Renowned Negrense painter gets broad support for national artist award

RENOWNED PAINTER. Famed Negrense visual artist Nunelucio Alvarado (right) with Negros Occidental Fifth District Board Member Rita Gatuslao, who was among the local government officials who witnessed the “Haligi” installation to celebrate the works and contributions of Alvarado to arts and culture on June 11, 2024. The City of Sagay, the artist’s hometown, nominated him for the Order of National Artist. (PNA-Bacolod photo)
RENOWNED PAINTER. Famed Negrense visual artist Nunelucio Alvarado (right) with Negros Occidental Fifth District Board Member Rita Gatuslao, who was among the local government officials who witnessed the “Haligi” installation to celebrate the works and contributions of Alvarado to arts and culture on June 11, 2024. The City of Sagay, the artist’s hometown, nominated him for the Order of National Artist. (PNA-Bacolod photo)

 Internationally acclaimed Negrense painter Nunelucio Alvarado has been nominated for the Order of National Artist by the City of Sagay in Negros Occidental, with broad support from the local art community and government units here.

Helen Arguelles-Cutillar, head of the City Information and Tourism Office, in an interview on Monday, said they submitted the nomination for Alvarado in the Visual Arts category to the office of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on Sunday.

“It’s a long way to go, but we are grateful for this milestone. Let us collectively pray for the guidance as we await the next step. Meantime, let us share about Nune's art and his communities,” she said.

A native of Sagay, the 74-year-old visual artist and his wife Rosalia, live in a house and studio, with a coffee shop underneath along the city’s Margaha Beach.

Alvarado continues to paint amid the challenge of overcoming dementia.

Considered as among the most influential artists and a pioneer in the art movement in Negros, he is a member of the Black Artists of Asia, an awardee of the Thirteen Artists Awards of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1992, a grand prize winner of Philip Morris Art Awards in 1997 and 1999, and a recipient of the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan sa Larangan ng Pintura Award in 2004.

To celebrate the works and the contributions of Alvarado, a “Haligi” (pillar) installation for visual arts was put up on the Margaha Beach last June 11, together with the six other pillars, representing the various art disciplines, including dance, literature, music, theater, film and architecture.

Alvarado’s 20-foot “Haligi” features colorful paintings, found objects and sculptures made by other visual artists and people in the community.

The nomination of Alvarado has received resolutions of support from the Negros Occidental Provincial Board, the City Councils of Sagay and Cadiz, and Barangay Councils of Old Sagay and Fabrica.

“Mr. Nunelucio Alvarado is the epitome of a dedicated and remarkable artist, whose enduring masterpieces have showcased the beauty of Filipino culture even in mundane everyday experiences, bringing honor and pride to the nation and beyond,” the Provincial Board said.

The Order of National Artist is the highest national recognition given to a Filipino individual who has made significant contributions to the Philippines through their achievements in the fields of Architecture and Allied Arts, Dance, Design, Film and Broadcast Arts, Literature, Music, Theater and Visual Arts.

The order is jointly administered by the NCCA and the Cultural Center of the Philippines and conferred by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation by both institutions. (PNA)

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