The kids, as The Who says, are alright
Sasali ka na naman? Hindi ka pa ba nagsawa sa pagkatalo? (You’re joining again? Aren’t you tired of losing already?)” This is what one naysayer told studentartist Francis Eugene Andrade of Bulacan State University, the first place winner in the Oil/Acrylic category of the 47th National Students Art Competition. What a bummer! But Andrade was undeterred.
It’s not actually losing, Andrade cor-
rected the unnamed negatron, “Ito ang magiging pundasyon ko sa kinabukasan. (It will be the foundation for my future.)”
The Shell National Students Art Competition — the longest running and most anticipated contest for young Filipino artists — entered its 47th edition this year by adding a new category, Digital Short Film.
This year’s competition, aptly themed “Art Spark” to symbolize the new revolution in modern artforms, and which culminated in an exhibition of winning entries at the Ayala Museum, received a record total number of 1,600-plus entries across all categories. Just imagine: thousands of student-artists, thousands of stories behind each of their artworks.
Andrade’s winning piece depicts a cluster of paintbrushes wrapped in plastic and placed on the ground — painted deftly, realistically.
It is symbolic of one thing that he doesn’t have — well, in the traditional sense — he admits. “I come from a broken family. ’Yung mga brushes magkakapamilya. (These brushes come from the same family.)”
For first place Digital Fine Arts category winner Wesley Jelo Almazar of E.A.R.I.S.T., existence ticks and tocks 25 hours a day.
“Nakukulangan kasi ako sa isang araw
para gawin lahat ang dapat gawin kagaya ng plates, etc. (I feel that one day is not enough for me to finish everything that needs to be finished such as plates, etc.).” Almazar did everything on a desktop, by the way — shadowy houses surrounding one room (Wesley’s) that never sleeps.
“Bottom of the Autumn” by Arnesto Ibanga of the Technological University of the Philippines was rendered in watercolor, yes, but how the student-artist achieved the illusion of textures (cracked, craggy, oozing) is astounding.
Arnesto says that he has been attracted to Nature ever since he was little. He loves natural forms. “I was inspired to do an artwork based on this. I thought of the them ‘Art Spark’ and naisip ko, ‘What sparks my art?’ The environment.”
He goes on to say that even technology nowadays is manipulating everything, even natural phenomenon. “But Nature has its own process,” Arnesto counters. “May kagan
dahan at kahalagahan ang Nature kahit tag-lagas na. (There is beauty and importance in Nature even during autumn.)”
The grand prize in the Sculpture category went to Jan Andrew Denila of Philippine Women’s College-Davao City, while in Digital Short Film three students received special recognition nods: Sharmaine Requine of TUP-Manila, Paulo Eric Garinganao of La Consolacion College-Bacolod, and David Ryan Viray of Far Eastern University.
As one of the Shell executives notes, “Filipino artists have found a staunch supporter in Shell as it continuously raises the bar in molding young talent into the change-makers of tomorrow. The future National Artists are treasures waiting to be unearthed, the fire in them yet to be ignited.” Art just waiting, simply waiting, to be sparked.
“Ipinagkait na Kalayaan” by Francis Eugene Andrade “Buuin Natin Ulit. Bangon Na, Sulung Na!” by Jan Andrew Denila
Scenes from Sharmaine Requine’s “Beat Me Up with Colors”
“25 Hours a Day” by Wesley Jelo Almazar
“Bottom of the Autumn” by Arnesto Ibanga
Artist-judges Danny Dalena, Ral Arrogante, Egai Fernandez, Raymond Red and Pablo Biglang-Awa
47th Shell National Students Art Competition (NSAC) grand prize winners Wesley Jelo Almazar, Arnesto Ibanga and Francis Eugene Andrade with Pilipinas Shell social investment manager Jackie Ampil and NSAC project manager Sonia Tejada