A Timeline of Filipino American Art History
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About WiC

Very early in life I was inspired by my father and his townmates

In 1946 their club, The Native Sons of Lapog, all worked to contribute money towards an architectural plan, materials, and a contractor to build a Community Center that would enable everyone in that barrio to access medical care and assistance in legal and other administrative matters. After a few years, the center was built and was a source of pride for my dad’s social club as well as the grateful barrio in Ilocos Sur. For a long time, the center and its memory served as a linkage between relatives and townmates.

In the winter of 1992, I visited San Juan (formerly Lapog, Ilocos Sur). While walking in the town square, I asked my cousin if I could see the Community Center. He pointed in a direction beyond the town square and said that it had not existed for years.

Not dissimilarly, two years ago, my esteemed associates and I came together and we all contributed our scholarship, documentation and experiences: We produced and compiled educational, historical and cultural information to nourish an organism called the FILIPINO AMERICAN ART HISTORY WEBSITE. As we contribute to this organism it will not disappear or dissipate. Unlike the physical structure of the Lapog Community Center, The Website is virtual.

Our Cultural center will be on our laptops or PCs at home. We will be able to see a social history of Filipino Americans and make contextual references to our histories in Fine Arts, Graphic Arts, Music, Writing and Films.

When I was in my Painting Class at the California School of Fine Arts in 1959, My teacher told me that there was no Filipino American contemporary art. Now, in 2005, here in America, we have achieved a cultural critical mass--so now, we have an Art History web site that can be shared by us, for us, and the world. Enlightened as a culture, we--as a community united--can never be dominated.

Everyone who contributes and shares in this nutritional oasis strengthens themselves as well as the information on the website itself. We can also state, argue and critique issues (via Blog) on a community bulletin board or networked classrooms.

Filipino American culture has been mushrooming in the United States since the San Francisco State riots and the International Hotel in the 1970’s. From that point, the quality of Filipino American Culture took its unique shape. This is a model for Filipino Communities all over the world. How we survived, made art and were fed by the ethos of the diaspora is worth sharing.

Carlos Villa, Fall 2005