Art has always been a means of expression, and the fine arts graduating class of 2022 from the University of the Philippines-Cebu took that in stride as they expressed themselves in their “From the Ground Up” art exhibit.

The exhibit is made up of each student’s collection of works, ranging from mixed media art to digital art, and everything in between.

These works serve as the students’ graduating thesis, and it’s safe to say that they’re all graduating with flying colors.

“In I-solation” by Timothy Wight P. Samson

Tim, the artist, decided to transition from digital work to non-traditional art so he could explore other art forms. He used pieces of cloth to reflect the things left unsaid; the cries for help hidden behind charming smiles and statements such as “I’m okay, I’m fine.”

“Slow Stitch” by Jenny Abear

This collection incorporates the slow, methodical movement of stitching in opposition to the fast-paced and automated fashion industry. “But it’s not just about that,” the artist clarified. “It’s about making time, being reflective, and meditative.”

“Gingharian” by Roy Ingente

This collection primarily showcases assemblage sculptures that present the meditations on shanty life and the community of people that thrives in them. Roy Ingente, the artist of this collection intends to use his sculptures as a way for the public to “reexamine the common perception of the ‘informal’ and ‘improvised’ as practices of ‘lesser’ cultures.”

“Dimension Onward” by Ceona Gonzales

Mainly using acrylic and aerosol on wood, “Dimension Onward” by Ceona Gonzales is largely inspired by the multi-dimensional life of the artist.

“Each dimension is equivalent to an experience from the past or the present,” she said. “The abstract, geometric pieces represent the future.”

“Fever Dream” by Belle Maurice

Fever Dream exhibits paintings of female figures depicted in uncanny situations and conventional poses. Each painting is inspired by the artist’s own “fever dreams.” The artist, Belle Maurice, aimed to depict the female nude from her point of view as a retaliation against the often misogynistic and degrading perspective presented by most male artists.

“Floral Soul” by AJ Quiaoit

Since art also reflects an artist’s space, “Floral Soul” by AJ Quiaoit reflects her relationship with nature, which she considers her “tranquil retreat, trusty refuge, and source of assuring words.” This collection utilizes natural materials and experiments with them and incorporates them into artwork through utilitarian techniques to produce expressionist eco-prints.

“Lungtad” by Dine Zachary G. Martus

The non-figurative sculptures found in Dine Zachary G. Martus’ “Lungtad” are an unconventional way of sculptural production wherein the artist intends to maximize the audience’s ability to look beyond what they perceive. The creation process used premix resin with kalsomine on galvanized wire, and left the resin to drip down, mimicking stalactites and stalagmites once it hardens.

“Ominous” by Paulette Neri

Paulette Neri features a collection of paintings that is feminist in nature. This particular painting is inspired by Rembrandt’s “Slaughtered Ox,” and portrays the male gaze, wherein a woman is only seen as a piece of meat, even in the art scene.

“Feminism is not just about bodily autonomy,” Paulette said. “It also applies to other facets of society, such as the economy.”

“Serendipity” by Jessa Chriscel Terez

“Serendipity” reflects the artist’s six-month experience in her room. “It’s an irony of freedom,” she said, and to reflect that, she used abstract art so she could be “freer” in her art and self-expression.

“Square One” by Anil Yap

Anil Yap went full digital on his exhibit. “Square One” is a product of his childhood works of art coming to life in the digital world through an interactive digital space that contains multiple worlds in one. “Just imagine that the whole website is your canvas,” he said.

Each world depicts an aspect of his life, such as his elementary experiences and fears. And in each world, there are characters that have their own stories. It took him close to a year to finish his collection.