First American Art Magazine No. 22, Spring 2019 - Page 92

REPORT PERU, ECUADOR, AND THE UNITED STATES Bienal Intercontinental de Arte Indígena, Ancestral, o Milenario T HE SEVENTH BIENAL INTERCONTINENTAL DE ARTE INDÍGENA, ANCESTRAL, O MILENARIO (BIAI) marks it as the oldest and longest-continuing Indigenous art fair in the world. Since 2006, the fair has showcased works by a growing, interna- tional group of artists, writers, and scholars in Quito, Ecuador. Beginning September 27 and 28, BIAI VII opened in Quito and Pijal, Ecuador, and this year the fair took a major step by also opening in October in Lima, Peru. The main events in Peru took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Lima, with collateral and traveling exhibitions at Centro Cultural Mansión Eiffel in Lima, Cultural Center of the San Marcos University of Lima in Santa Anita, Olaya de Chorrillos Cultural Center in Callao on the Pacific Coast, and in Ica Province. Auxiliary events, showcasing a smaller selection of BIAI works, took place in the United States in Chicago, Illinois, and St. Ignace, Michigan. With this expansion of the art fair, the BIAI truly has become intercontinental. Artists and scholars first created the BIAI fair to provide an Indigenous-led platform for Native artists from Ecuador and elsewhere. Jorge Iván Cevallos, director of the Escuela Indígena de las Artes (Indigenous School of the Arts) in Quito, Ecuador, is the BIAI’s general producer, and he has been with the fair since its inception. In a public letter, Cevallos wrote, “We recognize the mission to cultivate and share the beauty of the art of our nations and peoples with artists and the public, through exhibitions, laboratories, workshops, and coexistence integrated in the spirit of a community of inter-learning, of multiple, intergener- ational, and pluricultural nature.” 1 One goal of the gathering is to address the gap between formal and informational education, and to “promote learning practices aimed at the revaluation and enhancement of cultural heritage and human talent.” The BIAI competition publicly recognizes the artists, and the winning trophy is itself a work of art. Indigenous artists of South America don’t always have such a broad platform in which to showcase their work, alongside that of fellow Indigenous artists from around the world. The two lifetime presidents of the art fair’s jury are both Peruvian: Herbert Dante Calumani (Aymara) 2 and Enrique Galdós Rivas. 1. Jorge Iván Cevallos, Memorandum, Bienal Intercontinental de Arte Indígena, Ancestral, o Milenario (November 20, 2018), PDF. 90 | WWW.FIRSTAMERICANARTMAGAZINE.COM