CLARK FREEPORT -- SM Supermalls, through its “My City, My SM” series, recently launched a book that celebrates the beauty, culture, traditions, and people in various cities around the Philippines.
The book, titled “My City, My SM, My Art,” celebrates Philippine visual arts -- painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and filmmaking. It aims to bring people and art together in a roadshow featuring the works of masters, modernists, and millennials around the SM Supermalls.
The book comes after “My City, My SM,” which promotes tourism; “My City, My SM, My Cuisine,” which highlights heirloom recipes from prominent families in the different regions; and “My City, My SM, My Crafts,” which showcases traditional arts and modern Philippine design.
In the book, the cultural journey began on March 2016 at SM Seaside City in Cebu with an exhibit featuring artists from the Queen City of the South including maestro Romulo Galicano; and concluded on March 2019 at SM City Cebu with the masterpieces of Manuel Rodriguez Sr., the Father of Philippine Printmaking leading the way.
The book also features artists from Baguio and the Cordilleras and as far south as General Santos in Mindanao.
From 2016 to 2019, the “My City, My SM, My Art” series advocated art for all by working closely with communities, schools, and the public to mount exhibits, workshops, and contests in key cities around the Philippines.
SM Supermalls also collaborated with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, and the Shell Companies of the Philippines; as well as the Philippine Star, Center Stage Productions, and Finale Art File.
The book features how Filipino art has flourished through families like the Abellanas of Cebu; as well as those of masters Mauro Malang Santos, Jose Pitok Blanco, and Eduardo Castrillo whose children -- and in some cases grandchildren -- now represent a new generation of visual artists.
There are also examples of how art ties fathers and sons together -- National Artist Abdulmari Imao and Toym, National Living Treasure Eduardo Mutuc and Eduardo Jr., Ricarte Puruganan and Victor, Manuel Baldemor and Monnar, Romulo Olazo and Jonathan.
The book also highlighted how family members played significant roles in preserving the artistic legacies of their loved ones: Josie Baldovino for her brother National Artist Jose Joya, Daisy Tolentino-Mendez for her father National Artist Guillermo Tolentino, and Totong Francisco II for his grandfather National Artist Carlos Botong Francisco. The family of Manuel Rodriguez Sr., even flew all the way from the US and the Bahamas during the tribute to their father at SM City Cebu.
The book showcased how Filipino artists created groundbreaking works from non-traditional materials.
With art supplies either too costly or simply unavailable, Baguio’s Jordan Mang-osan and Patric Palasi found their niche in solar and coffee art, respectively; while Palawan’s Elordie Mesac crafted his pieces from rubber slippers. When his materials were washed away by super-typhoon Yolanda, Tacloban-born Dante Enage began using tuba, a local wine made from coconut juice, as his medium.
The rise of regional Fine Arts schools like the Philippine High School for the Arts in Laguna, the University of Mindanao, the University of Rizal System, La Consolacion College in Bacolod, Ateneo de Naga, and the Adventist University of the Philippines in Cavite have likewise been vital to the growth of the arts around the country.
The book also showed how art thrived when artists got together in collectives like the Tam-Awan Village in Baguio, the Artist’s Village in Baler, and Pinto Art Museum in Rizal.
These art journeys in SM Supermalls around the country were all compiled in the “My City, My SM, My Art” book.