Philippine Art Awards 2014 launched in Oro

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Monday, May 6, 2013

FOLLOWING the achievement and success of Jake Vamenta, a Kagay-anon who won both the prestigious Philippine Art Awards (PAA) and the Metrobank Art Awards 2013, at least 40 visual artists from Northern Mindanao flocked to the launching of the Philippine Art Awards 2014 at Xavier University on May 2.

The PAA, one of the country’s most coveted awards is on its 15th year, and Cagayan de Oro has yielded the likes of Errol Balcos, Christopher Gomez and Kelly Ramos-Palaganas and Gerald Saway of Lantapan, Bukidnon.

According to Hobart Savior, director of the Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts, Mindanao is a treasure trove of artists that needs exposure in the national level.


The participation of Mindanaoan artists in the 2012 PAA yielded more than 50 submissions where Vamenta won the top award for his winning piece, the oil and pastel painting entitled “Ang Walang Humpay na Harana ni Temyong kay Magda.”

Jacks Mariano, a secretariat of the PAA, said the awards, which are divided categorically into Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and Metro Manila art awards, will yield top 10 art works for each collective regional area.

“Out of the 10 for each regional area, eight will vie for the national level, and all 40 art pieces will be displayed on an exhibit in their respective region,” Mariano said.

Savior added that the PAA aims at elevating Mindanao art and artists into the consciousness of the public.

Ivan Macarambon, resident artist of the Misamis Oriental Provincial Government, said that such award will also encourage artists to present their body of work.

“Art is by itself, a social commentary that can be used to lift consciousness of the current situation,” Macarambon said.

Macarambon wished to see new names from Cagayan de Oro that will join the awards. “That way, we can see growth in the art scenes and we can see the direction of the art here in our city.”

Rhyan Casino, regional coordinator of the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA), said that with the number of Mindanao artists joining the award, it came to the fore the need to map artists and create a database.

Such database can be use to promote art advocacy and empowerment of artists and strengthen arts in the region.

Savior pointed out that artists work outside the traditional work model and have little social coverage.

“It is imperative that artists will coalesce to form a stronger bargaining position for their work. That way, art is not given almost at a bargain,” Savior said.

The Philippine Art Awards is a prime venue for artists wanting to get to the national level and reach the consciousness of art collectors.

Jake Vamenta said that with his winning piece, Manila art connoisseurs took notice of the artists from Cagayan de Oro.

“We have Balcos, Ramos, Gomez, Louie Ano-os, among others who are making names in Manila. We have a very active art scene and this empowers every artist in the city to create more work,” Vamenta said.

Vamenta added that artists like him do a lot of work. “Create more work, the more we create, the more we get creative and the more our work gets better.”

Vamenta won a total of P390,000 for his entry and it was sold in an undisclosed amount to a private collector.

Mariano said the juror’s choice award of excellence will receive P120,000 each and the juror’s choice award for merit will get P80,000 each.

The winners will also receive a trophy, and a work of art from national artist Ben Cabrera.

The PAA, a visual arts competition, aims at supporting the development of Philippine contemporary art and increasing the national and regional exposure for Philippine art and artist.

It also encourages, inspires and rewards creative works by contemporary Philippine artist, with the intent to nurture their talents and provide a platform for established and emerging Philippine artists and their works to be recognized through exhibits and allow ample cross-cultural exposure.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 06, 2013.

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