VARIED and vivid stories of struggles and success were told through the works featured in the all-Thomasian artist exhibit “Coloured Pigments,” at Tiamson Gallery in Angono, Rizal. 

Some 30 works by 26 participating artists were featured in the exhibit, which was organized by the UST Atelier Alumni Association, Inc. to mark the National Arts Month in February. 

Thomasian artist and gallery curator Orville Tiamson said in an interview with the Varsitarian that the exhibit was held to rekindle the urge of other artists to put their works on display.

“The intention was to inspire other artists who already shy away or are hesitant to paint,” he said. “We’re encouraging those who had lost hope and those who wanted to come back.”

The exhibit’s title also mirrors the distinct experiences of the participating artists, according to Tiamson.

“There’s [stories] of success, struggle, and coming back. It’s not about the glorification of ‘I’m here, I’ve done this,’ it’s the process within,” he said.

Aligning with the exhibit’s theme was “Struggle,” a work by painting alumna Agnes Medina who co-organized the event with Tiamson. 

The work portrays artists helping each other hurdle a slump while highlighting the hardships veteran artists face.  

“Artists, the reason behind why they are colorful…[it’s because] they struggle. They are sometimes uncertain how to carry their art, how to be successful, or how to be known in the art scene,” Medina said. 

“The roots symbolize the veteran artists who still go unnoticed,” she added. “There are artists who overcome the struggle, but sometimes it’s other artists who help each other out to overcome these struggles.” 

Agnes Medina’s ‘Struggle’

Eduardo Paredes, a painting alumnus, also put on exhibit his works that tackle an individual’s journey, including “Mahabang Byahe,” which fuses elements portraying the economic and political landscape of the country.

Eduardo Parede’s ‘Mahabang Biyahe’

Painting graduate Derrick Macutay veered away from mural painting and explored watercolor in his “Tuyo Series.” It focuses on the Filipino sun dried fish and how it symbolizes overseas Filipino workers’ longing for home. 

Derrick Macutay’s ‘Tuyo Series’

Renowned sculptor Sheldon Villanueva depicted faith in his 2.5×7.5×27-in. sculpture titled, “Aba Ginoong Maria,” which features a mother and child figure carved in wood.

Villanueva said the sculpture is “very Filipino in connection” considering Filipinos’ religiosity in the predominantly Catholic Philippines.

Sheldon Villanueva’s ‘Aba Ginoong Maria’

Painter and muralist Alex Medina exhibited a two-piece 20×30-in. abstract mixed media painting titled, “Red and Blue,” which fuses acrylic paint, metal spears, and his signature gold leaf outlines.

Medina said he chose to display abstract paintings this time as these gave him the chance to express himself further outside of his usual realist works.

Alex Medina’s ‘Red and Blue’

Featuring the precolonial baybayin script in the exhibit was illustrator Edwin Mercene, a painting alumnus who put on display “Alab ng Puso,” which is inspired by the national hymn and the Sacred Heart, and “Diwang Kayumanggi” which takes inspiration from a Jose Rizal poem.

“I will dedicate my life to bringing back the forgotten baybayin script so the youth today would realize…that Filipino calligraphy has its own beauty that can be meaningful as well,” he said. 

Edwin Mercene’s ‘Alab ng Puso’

Another painting graduate, Deg Francisco, showcased his 22×30-in. watercolor paintings titled, “Fish Merchandise” and “Ayuda,” which depict the food rations given by the government during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deg Francisco’s ‘Ayuda’

Other participating Thomasian artists were Tristan Tiamson, Jun Lopez, Juert Asejo, Maks Bodegon, Rex Cabaroc, Wilfredo “Yeye” Calderon, Jun Concepcion, Willie De Vera, Moises Gatdula, Joel Joves, Samuel Lee, At Maculangan, Joey Ofludor, Jun Quinto, Jap Resbutillo, Edgar San Diego, Erick Sengco, and Jom Vega.

The exhibit will run until March 17.


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