Arts & Leisure

A change of heart through art

Posted on February 09, 2011

Sculptors of different persuasions are participating in today’s Alay Sining 3, a one-day exhibit and sale that will raise funds for the Gift of Life program. Organized by the Rotary Club of Makati West (RCMW), the initiative provides free heart operations for indigent children and highlights sculpture, a discipline that, according to RCMW culture committee co-chairman Jun Alvendia, plays second fiddle to painting.

WORKS by Pete Jimenez and Maria Magdamit (top); Rinald Sotto and Noy Gepte
"In the field of visual arts, it’s usually painters who get first recognition," he said during the event’s launch. "We have very good local sculptors. They just need more exposure so people can get used to their works."

Alay Sining 3 will be held today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati.

Twenty-seven artists, among them National Artist for Visual Arts Napoleon Abueva, have contributed pieces that demonstrate the range of sculptural materials and styles. Josephine Turalba, one of the three new participants, is fresh from the 12th Cairo Biennale where she exhibited armor-like outfits made from bullets. As a contrast to Ms. Turalba’s reflections on violence, one need look no farther than Ton Raymundo’s variations on the Mother and Child theme "more saleable," he said.

Also on sale are pointy Italian alabaster abstractions by Wilson William Baldemor (son of Fred Baldemor, also a participant), who was inspired by the computer-generated effects in the Transformers movie; "junk" art by punster Pete Jimenez, whose Guest Speaker consists of wooden shoe lasts attached to a motorcycle gas tank welded to an old hand water pump; and glass pieces by Ramon Orlina.

A new feature in Alay Sining 3 is the inclusion of jewelry by selected sculptors, among them Eduardo Castrillo who is as adept at fashioning rings from precious metal as he is at making public monuments.

Aside from those already mentioned, the exhibit-sale features: Adel Agubang, Gus Albor, Agnes Arellano, Michael Cacnio, Lor Calma, Kylo Chua, Seb Chua, Joe Datuin, Noy Gepte, Juan Sajid Imao, Maria Magdamit, Jose Mendoza, Carlito Ortega, Impy Pilapil, Ronnel Roces, Jonahmar Salvosa, Rinald Sotto, Francisco Verano and Jun Vicaldo.

The younger Baldemor said that exhibiting with known artists was a "big opportunity" for rookies like him. RCMW was able to assemble this roster of talents through the help of National Artist for Architecture Ildefonso "I.P." Santos, who conceptualized Alay Sining.

When it was first mounted in 2009, the fund-raising event raised P300,000. Last year, it more than tripled this figure when it hit its target of P1 million. RCMW President Eric Angeles said that he is confident that the club will be able to exceed the million-peso mark, especially with the addition of jewelry.

Thus far, the Gift of Life program has helped 200 children with congenital heart disease undergo operations, which can cost hundreds of thousands of pesos. "There are hundreds more on the waiting list," Mr. Angeles said. "In buying art, you are also saving lives." -- SLM