CANADA – Legendary Dimasalang-III founder Sofronio “Sym” Mendoza led the recent opening of the group’s annual exhibit at the Vancouver Public Library.
It was a ‘standing-room only’ at the Vancouver Public Library when the “Dimasalang Expressions” opened an exhibit featuring the works of 21 Dimasalang-III artists.
Mendoza, or Sym as he is more popularly known, lauded the works of the Pinoy artists but urged them to work towards developing their own style.
Mendoza has been ill for some time but said art keeps him inspired. He has been going back and forth to Manila and has nothing but praise for emerging artists back home.
“Parang renaissance, umpisa ngayon, naghalu-halo ngayon ang modern saka art na highly representational. Ibig sabihin mga makabago. Karamihan ngayon,mga bagong expression. Ang Filipino is advanced now. Ang ating mga artist ngayon can compete with any part of the world,” said Mendoza.
Arlene George was one of those young artists mentored by Sym and his Dimasalang Group.
She said he got her started on fundamentals and the classical way of drawing before going to the Florence Art Academy in Sweden to finish off her education.
Another female artist, Francis Herradura, is considered as the most promising member of Dimasalang-III.
Herradura, whose medium is charcoal, is grateful to Mendoza and Ed Lantin, another senior Dimasalang artist, for their mentoring.
“Nakakatuwa naman marinig sa kanila because they are known, saka magagaling sila. Masaya ako at nagpapasalamat ako kay Lord na sila yong magme-mentor sa akin at mae-enhance ko pa yung kung ano yung matutunan ko na ma-equip ko pa, para sa arts ko po,” said Herradura.
The exhibit also featured the works of graphic designer Chito Maravilla.
“It's very whimsical. I think that's my nature 'cause I'm a happy person. I suck the happiness in life --- all these parties, the energy of the social nature of the city,” Maravilla said.
To the young artist, Lantin advised them to work hard and be inspired.
“You have to be passionate about what you're doing and paint what you love to paint,” he said.
The Dimasalang-III continues to be on the look-out for budding artists and is open to everybody for mentoring, exhibitions and outdoor painting sessions.