Ola's successful debut art exhibit, gallery opening

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Thursday, August 21, 2014


NOW it can be said that Maria Mila “Ola” Mabanta dela Fuente has indeed come of age as an artist. This as her successful birthday celebration cum debut exhibit in here home-based gallery in Guagua town was flocked by patrons, art lovers, artists and friends who were eager to appreciate her work.

Such was the love for her work that her centerpiece painting "Flamenco" was sold to a Manila buyer even before the formal opening of the exhibit. Her friends from Manila, all art lovers and collectors too, had an earlier preview of the gallery and Ola was able to sell off around four paintings, an unprecedented thing in local exhibits, even before the start of the event.

Ola's maiden exhibit featured her early works and exploration of her various styles and the inspirations that he had played in portrait from her mentors like Lobo, Maniago and even with styles of the old masters. Her paintings included still life, rural life scenes, religious paintings and paintings depicting women subjects.

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"I find in my work that certain empowerment as a woman. I would like to share that with other women that through my works they could be inspired and empowered to find their own self expression in art," Ola said, stressing that the exhibit highlights her advocacy for women empowerment and self-determination.

The event was attended by Presidential Merit Awardee for Ecclesiastical Art Willy Layug and fellow woman painter Dr. Maria Miguela Santiago who praised Ola for her genuine style and creativity.

Ola takes pride as among the few women painters in Pampanga. Ola’s art is a flourish of feminine lines accented by wide palate of colors. Her themes range from still life to rural scenes. But her distinct mark is a unique impressionist and abstract styles in most of her works. Her bright and vivid colors and sometimes an obvious homage to sepia themes from old masters are evident in her painting styles. You could see her heart and devotion towards portraits of people.

Ola, as friends call her, finished a law degree at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1983 and Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Santo Tomas in 1979. Even then Ola’s only encounter with art is her penchant for drawing sketches and funny caricatures of her teachers. But she never took art seriously then and was more of a jeweler-seller, which was her family’s business. She recalled selling college rings. This entrepreneurship bravado led to the establishment of her jewelry shop later on.

She married a Kapampangan from a prolific business clan and settled in Guagua town. Her husband did not think twice of supporting her when she decided to concentrate on her painting. Her jewelry business is still open to valued clients.

Artists who attended the event remarked that Ola's works are indeed worthy of praise. Artist Andy Ramos said that Ola demonstrated flexibility in style and creativity. He added that Ola's works will even become more defined as she grows in the field of art.

Ola, for her part, thanked her husband and friends for the generous support for her craft.

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For comments, suggestions, violent reactions, invites, indignant rebuttals and what-have-you email: ianocampoflora@yahoo.com(09173435197).

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