Brave new art and essays in this yearâs Ateneo Art Awards
The Ateneo Art Awards big winners: Ronson Culibrina (recipient of the Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom artist residency), KoloWn (La Trobe Art University in Bendigo, Australia) and Johanna Helmuth (Artesan Gallery + Studio in Singapore)

Brave new art and essays in this year’s Ateneo Art Awards

PLATFORMS - Arianna Mercado (The Philippine Star) - September 3, 2018 - 12:00am

The Ateneo Art Gallery recently announced this year’s winners for the Ateneo Art Awards. Three artists and two writers were chosen by the jury among 12 shortlisted artists and six writers as the recipients of the Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art and Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes for Art Criticism.

Ada Ledesma-Mabilangan of Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation Inc., Dr. Marlu Vilches of Ateneo de Manila University and Alvaro Talavera of the Embassy of Spain flank this year’s winners of the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism: Mary Jessel Duque (who will be writing for The STAR) and Alec Madelene Abarro (ArtAsiaPacific). Photos by Joey Viduya

This year’s Ateneo Art Awards was held concurrently with the launch of the Ateneo Art Gallery’s new website and Ryan Villamael’s return exhibition, “Locus Amoenus.” The Ateneo Art Gallery’s website features a microsite titled “Vital Points” featuring previous Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Awardees’ and shortlisted writers’ winning essays. The organizers hope to make this website a venue in independently publishing critical articles on arts and culture. As for Villamael’s exhibit, previous iterations of the site-specific installation “Locus Amoenus” have been exhibited at the 2016 Singapore Biennale and MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is now installed above the staircase of the Ateneo Art Gallery and will continue to grow in size until February 2019.

PKL shortlisted writers and jurors: (Back, from left) Carlomar Daoana, 2014 Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism winner; Millet Mananquil; Juan Paolo Colet, Jayvee Del Rosario, Jose Carlos Joaquin Singson, STAR Lifestyle assistant editor Igan D’Bayan; Sarge Lacuesta, Esquire Philippines editor at large; (front, from left) Alec Madelene Abarro, Mary Jessel Duque, Sabrina Jeongco and Maria Lourdes Garcellano

For the Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art, the Ateneo Art Gallery awarded Ronson Culibrina and Johanna Helmuth for their solo exhibitions “Talim” and “Makeshift,” both held at Blanc Gallery, and masked artist collective KoloWn for the solo exhibition “Low Pressured Areas” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Jel Suarez was selected by Ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino as recipient of the Ateneo Art Awards - Embassy of Italy Purchase Prize.

All three artists have been given a residency grant from Ateneo Art Gallery’s residency partners. Culibrina will make his way to Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom; Helmuth was invited to a residency in Artesan Gallery + Studio in Singapore; and KoloWn will be spending a residency at La Trobe Art University in Bendigo, Australia.

At the Ateneo Art Awards are Boots Herrera of Ateneo Art Gallery, The Philippine STAR Lifestyle editor Millet Mananquil, and this year’s winners of the Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art: Ronson Culibrina, Johanna Helmuth and KoloWn.

Aside from the Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art, the Ateneo Art Gallery introduced two new prizes for the shortlisted artists. Ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino awarded Jel Suarez the Embassy of Italy Purchase Prize for her exhibition “Traces By Which We Remember” at West Gallery. The Embassy of Italy will be purchasing one of Suarez’s works to add to their burgeoning collection of artwork by young Filipino artists. The Ateneo Art Gallery also began the People’s Choice Award, where visitors to the gallery were given the opportunity to vote on their favorite works. From 225 visitors, Mars Bugaoan garnered the most votes, and received P15,000 worth of art supplies from Artline, Pebeo, and Derwent.

Ateneo Art Awards shortlisted artists with jurors: (Back, from left): Robert Langenegger; Ian Carlo Jaucian; Boots Herrera, director and chief curator of Ateneo Art Gallery; Julie Lluch; Dannie Alvarez, museum administrator of Yuchengco Museum; Elmer Borlongan; Fr. Jason Dy, visual artist and lecturer; KoloWn; (front, from left) Elias Miles Villanueva; Issay Rodriguez; Johanna Helmuth; Dina Gadia; Jel Suarez; Mars Bugaoan; Ronson Culibrina; and Ciron Señeres

As for the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism, Alec Madelene Abarro and Mary Jessel Duque were declared the winners among the six shortlisted writers. Abarro, who wrote “An Organized Chaos: Navigating the Looban” was awarded the ArtAsiaPacific prize and will contribute six articles to the Hong Kong-based magazine this year. Duque, on the other hand, won The Philippine STAR prize for her entry “Pacita Abad: A Million Times a Woman, an Artist.” She will be contributing to The STAR twice a month for the newspaper’s Arts and Culture section.

Debbie Tan from the AAG Advisory Council, Jay Ferrer of Times Trading Co. Inc., People’s Choice awardee Mars Bugaoan, Jackville Tan of Times Trading Co., Inc.

Abarro and Duque will also be contributing articles to the eighth edition of Perro Berde, the Embassy of Spain and Instituto Cervantes’s annual publication on arts and culture. Their essays will be published in English and Spanish. This publication is set to launch during the first quarter of 2019.

From left: Yael Buencamino-Borromeo, executive director of Areté, Ambassador Felipe Mabilangan, Deanna Ongpin-Recto and Jaime Ponce de Leon

Maria Lourdes Garcellano, who was awarded a special citation for her essay “Sinehan sa sang museo: Karatula o Obra?” raises questions on the language of art and accessibility. Garcellano’s citation incites thoughtful insight on who is allowed to read and appreciate critique. Is the language of art only in English? Do we alienate rather than explain? How can we avoid borders? These are questions meant to be pondered, and will be taken into consideration for future iterations of the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize.

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The Philippine STAR is a media partner of the Ateneo Art Awards.

The Ateneo Art Awards is co-presented by the Ateneo Art Gallery, Shangri-La Plaza, and Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation Inc.; in partnership with Areté, ArtAsiaPacific, Artesan Gallery + Studio, La Trobe Art Institute, Liverpool Hope University, Metro Society, YStyle, the Embassy of Italy, Embassy of Spain, Artline, Pebeo, and Derwent.

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