Friday, September 17, 2021

‘Cebu Siete’ at Mugna+Lantaw-3

CEBU Siete is the third exhibit of ArtPortalCebu Gallery featuring the works of seven Cebu-based artists who have found their way into the Manila market as well as other markets in other parts of the globe.

These artists are Adeste Deguilmo, Fred Galan, Jun Impas, Celso Duazo Pepito, Mar Vidal, Jose “Kimsoy” Yap Jr., and Orley Ypon.

Deguilmo is from Isabela, Basilan but came to Cebu to study art at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu campus. He then worked in advertising as a visualizer before he worked seriously on his art, helping to organize Cebu Artists Inc. (CAI) in 1993, serving the group as president for a year. In 2000, he received a three-month grant from the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria for the Arts and the Cebu Arts Council. There he exhibited his works in Kunstierhaus. In 1997, he won two grand prizes: the Letras Y Figuras organized by the Instituto de Cervantes in Manila, and the Land Bank of the Philippines Centennial Mural Painting Contest.

Deguilmo’s interest in art started when he was a toddler, scribbling on the floor of the family store with chalk. He paints when his emotions urge him to, with no specific time frame, unless he has a painting he has to finish. He paints “to touch and inspire other people’s lives.”

Galan started his painting career as an 11-year-old child helping his sculptor father, Felomino, with lettering jobs on jeepneys, walls and tombstones. His father encouraged him by making him copy Amorsolo’s paintings found in calendars. In college, he would have wanted to take up art but at that time, no such course was available in Cebu, so he opted to take architecture. He was able to improve his painting skills under the tutelage of Professor Martino Abellana, who encouraged him to use watercolor with the help of Kimsoy Yap Jr.

After college, Galan went into art-related work like framing, commercial arts and even a small restaurant, with only Sunday as his day to paint.

One day, he and his wife Gee had a long discussion after which it was decided he would go into painting full time. He then joined art groups, art exhibits and realized he is happiest when he is painting. And these days, he is “touched by people who are having a hard time in their lives” so he gives them “love and peace by adding scriptures that tell us how much God loves us and wants us to reconcile with him.” Of his paintings, there are two he would like to keep: a painting of his son Dongki playing with his youngest daughter Paola, and his winning (first prize) entry to the IWS online world watercolor competition.

Impas is from Surigao City where he was a billboard and poster painter in a local cinema. He is a naturally gifted artist and paints in realism. Moving to Cebu in the ‘90s gave him the opportunity to meet and mingle with local artists. He read art books and was inspired by painters he considered great, in the process improving his art and getting recognition, especially for his portraiture (though, he is also great at landscapes). He is a member of CAI and the Portrait Artists Society of the Philippines, as well as of the Durian Collective Artists Group. A few years back, he got his Fine Arts degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

Impas is basically a self-taught artist who paints whenever he can, mainly of “people and figures.” He is well known for his portraits, and has portraits of Philippine bishops adorning a dining hall for them in Metro Manila, according to Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. An early portrait of his wife Niña, which encouraged him to do portraiture, is one painting he will not part with. He hopes “to spread the love of art to as many people as possible.”

Pepito is from Daanbantayan, Cebu. He took up Fine Arts in UP Cebu and has since been active in the Cebu art scene not just with his signature cubism paintings, but also with his advocacy of advancing/uplifting the Cebu Art Scene not just for himself but for all the artists in the community. His works feature an “octagon element” which serves as his signature.

Pepito said the only reason he enrolled in Fine Arts was because his high school adviser encouraged him to do so for his skill in lettering. He has since proven his adviser correct. He works usually with a purpose and that is “to paint Filipino values that might inspire more Filipinos to be proud of who we are as Filipinos.” If there’s a painting he wants to keep for himself, it is one he made at the start of his career “to keep track of what” he did 30-plus years ago.


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