In Fine Print

By SERINA AIDASANI, Filipinas Magazine

Posted at Dec 28 2008 12:40 PM | Updated as of Dec 28 2008 09:43 PM

Printmaker Lenore Lim uses her talent to provide other artists the opportunity to find their own creative outlets.

One bright Saturday morning, the young Lenore Raquel-Santos headed to school at the College of the Holy Spirit to attend the free art class of her teacher, Sister Araceli. Her  decision [to attend the class], borne out of her curiosity for art, would lead her to the not-so-ordinary life that she now has.

Lenore has devoted herself to mastering the art of printmaking. “The beauty of the world, remembrances of landscapes, childhood memories, the culture of my homeland,—all these inspire me,” she says. This acclaimed artist considers art as a mechanism for personal expression and social interaction. 

Lenore grew up in a family of professionals who encouraged her creative inclinations. Her parents, Arsenio and Ella Raquel-Santos, were both lawyers at the Philippine Department of Justice and Senate, respectively. “My father bought me my first art book and was supportive of my preference for the arts. Most of my siblings took up business or law, so my choice of profession was a refreshing change.”

Lenore pursued her bachelor’s degree in fine arts at the University of the Philippines. She briefly taught art at the International School in Manila. Afterwards, she married Jose Lim, now a Manhattan realtor. The family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada for some years but they now reside in New York, where Lenore studied at the School of Visual Arts and the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Studio. She built a remarkable portfolio of prints, and critical acclaim followed.

Represented in New York by Paul Sharpe Contemporary Art, Lenore is a familiar name in various credible art institutions, such as The Museum of Modern Art (New York and San Francisco), Whitney Museum, Asia Society NY, Manila Metropolitan Museum and Ayala Museum Philippines. She also came out with a book, Profound Afterglow: The Prints of Lenore RS Lim. “Through my art, I am able to project a good image of the Philippines,” she reveals.

Most of Lenore’s aesthetic sense stems from daily experiences and valued personal relationships. She is inspired by her two children: Claire, a director for CITI’s Global Consumer Group in New York, and Justin, 27, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society of New York.  “Both my children developed to their full potential and know the value of community service,” she says proudly.

“Cadena de Amor.” “This etching with leaf collage, reminds me of the academic ritual, named after the flower, that I participated in prior to my graduation from the University of the Philippines. I aimed to show the intricacy of the leaf’s structure, the awesome workings of nature, where the finest tendrils, no matter how seemingly insignificant, are essential to the plant’s full blossoming into its pristine and organic beauty.”

Beyond personal aesthetics, her works tackle social issues as well. “Art moves the soul while encouraging social awareness,” she states matter-of-factly. “With such a powerful tool at our disposal, artists can become cross-cultural humanitarians.”

This selfless perspective is fully manifested in the Lenore RS Lim Foundation for the Arts, established in 2007. “One of my goals is to share what I learned and help other artists, who do not have the means, pursue their passions.”

So what does Lenore RS Lim bring to the table? She teaches us to capture the consciousness of the world and motivates us to make a difference.

“I have to create art that is fulfilling, and this is a gift to be shared,” she concludes.

Lenore RS Lim’s website:  www.lenorelim.com.

Serina Aidasani works with a marketing communications firm and is based in New York.