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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SCUPLTORS EL FAROL AND PUEBLO OPEN FOR THE NCCA GALLERY FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS


Sculptors El Farol and Pueblo open for the NCCA Gallery for Contemporary Arts
SCH 10.01.2009

Where else can Philippine art be more at home but at the designated center of arts and culture? Finally, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) opens its doors to contemporary visual arts in opening its first art gallery at the main lobby of the building in Intramuros.

Opening for the NCCA Gallery for Contemporary Arts is couple Noell El Farol and Mervy Pueblo, both distinguished and award-winning artists in their chosen discipline with their exhibit titled “Beyond Identification.”

The two merges their passion for arts and sciences. Noell will display his archaeological finds through a collection of plates detailing the art evolution of China while Mervy aims to capture the imagination of art enthusiasts with her blood splatter analysis soft sculpture using fabrics.

Noell is best known and won awards for his definitive glass art sculpture showcasing his learning from prehistoric past but for the inaugural opening of the NCCA Gallery for Contemporary Arts, he goes for something that he did not manually produced himself. He believes that a person’s understanding of art must not be representative only of what he personally created but also of the things that characterize his understanding of art.

Mervy, on the other hand, has been fascinated by blood splatter analysis because of her inclination to science. Before deciding on Fine Arts in college, she was considering Biology because of her interest in life forms. The arts won her over, as she is now one of the contemporary female artists who dare to introduce the unconventional to the Filipino’s appreciation of arts.

Some of her notable works include “Virus Attitude” and “Fertile Breeding Ground 1 & 2” in 2007 which are made of modified concrete and steel, “Black Mutation” in 2006 made of constructed fabric, wood, and glass, and “Out of Eden” in 2004 which is built with fabric and earth. Her carvings include “Specimen” in 2006 and she carved granite in 2007 in Vietnam and titled it “Gubu.”

“I can best describe my works as experiential,” Mervy explained, “They are the extension of my soul.” Thus, Mervy somehow reveals her inner self through her pieces.

Mervy plans to cover the large part of the gallery with her blood splatter analysis floating soft sculpture. Though she does not intend to apply the shock factor, what she wants to achieve is “to make people think, realize, and appreciate that art and science can mix. I want them to have a clinical feeling of the arts. I want to inspire people especially women that there are different art forms that we can do and do with all our best,” she said, “I just want people to realize that when it comes to art there are no boundaries.”

Mervy finished her Fine Arts degree major in Advertising at the St. Scholastica’s College in Manila. She is also into carving stones, semi-precious stones, and crystals.

Noell recently received the Metrobank Prize for Achievement in Sculpture for his lifetime’s body of work. He also did tour exhibitions in many parts of Asia particularly in Japan and other countries like Russia and the United States. He is known in pushing for the inclusion of glass art in school curriculum because he believes on not only the medium’s potential but also more of its unexplored richness. He taught at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts and is currently teaching students at the Technological Institute of the Philippines.

His pursuit of promoting glass and sculpture into mainstream arts is insurmountable. Noell has conducted workshops nationwide on how to bake glass. He has lobbied himself for grants to promote glass in fine arts schools.

Noell’s fascination with archaeology is very much evident in his works. “Synostosis and Epiphyses” emanates bones and diggings that are made of cast glass, porcelain, cotton, and constructed glass. His other works include “Earthbound” in 2004. One of his famous works is the “Alphabet Soup” in 2005. Like Mervy, Noell is also into stone carving. He did some artwork in Vietnam and other countries as well.

The NCCA feels that it is important for visual artists to have a venue where they can showcase their arts and educate the public in the process. The gallery was an original concept of Isidro Gomez Hildawa and Christopher Rollo, former committee chairs of Visual Arts and Art Galleries at the agency. They believe that there should be a strong regular program and collections management that can serve as the paramount model for art galleries in the country. It should be not only culturally informative but highlights a high level of taste and aesthetics.

The director for the NCCA Gallery for Contemporary Arts is Jonathan Olazo. “Beyond Identification” runs from October 15 to November 15. Students and art enthusiasts are invited to witness this event. Farol will also hold lectures and talks during the exhibition.

NCCA is located at 633 General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. For more information, please call Ethel C. Buluran at 5272192.

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