Thomasian artists mount their works in an open-air exhibit titled ‘Gallery of the Sea’ at the Manila Yacht Club. (Photo by Arianne Maye D.G. Viri/The Varsitarian)

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES were highlighted in the open-air exhibit titled “Gallery of the Sea” last Aug. 13 at the Manila Yacht Club on Roxas Boulevard.

Fine arts graduate Nemi Miranda was approached by the former executive director of the National Commission for Culture and Arts, Cecille Alvarez, to lead the project that aimed to promote change and movement for the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations.

“The Gallery of the Sea is a collective effort of Earth Savers, and 25 visual artists to create awareness for the environment as well as for all of us to achieve the 17 SDGs,” Kim Marcelo, the exhibit organizer said in an online interview with the Varsitarian.

“We, the organizers really want it to be public art since the project itself is an advocacy for the care of the environment,” Marcelo stated.

The artists were each given a 12 x 8 ft. head sail made out of nylon taffeta, a fabric that is used for umbrellas.

Head sails were lined up along Manila Bay, tied on railings to withstand strong winds.

Miranda’s acrylic artwork depicts two children and the contrast of their lives: one attains education while the other is forced to work.

Joanne Rebustillo, an advertising graduate, showcased “What is the Cost of your Fashion,” an acrylic painting of a fashion diva on a head sail.

“Clothes are basic necessities, but there is also the conundrum of what is enough. Also, there is a question: How ethically and responsibly was it produced, like the process to get the end product? The waste? The damage?” Rebustillo said.

“Essentially, if we do not take responsibility and control consumerism, we ourselves, slowly put resources to a road toward extinction,” she added.

Rebustillo said she loved movements and non-definitive subjects in doing acrylic paintings.

Ronald Santos, who took up civil engineering in the University, displayed an acrylic painting of a scuba diver exploring the depths of the ocean floor in “Rehabilitation.”

Fine arts alumnus Augusto Ortega Santiago Jr. depicted four arms holding up the earth, with numerous animals around it, in his piece “Life on Land.”

Lito Balagtas, who graduated with a degree in fine arts in 1978, portrayed doves soaring above individuals from indigenous tribes and natural aquatic resources such as fish in “Reduced Inequalities.”

Featuring 25 artists, the exhibit sought to trigger curiosity about the 17 SDGs, a blueprint for a more sustainable future.

The 17 SDGs are: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequality, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, and peace and justice strong institutions.

After Aug. 31, the artworks will be exhibited on a boat that will traverse Manila Bay and the Pasig River, before go- ing to other parts of the country. N.P.S.Gonzales


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