Art on the rise

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Monday, March 17, 2014


THIS seems to be an all-encompasing concept of life for Italians, whose country has become a center for anything fashionable, as they deem it requisite to surround themselves with all things beautiful. From the uniform of police officers and road sweepers to gardens and architecture, down to the quality of wine being indulged on, Italians see to it that these are pleasing.

Being embraced by all things beautiful brings out positive attitudes from people. With not just beauty in every corner of their surroundings but also order and tranquility, it makes them strive to make sure that these are preserved and maintained. Moreover, a person becomes more efficient in doing his daily activities wherever he may be.

Coming up with not just aesthetic and creative work is just one of the many tasks that a design professional like an architect, interior designer or painter can contribute to society. By combining this concept of beauty with functionality, their works make a big difference in ordinary people’s lives.

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That’s why when the University of San Carlos College of Architecture and Fine Arts (USC Cafa) concocted a theme for their annual design awards and exhibit this month, they made sure to resuscitate the public consciousness on the importance of incorporating beauty into our midst, assuming it had already succumbed to dormancy or indifference.

Under the gung-ho theme, “ArtRising: Cebu’s Creative Design Revolution,” USC Cafa threw out the confetti for their future designers’ excellence.

Design plates, projects and thesis works filled the Ayala Center Cebu Activity Center keeping the possibility of instilling the “La Bella Figura” philosophy to the local scene.

An alumnus from the college observed how adventurous and “modern” the student designs were especially in architecture, where scaled models of houses and buildings show how these would-be architects strive to veer away from mediocrity. Computer-generated plans and perspectives indicated how updated these students were in the latest design software and how they made sure that they are skilled in these applications.

Yet on the opposite corner, one would observe manually-made drawings, done in water color and other media. There were also monochromatic sketches done in pencil that were so excellently done that would think twice if computers indeed had already full control of this generation.

Paintings in oil and models done in plaster of Paris and clay also display the ability of these young artists.

With the possibility of cross border practice in 2015 in the Asean region, each country must fully equip its stock of professionals with a sharper technical knowledge and skills in order to be competitive with its regional neighbors. The design professionals, like architects, advertising artists, interior designers and even film makers, must be ready and ready show their cards. And now is the best time to tap on these local artists to start sprucing up the urban environment with a splash of beauty that clearly reflects the community’s values and readiness to face the future. (Photos by author and Edward Janzen Lim)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 18, 2014.

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