International Mountain Day
MiratecArts commemorated International Mountain Day, a United Nations program celebrated annually on December 11, with the presentation of the 2020 Montanha Pico Festival program.
This year’s program launch, in partnership with the Azores Regional Directorate of the Environment, took place at the Regional Interpretation Center, Volcanoes House, in the Lajido area of Santa Luzia. Those in attendance had the opportunity to visit the new center and attend the inauguration of sculpture #175 in Helena Amaral’s “Smiling Stones Route”. The latest sculpture is located at Volcanoes House, overlooking Mount Pico, the highest mountain in Portugal.
The mountain culture-themed art and adventure festival kicks off January 3 at the Whaler’s Museum in Lajes with the presentation of José Efe’s book “InPico” and an accompanying watercolour exhibition by Judy Rodrigues. The festival closes January 31 at the Madalena Auditorium with a concert and CD release of "The Mountain" by accordionist Nuno Carpinteiro’s trio. Exhibitions, Movie Tuesdays, Saturday morning cave visits and Sunday afternoon tea-talks at the Mountain House are part of the extensive program that sees artists from various countries joining locals at the sixth edition of Montanha.
The fourth edition of Pico Island’s animation festival, AnimaPIX, took place from December 11 to 15 at the Madalena Auditorium and Library. Full length and short films, storytelling and books focusing on the art of illustrated animation was enjoyed by more than 1000 people during this year’s programming.
The partnership with RJ Anima brought storytelling sessions for all ages. Two storytellers, Lucrécia Alves and Ilda Aguiar, "on the loose" at AnimaPIX, created moments where the written word was King and Queen, with visits to MiratecArts Galeria Costa and a special event at Cella Bar.
In addition to the premieres of major films and Totoro’s 30th anniversary celebration of Studio Ghibli, more than two dozen short films were featured. The highlight was Regina Pessoa’s film retrospective, which received the MiratecArts Atlante Award for 20 years of excellence in animation. Ashley Gerst from the US received the Audience Award for her film “The Spirit Seam”.
New this year was the Comics Lounge, featuring hundreds of comic books, providing incredible moments for children, especially those who had never held a comic book in their hands before. Workshops that included creating characters and monsters with moldable sand was another attraction for the whole family at the festival dedicated to the kid in all of us.
AnimaPIX has books too
MiratecArts artistic director Terry Costa bet on books for the fourth edition of AnimaPIX with a mini bookstore, courtesy of Azorean publisher Letras Lavadas, made available to visitors for the first time at the festival. The classic book by Jean Giono, "The Man Who Planted Trees", was presented to various high school and junior high school groups, with over 1000 children, teens and young adults attending special sessions at local schools, and new releases were showcased at the festival.
The presentation of new books "As Aventuras do João Rezingão" by Ana Paula Leite and "A Menina Que se Picou num Cato" by Diana Zimbron with illustrations by Pieter Adriaans, as well as the launch of Terry Costa’s book "Néveda in Azores", illustrated by Vera Bettencourt, were all warmly received. Due to the great success of the literary component of the festival, books will continue to be featured in future editions of AnimaPIX.
AnimaPIX, the animation festival on Pico Island, is supported by the Regional Directorate of Culture and the Madalena Town Council.
MiratecArts in Canada
Promoting the Azores with art and artists is one of MiratecArts main goals. Terry Costa, artistic director of the nonprofit cultural organization, takes every opportunity when overseas to move this objective forward, and this fall it was in Canada. Between meetings, study and work visits, various opportunities to promote the Azores took place with the media, cultural entities and even in the Portuguese community. The highlight was the promotion of the book "Ilustrar Açores", which got prime time on the OMNI TV news program "Focus Portuguese", along with a great interview on the Creative Spin podcast.
Ilustrar Açores is an important educational tool that presents works by 20 Azorean artists. All homes in the Azores should have the book to show to visitors, as it offers a contemporary view of the region while highlighting great talents.