MANILA – The shortlisted artists and upcoming art critics for this year’s Ateneo Art Awards were announced Wednesday at the Shangri-La Plaza.
For the Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art, 12 exhibits were shortlisted from 89 other nominated exhibits that ran within May 2, 2017 to May 2, 2018. Three winners will be selected and the respective artists behind the works will proceed to art residency grants at Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG) partner institutions such as La Trobe Art Institute in Bendigo, Australia; Artesan Gallery + Studio in Singapore; and Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom.
A diverse set of artists tackling a wide range of topics make up the shortlisted candidates, including the elusive art collective KoloWn, whose exhibits are known for their unorthodox, almost playful, display techniques. Individual artists include Mars Bugaoan, Bea Camacho, Ronson Culibrina, Dina Gadia, Johanna Helmuth, Ian Carlo Jaucian, Robert Langenegger, Issay Rodriguez, Ciron Señeres, Jel Suarez, and Elias Miles Villanueva.
Meanwhile, six English essays were selected to compete for this year’s Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism. An additional piece, in Filipino, received a special citation. The writers behind the essays are Alec Madelene Abarro, Juan Paolo Colet, Jayvee Del Rosario, Mary Jessel Duque, Sabrina Jeongco, and Jose Carlos Joaquin Singson. Maria Lourdes Garcellano, author of the Filipino work, received the special citation.
The Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes were established by the AAG and the Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation (KLF) in memory of the eponymous art writer and founder of the Art Association of the Philippines.
From the six writers in English, two winners will be chosen. One will contribute to The Philippine Star under the regular column “Platforms” within the paper’s Art and Culture section, and the other to the bi-monthly ArtAsiaPacific Magazine.
On the Filipino essay included this year, AAG director Victoria “Boots” Herrera expounds: “Malakas iyung entry, we couldn’t disregard it because of language. We don’t have an art publication that’s open to Filipino essays. That’s the reason why we have a special citation.”
The writer Sarge Lacuesta, one of three panelists for the Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes, shares that “one of the important things about this particular award for art criticism is that it removes the burden of jargon. This award is clearly forward in how art becomes more relevant to the everyday person. It paved the way for new writers who want to express what they feel about a work of art without having to doubt themselves and their own process of criticism.”
Alongside its long-standing partnership with the Embassy of Italy, the AAG now welcomes support from the Embassy of Spain and its cultural arm, the Instituto Cervantes, specifically through the annual publication Perro Berde, which provides a space for dialogue between Spanish and Filipino creatives and cultural research. Its title is derived from the Spanish Perro and Filipinized word Berde, highlighting Spanish elements manifesting in the Filipino consciousness.
Additionally, a blog entitled Vital Points: Essays from the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism, reviewed by an editorial committee and co-managed by AAG and the KLF, will also launch. Writers shortlisted for the Awards since 2014 may submit pieces here.
Selected works from each exhibit shortlisted this year are on display at Shangri-La Plaza Main Atrium until July 29. Shargri-La Plaza has been the venue partner of the awards since it started.
The show will continue running at the Ateneo Art Gallery from August 10 to November 4.
The award ceremony will be held on August 26 at the Arete building of the Ateneo de Manila University.