SEVEN Thomasian artists showcased artworks of the Virgin Mary fused with the rust from the San Sebastian Basilica to raise funds for the church’s restoration through the second installment of the “Para sa Ina: Rust-to-Art” exhibit.

The alumni also used their works to express their devotion to the Marian images of Nuestra Señora del Carmen de San Sebastian and Nuestra Señora de la Salud.

Fine arts alumnus Jose “Joe” Datuin’s 28 x 20 x 18 in. abstract metal sculpture of the Mother and the Child is a clear resin livened by a kinetic rotation turntable. 

Datuin’s “homage” to the Mother is part of his advocacy of sustaining faith in humanity.

“My participation guarantees longevity for the Basilica to stand the test of time. It is also a form of tithing for me to our church that instead of giving them money for such good causes, artworks were shared for their exhibition or auction to raise funds,” Datuin told the Varsitarian

Another fine arts alumnus, Jose Ma. Alvaro “Jood” Clarino, used spray paint and acrylic to depict the importance of prayer in deepening the relationship with Jesus in his 19 x 25 in. paintings called “Mother, Our Creator” and “Cause of Our Joy.”

“I want to encourage everyone to pray the rosary. It’s like giving butterfly kisses to our Lord,” he said.

Al Perez exhibited a 20 x 26 in. acrylic painting of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel, integrated with rust flakes from the church that symbolize sins that erode the body. The rust was turned into a halo in the “Love for Our Lady of Mount Carmel” painting. 

Perez said that aside from churches, the Virgin has always inspired his works.

Painting alumni Roderick “Derrick” Macutay, Danilo Santiago, and Marius Cornelius “Marius Black” Funtilar joined the exhibit with their oil paintings.

Macutay’s 24 x 18 in. oil painting titled “Tiwala sa Nuestra Señora de la Salud” depicts the celebration of a very timely revival of the Dark Virgin in a generation “plagued with diseases of the body and of the soul.” 

“She is an inspiration to those who are weak, sick, and [have] nowhere else to run. She brings us closer to God. And as a mother figure, a sinner can relate to her role as someone who can turn to in our darkest moments,” Macutay told the Varsitarian.

Santiago’s 23 x 19 in. oil painting titled “Our Love and Devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel” represents the relationship of the Mother and Child during the traditional “Dungaw” of the annual Black Nazarene procession.

Black tried to depict pain through a 19 x 15 ½ in. drawing of a skinned Mother and Child titled “Mother of Mercy Grasping the Holy Child Desiring Sacrifice.” Black used pen and ink to draw his subjects.

“I was able to skin both of them, my depiction of pain. Mama Mary’s one of mortal pain [and has] the usual skinned human with rend muscles underneath, [while] Jesus [has a] body glowing [underneath with] different color of anatomy [that portrays] a holy being in reality,” Black told the Varsitarian

Interior design alumna Fatima Bianca Tan’s “Morning Star” also exhibited “Light In The Abyss,” a 16 x 20 in. oil painting that depicts how the love of the Mother outshines the darkest and most rusted moments of humans.

The San Sebastian Basilica partnered with San Augustin Church Museum for the exhibit, whose first part was launched online in January 2022 amid pandemic restrictions.

The exhibit ran from Dec. 8, 2022, until Jan. 29, 2023, at the Temporary Exhibit Hall of Museo San Agustin, Intramuros, Manila. College of Fine Arts and Design Asst. Prof. Mary Ann Venturina-Bulanadi served as the exhibit’s curator.


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