Autor: Tatiana Ourique / AO Online
The Angra do Heroísmo Museum has a new center, in this case, for contemporary art.
Sixteen years after the construction of a gallery named after his mother - Carmina - the doctor and artist from Terceira Dimas Simas Lopes donated that heritage to Azoreans, by signing a protocol of donation of Carmina Galeria to the Museum of Angra do Heroísmo, last September 18. The new museum nucleus opened to the public on October 9 with the exhibition "Symbologies".
The exhibition, which will be open until March 14, 2021, marks a new cycle for the Carmina Galeria de Arte Contemporânea Dimas Simas Lopes (Carmina Contemporary Art Gallery Dimas Simas Lopes).
Over 16 years, the art gallery - with its "Chico Bento Botequim", a cultural bar - has been a place for socializing with various arts. Carmina Galeria was an informal school for artists and will continue to be so, currently under the tutelage of the Government of the Azores through the Angra do Heroísmo Museum, now adding contemporary art to its already vast mission.
Dimas Simas Lopes, a well-known Azorean doctor, writer and artist, admits that his own age has accelerated the decision to donate the gallery, being it a gift to the Azorean people.
"A very interesting set of cultural events has been held at Carmina Galeria, namely exhibitions of painting, sculpture, drawing, video, among other expressions. But then came the crisis of 2010/11 and it became more difficult to keep open the doors of a gallery with so many running costs. Then, I realized that the way to make the gallery viable was by donating it to the people of the Azores, through the Regional Government and the management of the Angra Museum, whose work is known regionally, nationally and internationally. I talked to director Jorge Bruno and I believe it will be a space where both locals and visitors can establish a close connection with contemporary art," said Dimas Simas Lopes, stressing that this "is a donation to all my fellow citizens”.
The Regional Director for Culture, Susana Goulart Costa, refers she welcomed Dimas Simas Lopes' donation and believes "this will be a way for Terceira Island to have a public space dedicated to contemporary arts, also facilitating the network of synergies with Archipelago - Contemporary Arts Center in a more dynamic relationship".
Jorge Paulus Bruno, director of the Angra do Heroísmo Museum, reveals the future of the new museum center. "There is an exhibition room that will host temporary exhibitions (five to six months) and not permanent ones. The exhibitions, which will mostly revolve around contemporary art, will be explored in the socio-educational field. For this purpose, we will try to capture and retain the loyalty of public schools, as well as of the elderly public, in addition to other niches. We are also interested in having tourists visiting the exhibitions, but we are aware that it will not be easy for them to reach the gallery, essentially due to its location. On the other hand, we will try to capture the presence of locals by holding events on weekends, namely by hosting some events that usually take place in other premises".
The center’s opening hours will also have a differentiating character: "Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12 and from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. We are counting on qualified professionals in the field of Art and Heritage Sciences as well as on the Regional Directorate for Culture in what regards the annual allocation of funds for museums", said Jorge Bruno.
“Carmina Galeria de Arte Contemporânea Dimas Simas Lopes” is the new designation of the cultural structure, thus honoring its donor, who is also the author of the exhibition opened on October 9, "Symbologies". It is a two-moment experience where culture and popular symbols have a prominent place. "Breviário Açoriano" is the name of the first moment, involving the representation of motives linked to the cult of the Holy Spirit by believers and pagans. The exhibition ends with a second space entitled "Signs of Matter", which represents an "alphabet of figures that vibrate when given color. Signs and symbols from our collective imaginary".
Dimas Simas Lopes is a well-known cardiologist at Terceira’s hospital. Along with his passion for wine production, Dimas Simas Lopes has a taste for the arts, namely for painting, sculpture and literature.
Carmina Galeria was born in the parish of Feteira, in Angra do Heroísmo, in 2004. The building, also a work of art, houses distinct creations by Azorean artists and by artists from outside the region.