An award-winning Filipino artist will lead a community mural-painting project during the First Annual Bayanihan Cultural Festival on June 21 in Elmhurst, Queens, in New York City.
Eliseo Art Silva will lead in rendering the giant wall painting depicting the Filipino American life and the issues confronting the community in New York City.
“For the Bayanihan Cultural Festival, I have decided to combine the uniquely Filipino mural style letras y figuras with the woodcut protest art posters widely embraced by Filipino artists during and after the martial law era from the 1970s- to 1980s in the Philippines,” said Silva.
“The woodcut design will allow for the participation of hundreds of participants throughout the day of the festival through a paint-by-number system which I developed when I was a master muralist of the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia, the mural capital of the world,” Silva added.
Organized by the Philippine Forum and the Bayanihan Filipino Community Center, it will be held at the Hart Playground on 69th and 37th Avenue in Woodside, New York.
The whole-day event will also feature cultural and musical performances by Filipino American artists, a flea market for Philippine products, native food and delicacies, children’s arts and craft, basketball exhibition, free health screening and free legal consultation.
The finished mural will be displayed at various sites throughout Woodside, Queens and will be permanently displayed outdoors at the Bayanihan Community Center on 69th Street in Woodside.
Santiago Pilar, an authority on 19th century paintings and a professor of humanities, describes letras y figuras as "age-tinted paintings on manila paper depicting vignettes of 19th century Philippine life, ingeniously arranged, delineated and highlighted with color to form the letters spelling out a certain person's name. These are some of the most quaint and endlessly fascinating relics of Filipino culture in the Spanish times."
Silva is internationally recognized for painting the largest Filipino mural outside the Philippines, which is the Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana (150' x 30') in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles, CA.