NY charity hosts virtual art exhibit and awards
By Porsha Seechung
July 14, 2020 at 10:37 am

“Fisher Folks” by Jer Calo, 36” x 48” oil on canvas board, a scene from the artist’s hometown at Compostela, described by Master Juror Renato R. Habulan as technically superb with a complex composition. INQUIRER/Porsha Seechung.

NEW YORK — Filipino artists from different educational backgrounds and experiences came together for the Fourth of July Virtual Art Exhibit and Matanglawin awards hosted by New York based Eagle Eye Charities Inc online gallery.

Three categories were awarded: People’s Choice nominated by popular vote on Facebook, and two categories, for Contemporary Realism and for Modern Visual Art, on a blind jurying open competition. Meet the artists in a playback of the program at https://youtu.be/KQAWsBnddbs

Majority of those who joined are from Cebu, while others come from Manila, Mindanao, Canada, Kansas and New York. A total of 27 artists came from varied background from engineering, architecture, nursing, neuroscience, theology, political science to college professors and art instructors, with 17 realism painting category, and 10 modern arts. Their individual backgrounds and more than 100 carefully curated art works are available in an ongoing auction at EagleCharities.org for the entire year 2020.

Prominent social realism master Renato R. Habulan, a Gawad CCP awardee in 1990 who raked in  13 awards, including the outstanding visual artist of the decade, served as juror on the realism category. He leads the group of Iskinita Gallery at Makati and curated the Ortigas Art Fair 2020. Not knowing who the artists are behind the works submitted, he picked the top 6 that stood out.

Eagle Eye Charities Matanglawin award winners: Quimada brothers Rembert, age 18, and Romar, age 20, stood out as No. 1 and 5 choices, respectively, for the works entitled Indigent Family (L) and Playing with Waves (R). INQUIRER/Porsha Seechung

“I chose six paintings for their outstanding qualities, out of the six, I picked the top three, the first one entitled Indigent Family (by Rembert Quimada), for the emotional narrative that captivates an honest, authentic feelings of the artist who experienced financial crises. Actually, the second one Fisher Folks (by Jer Calo), is technically superb, aesthetic is high, the colors are controlled, with very complex composition. The third, Desiderata (by Ariel Caratao), is a bit unusual for a Cebuano artist because of the foreign elements of the subject which is his interpretation of a famous poetry,” Habulan explained.

“The fourth choice, Daily Endeavor (by Lucas Ranola) reminds me of copra agriculture in the province, with very detailed composition. The fifth, Playing with Waves (by Romar Quimada) successfully captured the wetness of waves, many artists paint water but these Cebuano artists mastered the skill because they live near the ocean, and the brown skin tone of the figures is the right color for Filipino subjects. The sixth, Reflection of a Girl (by Renulo Pautan) has the qualities of a masterful execution, the blue color of the dress that fades with the light and mirrored on the water. All six paintings have very strong chiaroscuro elements,” Habulan added.

In the Modern Visual Art category, Master Juror Nemi Miranda, noted for his “imaginative figurism,” is best known for his modern rendition of subjects in realism style with very complex composition depicting the signs of the times. Another Master of Fine Arts, he chose Sam Penaso’s Humanscape, oil on canvas. He said, “I choose the Humanscape because of its intricate details and strong emotion that gives a message on the current pandemic, Covid-19 issue on social distancing.”


Miranda stressed that the “new normal” we are facing today poses a great challenge to artists who are used to the traditional way of showing their art in galleries and in person. He commended the initiative of Eagle Eye Charities founder and artist Carol Tanjutco for staging the first global online exhibit that will enable local artists to show their art to the world, as he too, is just learning this new technology via Zoom broadcast.

Abstract category winner, Sam Penaso’s Humanscape, massive 6 ft x 6 ft board, and Reynan Dingal’s Birds in the City series, People’s Choice Awards, 18” x  24” oil on canvas. INQUIRER.net/Porsha Seechung

Another awarding category is People’s Choice, voted by Facebook fans from a poll created by the online gallery page with the First Place going to Birds In The City, cockfighting scene by Reynan Dingal. Second Place went to Reflection of a Girl by Renulo Pautan, and Third Place to Liberty View of NYC, a mixed media cement painting by sculptor Eugie Varona Dela Cruz. Realism artist Jess Dinglasa, performed patriotic and folk songs during the opening and as closing numbers.

Winners of the Matanglawin juried competition and People’s Choice will get a dedicated website page for a 5-year hosting deal by EagleCharities.org and virtual solo shows. Awarding of trophies will be scheduled in Manila as soon as travel quarantine is lifted. The eleven other realism artists who were preselected for the outstanding quality of their works are multi-awarded artists: Darby Alcoseba, Pat Abellon, Ruel Amistad, Cris Bobier, Jerome Castillo, Jess Dinglasa, Rainer Duhaylungsod, Maria Francisca Juarez, Randy Plarisan, Angie Ypon-Garbo and EEC’s digital admin volunteer Daniel Yu.

Other participants in the Modern Visual Art category are Carlmel Belda, Ramel Castillo, Jes Evangelista, Govinda Jean Marquesto, Jan Elaine Soriano, Melver Mercado and metal sculptor Marlon Lucenara. The Board of Trustees headed by Dr. Romulo Aromin and Ambassador Mario Lopez De Leon Jr addressed the artists with inspirational messages. Miss RP 2020 Excelsa De Jesus sang “Magkaisa” with her post-Covid voice seemingly unaffected. From Manila, Angela Torres sang live on Zoom, and an award winning original composition performed by Renato “Babes” Tolentino of MOBB Band.

As a reminder, Ambassador De Leon counseled all the artists, “Be passionate in your craft, continue to emulate the masters of chosen field, be a life learner, network with other artists specializing in other painting styles as your market is as varied. Lastly, never forget your foremost Filipino artists regardless of your advocation, your final artwork will radiate your style, vibrancy and state that’s truly Filipino, after all, art creations are reflection of one’s inner soul, origins and world view.”

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