NATIVE themes, meant to conjure up images of Filipino identity, were carried in the works of Thomasian artists who participated in ManilArt 2017, which ran from Oct. 12 to 15 at the SMX Convention Center in SM Aura Premiere in Taguig City.

Customary Filipino scenes are captured as main subjects in the paintings of impressionist Roger San Miguel. To cite, his work “Sampaguita Vendors,” painted only with primary colors, portrays three maidens selling a handful of Sampaguita flowers.

“My subjects are usually Filipino because I want to show that wherever I go, even if I’m an international artist, I instill the Filipino culture and tradition,” said San Miguel, who is known as the “Father of Modern Impressionism.”

An alumnus of the old College of Fine Arts and Architecture, Oliver Ramos marked his comeback in the art scene after years of hiatus.

In the painting, titled “Follow,” Ramos renders a Maya bird perched on a tree branch on a broken antique wood panel.

“I chose a theme close to my heart, my childhood,” Ramos said. “I didn’t think of the theme because it will be a constraint in ideas.”

CJ Tañedo’s “Soot and Stars,” a painting of a man’s poker face with the Latin word “Deus ex machina,” focuses on surviving depression. The painting, according to the artist, pushes the advocacy on the awareness of mental health issues in the country.

Music alumnus Fitz Herrera mounted his abstraction, titled “Bliss Series #3,” a 60 x 36 in. red- and orange-hued acrylic painting.

A ManilArt favorite through the years, architecture alumnus Ramon Orlina’s famous glass sculptures welcomed guests, as it always did in past ManilArt fairs. The collection, dubbed s “Brilliance2,” had as its main attraction “Luminous Sunrise Over Cordillera,” an amber ptical glass sculpture which resembles a mountain.

On its ninth year, ManilArt had 37 participating art galleries that harbored more than 200 artworks from both young and veteran artists.

Drawing influence from the country’s diverse artistic flavors, the country’s longest-running premiere art fair upheld culture and identity through art with the theme “The Philippines as an ASEAN Cultural Powerhouse.”

“We thought of theme because we are hosting this year’s ASEAN. We wanted to promote Mindanaoan art styles so we invited them to experience their heritage and culture,” ManilArt organizer Teresa Rayos del Sol told the Varsitarian.

Established in 2009 by the National Committee on Art Galleries of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the fair has since played a role in promoting the creativity of new nd upcoming artists and the professionalism of renowned art galleries from all around the
Philippines.

“ManilArt is also an event to unite people and show artists who they are though their voices and expressions of arts,’” Rayos del Sol noted.

ManilArt 2017 included workshops, live mural painting demos,
art appreciation walking tour and mosaic art demos.

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