps and art aficionados. This was the first cultural initiative of the Corps of Honorary Consuls of Georgia.

Thelmo CUNANAN
Georgia’s Honorary Consul to Philippines, Thelmo Cunanan at a Georgia-inspired art show

“I wish to congratulate Consuls Cunanan and Pigozzi for this initiative. This is truly a unique exhibition as it promotes Georgia through the eyes of a Filipino, master painter Pancho Piano,” said Ambassador Nalbandov. “This initiative of Georgia’s honorary consuls—Franco Pigozzi from Italy and Thelmo Cunanan from the Philippines—is a fine example of successful international cooperation. This is also a special reunion for me with Consul Cunanan with whom I worked very closely several years ago on the issue of the release of Georgian sailors wrongfully detained in the Philippines.”

For his part, Consul Cunanan thanked Ambassador Nalbandov and Consul Pigozzi for their help in organizing the exhibit and promised that there would be more CHCG initiatives to promote Georgia in 2016.

From Slovakia, the exhibition travelled to Paris, France, where Consul Cunanan presented the paintings at the COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference as an example of the multinational effort to raise awareness of global warming through the arts. “Congratulations to Consul Cunanan for his efforts to raise awareness of climate change through this beautiful Georgian-Philippine art exhibit,” said COP21 Delegate Senator Heherson Alvarez of the Philippine Climate Change Commission. “It is through arts that we can reach and touch people’s hearts and make them realize the problems facing the world. This is arts and social change in action.” The paintings were also exhibited at the gala of French socio-civic and cultural organization Paris Glamour, which was held in the city’s trendy Rue de l’Anonciation district.

“Congratulations to Consul Cunanan for his efforts to raise awareness of climate change through this beautiful Georgian-Philippine art exhibit,” said COP21 Delegate Senator Heherson Alvarez of the Philippine Climate Change Commission. “It is through arts that we can reach and touch people’s hearts and make them realize the problems facing the world. This is arts and social change in action.” The paintings were also exhibited at the gala of French socio-civic and cultural organization Paris Glamour, which was held in the city’s trendy Rue de l’Anonciation district.

The paintings will once again go on display in Manila in February, in preparation for their mid-year exhibition in the United Kingdom and Ireland in July/August.