PAMPANGA, Philippines – A showcase of 50 works by 37 Kapampangan visual artists has been put on display in Angeles City starting on Wednesday, February 1, as the city joins the rest of the country in celebrating National Arts Month.
Called the Kapanayan (Hope) Art Exhibit, the showcase aims to highlight the significance of visual arts that symbolize hope and optimism, and to increase visibility for local artists in Pampanga.
The art exhibit, which features works that are for sale, can be found on the ground floor of Marquee Mall and will be open until February 12.
Curator and Kapampangan artist Norman Tiotuico said they aim to bring the local art scene to the forefront and emphasize the connection between art and everyday life.
Tiotuico, who spoke in Kapampangan, said, “Art is what they call sense of order…. Just like when you paint. This is where you put blue, yellow. This is how it is styled, how it looks like – a sense of order.”
The Kapanayan Art Exhibit also serves as a platform for promoting other art forms, such as music and theater, and for the dream of having a distinct Kapampangan art form.
Local wood sculptor Vittorio Pantig believes that promoting the arts starts from one’s roots, which local governments can support and cultivate.
He said local artists must continually hone their skills, improve their techniques, and evolve as part of cultural advancement.
Another Kapampangan artist, Jing Torno, said the art exhibit is a platform for promoting kulitan, the Kapampangan writing style.
Torno said more and more local artists have been incorporating kulitan into their art to raise awareness, particularly among Kapampangans.
“When there is kulitan, it is like we are also trying to propagate it because it is not as prominent. Most Kapampangans don’t know it. So it has become a medium to most Kapampangan artists such as myself but, you know, in a stylized and contemporary manner. So when you look at the artwork such as those I painted in my Bansag series where I incorporated their family names, you know, it becomes a conversation piece,” she explained.
Angeles Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. and Vice Mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting said they will continue to promote Kapampangan cultural advancements and recognize local artists by highlighting their artistry through various exhibits and events.
Cabigting said the city’s tourism office has organized several art exhibits since the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted to help local artists earn.
Apart from the art exhibit, four markers of cultural properties – Bahay ni Angel Pantaleon De Miranda, Bahay ni Ciriaco De Miranda, Deposito ni Jose Pedro Henson y Leon Santos, and Bahay ni Rafael Yutuc Sr. – will be unveiled on February 7.
An on-the-spot painting exhibit will take place at the Santungan Ning Kalalangan, Abacan Loop on February 9, and various art workshops, demonstrations, and basic kulitan workshops have been organized for the city’s Arts Month celebration.
The event will culminate with a musical concert at the Museo Ning Angeles on February 28. – Rappler.com
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