What would artists do?

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

IT WAS a grand collective pledge and all of the proceeds were directed to the recipients, the victims of typhoon Yolanda. To the exhibitors, it was a consolation they wanted to give and they couldn’t have been more ecstatic to do it.

Over 100 local visual artists evinced interest for the cause with the staging of “Artabang” last Thursday at the Cebu Country Club Ballroom in Banilad, Cebu City (the event was announced in Live on Dec. 5).

The space, converted into a gallery, burst into an atmosphere of dynamic creations by artists from Manila, Cebu and Bacolod. Creators and viewers gathered as one, a mixed spectrum of humanity who sought art interpretation for a night. The art exhibit was arranged specifically for the realization of shelter initiatives for the survivors of Yolanda.

Cebuano cubism master Celso Duazo Pepito lauded the event as spiritually enriching.

Presenting once again his signature concept, the marriage of modernist and contemporary arts, Pepito pitched in the 15” x 11” Life as Journey of Hope and the 15” x 10” When Burden is a Joy, both well done via mixed media.

The trademarks—octagon, three planar symbolism and titles all spoke of one thing: hope.

“No matter what happens, stay positive,” was Pepito’s encouragement.

Portrait Artists Society of the Philippines president Adeste Deguilmo exalted the occasion as a different execution of energy.

“Ah—the best compliment an artist can receive from his audience. Music to the ears,” Deguilmo said. He didn’t mind the monetary value of his pieces going to charity.

Dequilmo prefers oil paint and seldom uses watercolor but he did this time, with his representational and figurative entries, the 16” x 20” Bangon…Sulong and Kalinga.

“An incredibly successful pursuit to artistic excellence toward national identity, this is the beginning of a more vibrant comradeship among local art players,” Manila-based Fil de la Cruz confidently said.

De la Cruz brought in his ethnicity and nature-inspired theme with his personal candidates—the 18” x 24” Diwata and the 15” x 20” The Mask along with a mutual entry (the generic tag is “interaction painting”) with two other artists, Naked Nature.

“Witnessing a network of masters, seniors and young disciples of arts coming together for the fulfillment of a national goal is pleasure and investment rolled into one,” Manila contemporary artist Fidel Sarmiento observed.

Sarmiento’s displays depicted his solid orientation on hyper realism with doves as the center of attraction for this particular exhibit.

Content-oriented Nunelucio Alvarado of Negros Occidental said, “Art circulates in a diversity of attack, philosophy and emotion but it’s art after all. It’s up to the artist what to make out of it. For instance, a donation,” was the social realist’s point of view.

Filipinos have this default appetite for eleemosynary activities in any post-national horror. And it’s natural how they are very good at that.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 12, 2013.


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