Pacific Daily News

November 17, 2000
Section: Lifestyle
Page: 65A

Saturday artists aim to inspire others
Jojo Santo Tomas

By Jojo Santo Tomas
Pacific Daily News

Guam's largest group of active artists is ready to show the island what they've done in the last year.

The Saturday Group, whose goal is to promote art appreciation, has met weekly to sketch and discuss art every Saturday for the past five years. Their exhibit today, "Freeform," is in its second year and the group hopes to develop it into an annual show.

"I am excited, but mostly for the younger ones in the group," says 53-year-old Arman Germar, founder of the group. "The younger artists are like sons to me. I've watched them grow and develop and I'm happy to be a part of that growth."

Artwork in various media will be displayed at the exhibit, Germar says, including work in charcoal, pastels, acrylic, oil, watercolor and sculpture. Having such a variety will allow the viewing public to realize the many outlets that artists can use in pursuing their creative expressions, he says. It is especially important to bring children to the exhibit, Germar says, because parents can discover artistic desire early in their children and do what they can to nurture it.

"We are the only active artist group on island that pursues art in a serious way," says longtime member Paks Pineda. "Our exhibit is just one way of inspiring other people, especially young children, to get motivated into the arts."

Pineda is creating installation art for the exhibit, a combination of sculpture and architecture that will use the space of the CAHA building to portray his theme, "Returning ancestors to their original resting homes."

"It will be finished on the day of the exhibit," he says.

Xtian Mahilum, another one of the founding members of the group, says he will display six or eight oil portraits on canvas, although no one work stands out among them.

"I am proud of each and every one," he says. "Mostly because they take so long to complete. I have some that I started way before 1990. I think art will always be a learning process and exhibits are good because I get to see the works of artists that I wouldn't see otherwise."

That includes art that has only come to the forefront in the last few years because of widespread new technology.

"It's amazing how a group of artists from so many different walks of life can get together every week to create, share their art and interests," says 24-year-old C.J. Urquico, a Web developer for IT&E. "We have artists in almost all disciplines and media, from traditional methods to contemporary digital imaging."

Leon Ryan is another artist who has been with the group for some time. He says he has five pieces to show, including one that required quite a bit of research and observation.

His oil portrait, "Steel Butterfly," is an impressionistic rendition of Lt. Gov. Madeleine Bordallo.

"I would study her from news clippings and photographs and, when I got the chance, to observe her in person," Ryan says. "I painted what I felt was the essence of Madeleine at a time when she was younger."

Janilyn Abalos, 18, says she's excited about displaying her work in her second exhibition with the group. She juggles her art with a full-time schedule at the University of Guam and her job as a waitress at the Outrigger Guam Resort.

"Last year, I was scared to invite anyone to the exhibit," she says. "This year, I can be proud of my work, so I'm inviting everyone. I'm still very fascinated with this group that gets together and does art."


s The Saturday Group, a collection of 20 local artists, will display more than 40 works at their four-week show "Freeform." The exhibit opens at 6:30 p.m. today at the CAHA Art Gallery at Two Lovers' Point. Refreshments served.

s Contact Arman Germar at 649-7102, Paks Pineda at 637-4128 or C.J. Urquico at 727-6347. Or visit their Web site at:

Graphic illustration by Cid Caser/ Pacific Daily News