THREE new awards were added to the roster of prizes given by The Ateneo Art Awards 2018, two for visual arts and one for the art criticism section.
The prizes were given during the annual recognition of visual art exhibits by young Filipino artists (Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Arts) and art critics (Purita Kalaw Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism), on Sunday at the Ateneo de Manila’s Areté Art Gallery.
Mars Bugaoan’s Becoming received one of the new art awards — the People’s Choice award, which was tallied based on votes submitted by Areté museum goers.
Becoming, which was on view at Art Informal gallery, had the artist turn trash into art by reshaping and restructuring plastic bottles and bags into prints, sculptures, and installations.
Another new art award — the Purchase Prize — was bagged by Jel Suarez’ exhibit Traces By Which We Remember which was shown at West Gallery. The artist constructed collages using layers of textures and images — for the artist, the layering of frames or stacking stones is a form of remembering. Her artwork will be permanently displayed at the office of the Embassy of Italy in the Philippines, which initiated the Purchase Prize award.
Meanwhile, the three main prize winners for the Ateneo Art Awards-Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Arts were KoloWn’s Low Pressured Area, Johanna Helmuth’s Makeshift, and Ronson Culibrina’s Talim. The three have been awarded art residencies at La Trobe Art Institute in Australia, the Artesan Gallery + Studio in Singapore, and the Liverpool Hope University in United Kingdom, respectively.
The art group KoloWn’s Low Pressured Area was a site-specific art at the Cultural Center of the Philippines where installations critiqued how people view spaces and signs.
Culibrina’s Talim and Helmuth’s Makeshift — both of which were shown at the Blanc Gallery in Katipunan, Quezon City — were both reflections of the neighborhoods where the artists grew up and their perception of the world around them.
Talim was inspired by Talim Island in Laguna de Bay where industrial developments were juxtaposed with the lakeside environment. Makeshift was inspired from the artist’s neighborhood where pedicabs were not only a source of livelihood but also a makeshift home for the driver and his family at night.
The Ateneo Art Awards-Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Arts received 89 nominations from gallery, curators, artists, museum directors, and art educators, and this list was narrowed down to 12. The nominations are open to exhibits by artists under 36 years old.
Meanwhile, the Ateneo Art Awards-Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism also gave an additional prize to this year’s two winners. Besides writing for the Philippine Star and Art Asia Pacific magazine, the two winners will also contribute to the Embassy of Spain and Instituto Cervantes’ annual journal, Perro Berde, where pieces in English are translated into Spanish, and vice versa.
The two writer winners are Alec Madelene Abarro, who wrote the essay “An Organized Chaos: Navigating the Looban” about Rodel Tapaya’s Urban Labyrinth exhibit at the Ayala Museum; and Mary Jessel Duque, who wrote the essay “Pacita Abad: A Million Times a Woman” about the exhibit Pacita Abad: A Million of Things to Say which was on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design.
Ms. Abarro will contribute to Philippine Star while Ms. Duque will write for Art Asia Pacific magazine.
Meanwhile the only essay written in Filipino which was submitted, “Sinehan sa isang museo: Karatula o Obra?” by Maria Lourdes Garcellano, received a special citation and was published in the Philippine Star’s Arts and Culture special edition.
Ada Mabilangan, daughter of Purita Kalaw-Ledesma, said during the ceremony that the award-giving body is “constantly trying to expand the scope” of the prize, including considering publications that print Filipino and other languages.
BusinessWorld previously reported about Ms. Garcellano’s work which was the very first essay in Filipino submitted for consideration by the Ateneo Art Awards-Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism. (A problem of language and art http://www.bworldonline.com/a-problem-of-language-and-art/)
The works of past and present winners and short listed writers can be read at the new blog site, “Vital Points: Essays from the Purita Kalaw Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism.” — Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman