POSTED: Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The only National Art Scholar coming from MIMAROPA Region – Marielle Beatriz Villas, together with seven other visual artists,Justine Erika M. Abe who hails from Sta. Rosa, Laguna, May Antoinette A. Barbarono from North Cotabato, Camille M. Cabatingan from Quezon City, Roni Joni C. Reyes from Marikina, Nicole Jeannea M. Uy of Antipolo City, Jehanne Micaela A. Sanchez and Mark Neal Alday both of whom are from Dasmarinas, Cavite-  has mounted a group exhibit at theHonrado Fernandez Art Gallery of the Vargas Museum located in the National Arts Center (NAC)  in Mount Makiling, Los Banos, Laguna which opened last February 17, 2014.This visual artists-group belongs to the Alcuaz-Avellana seniors at the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA).

The said exhibit entitled “BLANC” is part of the “Pistang Sining 2014” (Art Festival 2014) dubbed as“SIMBUYO” which is defined in English as an outburst of passion. The festival started on January 31 and will last until March 23. Several performances and recitals on folk dance and ballet, violin, piano, clarinet, voice and theater, a book launching and the BLANC exhibit are all part of the festival celebration.

BLANC’s opening ceremony included introductions of the exhibit and the artists, delivery of opening remarks and was officially opened to the public with a ribbon-cutting by the PHSA Director Victor Emmanuel Carmelo‘Vim’ Nadera assisted by an Italian guest Ms. Alice Baroni. It was considered to be a very successful launch as the art gallery in the Vargas Museum teemed with so many people. BLANC’s rationale which was written by the above-mentioned visual artists is quoted here:

BLANC is an old French word to mean white or colorless.  “A great painting starts from a blank canvas.” So goes the saying.

“Our final exhibition entitled Blanc celebrates our experiences as young art students. Metaphorically speaking, that is exactly how we felt when we first encountered Mount Makiling and the school we eventually considered home. We started as a blank canvas; a clean white slate waiting to be painted on by our own paintbrush. Now as we approach the end of that journey, the blankness of that same canvas gradually erodes and is replaced with colors. We are paintings in our polishing stages nearing completion. We are ready to start a new slate for another chapter in our lives. We have been transformed as filled canvases suffused with imagery and new form.”

“Our immersion in this mountain has helped us evolve new narratives intertwined with art education to create new possibilities in art making. Erika Abefinds enchantment with narcissistic ideals, while Neal Alday treads along the realm of art and psychology (personality). Jehanne Sanchez seeks new realities and narratives through her imagination, in contrast to May Barbarono’s construction of social constructs. Constructions extend to the works ofCamille Cabatingans interactive yet organic installation. Nicole Uy’s kinetic cityscape related to her urban experience. Roni Reyes translates pixels as structural relief. Juxtaposed against this calculated arrangement of multiples, Bea Villas presents translucent sculptural figures that deal with customized creations.”

“Our final works are a reflection of ourselves, art that was conceived from our own thoughts and passion. These are the products of four years of being kneaded and shaped which enabled us to consider ourselves in the process, and in turn, our works encapsulated and embodied our years of training. This is what we have created out of our own hands and the slivers of imagination we held onto.”

Each visual artist’s work represents their interpretation of the philosophical principles they have chosen to translate into creative and admirable 2D artworks and 3D art installations. The exhibit will be on display until around the end of March and will be transferred to another venue in Manila area in order to give opportunity for more people to view it. Arrangements are under way with the GSIS Museum in Pasay City to be the next venue for BLANC.

On several occasions, MarielleBeatriz‘Bea’ Villas – being a native of Calapan has been invited by local government officials to display her works of art. At only ten years old – she had her first art exhibition in March 2008 upon the invitation of the then Provincial Governor Arnan C. Panaligan. Thisexhibit was held at the Capitol Museum of the Provincial Tourism Office. This paved the way for her being a scholar of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) summer 2008 Arts Workshop.  She had her second solo art exhibit with the then City Mayor now Congressman Salvador‘Doy’Leachon spearheading the event as part of the Calapan City’s Foundation anniversary on March 2010. During the Arts month-February-2011, it was the Provincial Governor Alfonso “Boy” V. Umali, Jr. who invited her to become part of a successful group art exhibit featuring various visual artists from all over Oriental Mindoro.

 It was after the above-mentioned 2010 exhibit that Marielle Beatriz C. Villas was selected to be one of the 52 PHSA art scholars and the only one who comes from the MIMAROPA region. Apparently, she is the second Calapan-born PHSA scholar after Milkos ‘Miko’ Zalameda, a Piano major who graduated from Makiling in 1996. Due to the rigorous double-curriculum education at PHSA for the artistically gifted and talented students, maintaining a scholarship status proved to be challenging. Only 35 out of the original 52 scholars coming from all over the Philippines remain to this day and are graduating come March 28, 2014.

Tentatively set on the second week of April 2014, after launching the BLANC exhibit at the GSIS museum in Pasay City, Bea Villas and her group of visual artists-classmates at PHSA will have an exhibit in the City Hall of Calapan, this time upon the invitation of an avid ‘Patron of the Arts’ – City Mayor Arnan C. Panaligan. PHSA Director Victor Emmanuel Carmelo Nadera has officially accepted the gracious invitation. The PHSA Alcuaz-Avellana visual artists are looking forward to going to Calapan City for an exhibit that will also give them an opportunity to do outreach activities as they plan to have workshops to share their knowledge and skills withselected public school students and other interested individuals.(By Caryatid Cordero)


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