AS PART of our national celebration of the 124th Philippine Independence Day and our own local celebration of the Pyestang Fernandino, one of the activities organized by the City of San Fernando, Pampanga Arts, Culture, and Tourism Council was the “Colors of Freedom” art exhibit featuring the works of three up and coming Fernandino artists – Gerald Alvarez Dela Cruz, Arnold Salunga, and Hajjie Gonzales. The exhibit opened last May 30 and will last until June 30, 2022 at the Cinema Lobby, SM City Telabastagan.
Hajjie Gonzales comes from a family of artists, his brother is multi-awarded painter and biologist Julius Gonzales. Primarily self-taught, Hajjie is making a name for himself as an artist with the whimsical and fantastic themes of his paintings while balancing his work with the hotel industry as an engineer. His paintings range from abstracts to landscapes, mostly in acrylic on canvas as medium.
Gerald Alvarez Dela Cruz is a self-taught visual artist who uses most acrylic on canvas and mixed media for his pieces and has participated in group exhibits here and in Metro Manila. His artworks mainly feature environmental concerns and social realist themes. Some of his works delve into futuristic themes or are inspired by other art forms such as films, resulting in a remarkable fusion.
Arnold Salunga’s flexibility as an artist is reflected in the varied styles of his art works – ranging from paintings that border on photorealism to pop art – inspired pieces to cubism. Arnold, who hails from Barangay Telabastagan, has captured a variety of subjects using acrylic on canvas as his primary media, but also dabbles in mixed media at times. Among his most popular series are repetitive art on themes like Filipino traffic or fancy brands like Louis Vuitton or Nike and the murals he has done for the Holy Angel University Center for Kapampangan studies.
The three artists have actively participated in group exhibits here in our province of Pampanga. Colors of Freedom is their first three-man show in our hometown.
The opening of the exhibit was led by Dr. Lourdes Javier, the Chairperson of the Arts, Culture, and Tourism Council. Joining her during the ribbon cutting ceremony were art patron Ms. Bennylee Bondoc of AB Events and CSFP ACT Council members Robbie Hizon, Architect Hermel Gulapa, Architect Janine Canda, Richmond Roque, and the others.
While we celebrate important occasions as a community, what is even more important in events like this is that we celebrate the achievements and talents of our visual artists who freely share with us the best of themselves.