Arts&Culture (03/08/23)

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GSIS opens 2023 national art tilt

STATE pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is inviting artists nationwide to join the 2023 GSIS National Art Competition. “We want to showcase the creativity and passion of our Filipino artists and provide opportunities for them to be recognized in the local and international scene,” GSIS President and General Manager Wick Veloso said in a statement. The contest, now on its 18th year, is one of the biggest and longest-running art competitions in the country. Filipino artists who are at least 18 years of age (as of May 3, 2023) may join the competition. They may submit one entry in each of the following categories: representational; nonrepresentational (or abstract), and sculpture. This year, the contest has an open theme to give artists freedom to conceptualize their artworks. Entries must be original, created in 2023 and have not been exhibited, revised, or awarded a prize in previous competitions. Entries must be submitted from May 2 to 6, from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. only. Artists with surnames starting with A to F must submit their entries on May 2; G-L on May 3; M to Q on May 4; and R to Z on May 5. Group submission via courier is on May 6. The prizes for the first, second, and third place winners in all categories are P300,000, P200,000, and P100,000, respectively. There will be five honorable mentions in each category who will receive P25,000 each. The names of the finalists will be uploaded to the GSIS website on May 19, while the winners will be announced on June 16. The winning artworks will become part of the GSIS art collection and displayed in the GSIS Museo ng Sining in Pasay City. For the official entry forms, competition guidelines, and other details, interested parties should visit the GSIS website or the GSIS Museo ng Sining Facebook page; e-mail artcompetition@gsis.gov.ph<mailto:artcompetition@gsis.gov.ph> or gsisartcompetition@gmail.com<mailto:gsisartcompetition@gmail.com>; or call 8859-0395, 8479-3588, or 0915-135-1752.

Happy Navarro at ARTablado

HAPPY Navarro worked for 16 years in agencies as a creative designer-director and feeling emotions that are opposite his name. “I felt burned out,” he said. But when he decided to become a full-time artist in 2018, he found happiness in pursuing his passion. Abstracts, urbanscapes, or whatever the mood dictates — these are what he creates on canvases and walls. A muralist, he has done several projects for Robinsons Land Corp. properties such as Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Magnolia, Robinsons La Union, Robinsons Dumaguete, Robinsons Valencia and Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu. Now, Navarro happily makes the transition from working on murals for mall walls to creating art for gallery halls as he embarks on his first solo show at the exhibition space of the same company who has championed his work as a muralist. Happy Navarro showcases his fine-art work in “Dawn is Breaking” from March 1 to 15 at Robinsons Land ARTablado in Robinsons Galleria. On view are canvases of varying, minimalistic hues all chronicling what he saw during contemplative bike rides.

An exhibition for Women’s Month

WOMEN are honored and celebrated this March at Intramuros, Manila through an art exhibit by Kristine Lim titled “The Redemption of Eve (Ang Hustisya Ni Eba)”. “No words will change anyone’s mind about who they perceive Eve to be. No words can change the view towards a woman or women to one’s story. This is not a retaliation. This is not a cry for justice. This is a celebration of the good, the bad, and all the different versions of all women who have lived and remain! We are who we are, and we are redeemed by embracing our roles and identity. We are integral in the fulfillment of the greatest victory; a battle on the cross that has already been won,” the artist said in a statement. The artworks, which are featured in the March issue of Liwayway magazine, are on display at the History Fortress LEGO Education Center, Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila. The exhibit runs until March 31.

Mindanao Book Fair this month

THE MINDANAO Book Fair will be held on March 17-19 at the Activity Center, Abreeza Mall, Davao City. The fair aims to promote the love for reading to the Mindanao public, offering a wide assortment of books from bestsellers, religious books, textbooks and educational materials under one roof. Some of the companies joining the fair are 8 Letters Bookstore and Publishing, ABC Educational Development Center Children’s Books, Aklat Alamid, Bookquick Marketing, Brilliant Creations Publishing, Inc., C & E Adaptive Learning Solutions, Cerebro Solutions, Inc., Cengage Learning Asia Pte Ltd, Einfobase Book Trading LLC, Everything’s Fine, Far Eastern University, Kawangis Publishing Co., Milflores Publishing, Inc., Mind Mover Publishing House, Inc., Mindshapers Co., Inc., Mind Tools, Inc., National Book Development Board, OMF Literature, Inc., Pawikan Press, Phoenix Educational Systems, Inc., Rex Education, The Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of the Philippines, Inc., Vibal Group, Inc., Wiseman’s Books Trading, Inc. and more. The fair will host a number of events including book launches, book talks, and book signings, discussions like Exploring Flexible Learning Ecosystem Solutions for the Next Generation of Learners, and PinoySciFi in the Philippines, and various other events by the National Book Development Board. For more information e-mail bsantiago@primetradeasia.com or call 0917-741-3636.

