Pampanga artists bring works to rural villages
STA. RITA, Pampanga—An art gallery in the middle of a rice farm? The idea had not taken off, not ever, in Pampanga until Saturday.
Birthing Arte Kapampangan—a movement of taking art to rural communities and making the youth and collectors enjoy and take inspiration from them—began with planting rice and large servings of native breakfast. Nature cooperated, casting mild showers over this serene town.
“The rite’s like going back to Indung Tibuan (mother soil), rooting on land,” said cultural researcher Michael Pangilinan, who is known in the province as Siuala Ding Meangubie.
“This is a display of talents in the province under one roof. It’s a source of provincial pride,” said Myrna Bituin, an arts and culture advocate.
This was how the works of Willy Layug, Israel Adriano, Ruston Banal, Alvaro Jimenez, Ronnie Tayag, Claude Tayag, Rafael Maniago, Edil Paras, Ron Salazar and BenCab (Benedicto Cabrera) found their places on the walls, nooks and gardens of “Bale nang Juan” (House of Juan) in the farm of the Alviz clan in Barangay San Agustin here.
Andy Alviz, a choreographer, musical composer and theater director, offered the place to showcase local art.
“Any setting is a good setting,” Ronnie Tayag said. “The interest and purpose is exposure and for people to become aware of local artists.”
His subjects are ordinary and often ignored, such as “talangka” (crablets) and “balimbing” (star fruit).
The deviation from urban museum to rural gallery brings with it more freedom, Banal said.
Layug, while focused on ecclesiastical art, showed a rare social commentary through a sculpture of a weeping overseas Filipino worker.
Jimenez, the only one around now who does Letras y Figuras, painted Filipiniana themes on treated banana trunks.
Adriano takes to oil for the first time and chooses to use his art to show the negative side of Kapampangans to call for change.
The themes and styles are diverse, but what cannot be lost in this gathering is, at last, the paintings and photographs are now in a farm for viewing, enjoyment or even buying.
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