“Sang Likha, ‘Sang Lahi” group art exhibit to open Oct. 25; features local and Philippine visual artists

by Ricky Rillera

| Contributed Photo

NEW YORK – Eight visual artists from the tri-state area and the Philippines will be at the Philippine Center on Monday, Oct. 25. They are participating in a three-week group art exhibit called ‘Sang Likha, ‘Sang Lahi, commemorating Filipino American History Month. Organized by the International Women Artists, Inc. (IWAI) in collaboration with Aida Bartolome, founder of the Foundation for Filipino Artists, Inc. (FFAI) and the International Artists Alliance, the event will open at 6:30 p.m.

The evening’s program includes local singing artist Excelsa de Jesus, violinist May Madarangand, and Lauren & Tristan Constantino Beck. Kinding Sindaw will present a cultural dance. Consul General Elmer G.Cato will deliver his remarks, and philanthropist, advocate for human rights, culture, and the arts Loida Nicolas-Lewis will speak about the significance of the Filipino American History Month.

Ann Constantino-Beck, president of InternationalWomen’s Artists, Inc. (IWAI), said her motivation in organizing the group exhibit was about exercising personal freedom, encouraging the compulsion to create, and generating social interaction between fellow artists and the public.”

The International Artists Alliance with which the exhibiting artists belong conceptualized the exhibit with Constantino-Beck as its lead organizer. “My goal was to bring together artists to have them share their powerful experiences that inspire a creative exchange of ideas and cultural experiences for artists and their audience,” Constantino-Beck told the Philippine Daily Mirror.

Participating in the group art exhibit are three artists from New York City: Luis Caraos, Cesar Delos Santos III, and Constantino-Beck; Marcelino Rodriguez of New Jersey; and Angelo Maristela of Connecticut. They are joined by visiting artists from the Philippines, namely Marcelo Quezon, Jay Virina, and Yannie Rumbaoa.

Their artworks will be displayed at the Gallery of the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan from Oct. 25 to Nov. 12 from 9 a.m.to 5 p.m.

The artists

Ann Constantino-Beck | Contributed Photo

Ann Constantino-Beck’s medium is acrylic. She said she had started a series of collagraphy. “Collagraphy is a very open printmaking method,” she explained. “For example, ink may be applied to the upper surfaces of the plate with a brayer for a relief print, or ink applied to the entire board and then removed from the upper surfaces but remain in the spaces between objects, resulting in an intaglio print.” She added that Marcelino Rodriguez influenced her to do collagraphy art. “I love it,” she quipped.

Constantino-Beck has a nursing degree; she is an aspiring artist. She received her multimedia design and photography scholarship from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. Her Painting minor subject allowed her to venture into visual arts. In 2018, she had a pop-up exhibit in Queens and Manhattan with the International Women Artis and the Foundation for Filipino Artists Inc.

Luis Amat Caraos | Contributed Photo

Luis Amat Caraos is a full-time visual artist and a retired Registered Nurse. He earned his Architectural degree at the University of Santo Tomas. His architectural background helped him to expand his creativity.

Cesar Delos Santos III | Contributed Photo

Cesar Delos Santos III is a multi-awarded visual artist. He is known for his realist renderings of ordinary life and his “simple drama of shadow and light.”

Angelo Maristela | Contributed Photo

Angelo Maristela, an internationally known artist, is a gifted natural hyper-realist painter. He has gained mastery in the art of portrait making. He is a Fine Arts graduate majoring in Advertising from the Far Eastern University.

Marcelo Quezon | Contributed Photo

Marcelo Quezon is a Fine Arts graduate majoring in Painting at the University of East Caloocan. Hallmark selected his Paskong Pinoy artwork was as its Hallmark Christmas greeting card from 2011 to 2013.

Marcelino Rodriguez | Contributed Photo

Marcelino Rodriguez, a Fine Arts graduate from the University of Santo Tomas, is a visual artist and a printmaker.

Yannie Rumbaoa | Contributed Photo

Yannie Rumbaoa is the first Filipino engraver. A Fine Arts graduate majoring in painting from the University of Santo Thomas, he took an advanced course in Metal and Coin Engraving at the Instituto Poligrafico E’ Zocca Dello Stato Scuola Dell’ Arte Della in Medaglia, Rome.

Jay Virinia | Contributed Photo

Jay Virinia, CEO of Backdoor Ventures (Arts and Music Festival), studied Fine Arts and majored in Painting at the University of the Philippines.

According to Beck, organizing the event is quite challenging. “It takes a lot of preparation, financial and the visa challenges of Philipppine-based artists,” she said. “The recent Ida storm destroyed my collection of artworks and caused delays in getting sponsors and donors for the event.”

She added that the pandemic also posed a challenge. “But we are trying our best to deliver a safe gathering of people. We are taking a lot of precautions; one of which is limiting the capacity of attendees. But overall, it is full of excitement. I hope we could deliver the show smoothly according to our plan.”

As for the future, Beck told the Philippine Daily Mirror that she plans to collaborate with artists from the Philippines. “If I can invite other Asian artists, I would love to share with them the opportunity to showcase their artwork in New York City,” she said. “I am looking to having more exhibits in May 2022 for Asian American and Pacific Island (APPI) Heritage Month and on October 2022 for the Filipino American History Month.”

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