‘Sounds of Blackness’ at The M

“SOUNDS OF BLACKNESS“ is a group exhibition featuring an ensemble of visual artists from the African Diaspora, whose artworks investigate the history, time, memory, cultural identities, personal narratives, and varying facets of Black identity and Blackness. Named after the Grammy Award-winning musical ensemble it was inspired by, the exhibition features artworks that stimulate viewers’ senses, similar to how music’s vibratory capacity impacts its listeners. The exhibition is curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah and anchored by a selection of works from the collection of Filipino collector Timothy Tan. The exhibit will run from March 14 to June 27. The museum will also be holding the third M Conversations, presenting the curators of “Phantasmapolis x Manila: Select Works from the 2021 Asian Art Biennial” with Nobuo Takamori and Tessa Maria Guazon. The conversation will explore the 2021 Asian Art Biennial’s presentation in Taiwan, on why exhibition iterations matter, and the modalities of support for curators and artists in Taiwan and the Philippines. It will be held on March 11, 2:30 to 4 p.m.  It will be open to the public, with limited seating. “Phantasmapolis x Manila: Select Works from the 2021 Asian Art Biennial” is currently on view at the 3F South Gallery of the M. The Metropolitan Museum of Manila is located at the Mariano K. Tan Center, 30th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

West Gallery holds four new exhibits

WEST Gallery is currently holding four exhibits, all of which run until March 18. There is “Eventuality,” an exhibit of works by Jonathan Ching and Aze Ong; “I Smell a Dead Art” featuring works by Juni Salvador; “Do Did Does Done” featuring works by Don Djerassi Dalmacio; and, “It’s Not You; It Me” byJazel Kristin. The gallery is located at 48 West Ave., Quezon Cit.

‘Flower Power’ at Ortigas Malls

THE ORTIGAS Malls kicked off its Women’s Month celebration with “Gahum sa Buwak: Flower Power,” an art event featuring works by women artists and fashion designers from Davao, at the G/F East Wing of Estancia Mall in Pasig City. The month-long event will run until March 31. Organized by the Dabawenyo Artists Federation, Inc. art group Floral Artists of Davao, “Gahum sa Buwak” features the works of Rita Bustamante, Mean Tan Guinoo, Annie Tan Sy, Maru Aiharu, Aimee Suarez, Josie Tionko, Ritzel Polinar, Nina Custodio, Marica Llamas Cang, Shaira Secuya, Jing Rabat, and Amanda Fe Echevarria. It also includes photography by Ellah Plariza and digital art by Anthonette Plariza. Meanwhile, throughout the month of March, Estancia Mall will host a series of Gahum sa Buwak art talks. Amanda Fe Echevarria will host “An Introduction to Art Therapy” on March 4, 2 p.m., Rita Bustamante will give a lecture on “the process of a creative experience” on March 12, 3 p.m., and Pilar Braga will discuss “Art and Culture in Davao” on March 26, 3 p.m. There will also be a fashion show called “Threads of Culture” featuring ensembles by Margarita Montemayor Nograles of local brand Kaayo and jewelry designer Kathryn Fanlo on March 19. To cap off the Women’s Month celebration, visitors can join a painting workshop on March 31, 2 p.m., called Musing the Soul, Painting and Poetry in Words and Color, where participants will create art in different mediums.

Silverlens opens Mit Jai Inn exhibit

SILVERLENS has opened an exhibit, “Ocular Vocabulary,” featuring works by Thai artist Mit Jai Inn. “Ocular Vocabulary”is a visual language-game that echoes Wittgenstein’s concept of “Sprachspiel,” in which meaning is ever malleable and relative. The exhibition features several of his ongoing series such as Actants, Marking Stones, Book, Capsule, and Grid. Marking Stones, a participatory work, invites viewers to take a painted object made from recycled material in exchange for a promise. This pledge will be captured on film and included in an exhibition video at the end of the show. Also on view at the gallery is Wawi Navarroza’s “As Wild As We Come,” a series of self-portraits that mark a resurfacing out of a period of dramatic changes, childbirth and motherhood, while also relocating from Manila to Istanbul, all traversed during the pandemic and a global standstill. This new body of work was first exhibited at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery in London last year, and more recently at Art Fair Philippines’ Special Exhibitions section. “As Wild As We Come” is Navarroza’s homecoming exhibition. The gallery is located at 2263 Don Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati City.

Shangri-La Plaza hosts book launch and exhibit for Women’s Day

MARKING International Women’s Day today (March 8), Shangri-La Plaza spotlights Filipina creatives banding together and showcasing their experiences, stories, and creations with A Woman Unboxed at the East Atrium at 5 p.m. Writer and publisher Gayle Certeza is launching her book, A Woman Unboxed and Other Stories of Growing Up, which chronicles the joys and challenges of growing up in a small town in Mindanao. Meanwhile mixed media artist Mimi Tecson presents her “A Woman Unboxed”pieces which explore the complexities of motherhood, dreams, and aspirations through the mediums of assemblage and collage. The event also features female writers Carissa Singson, Dina Pecaña, Edlyn Ng Cha, Gina Verdolaga, Kat Gomez-Limchoc, Maureen Sandejas, Rose Marie Yenko, Sonia Roco, and Tweet Sering who are leading talks about inspiration, creativity, and storytelling. For updates and inquiries, follow Shangri-La Plaza on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficialand on Instagram @shangrilaplazaofficial.