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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

BOOK FEATURE: ART AT THE PHILIPINE CENTER NEW YORK




While Philippine artifacts are housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Museum of Natural History, the works of Filipino modern art masters could be found collected at the Philippine Center New York.

The Center has the works of nine (9) National Artists: for example, +J.Elizalde Navarro’s NIGHT LANDSCAPE (1974 oil on canvass, 35”x35”) or +Vicente Manasala’s KALABAW (1965, casein and gouache on canvas, 28.5’ x 38’); one could also delight in the interesting works of Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, +Ang Kiukok, Benedicto ‘Bencab’ Cabrera, +Jose Joya, +Cesar Legaspi, Arturo Luz, and +H. R. Ocampo. The works are normally not for public viewing as they are hung in the offices of the Center or the official Residences of the PH Consul General to New York or the PH Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

More than a hundred works of other distinguished Filipino artists are part of the Center’s collection.

Now, they can be viewed in a special book Art At The Philippine Center New York, published by the Philippine Center New York Management Board (PCMB) New York with support from the Conrado and Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation.

Documentary, informative and a visual feast, the book features the rich art collection of the Philippine Center and is a valuable resource on modern and contemporary Philippine art.

In producing the book, the Philippine Center staff worked closely with the team of artists Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, author and layout artist, Lenore RS Lim, the over-all project coordinator and cover designer, Rene Ner, photographer. All three are members of the Society of Philippine American Artists (SPAA). Ms. Lenore Lim is its 2011 President.

With its 160 pages, 135 full color images, hardcover with jacket, 8.5” x 11”, the book was launched in New York on 13 January Thursday, at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center.

PH Ambassador to the US Willy Gaa, Chairman of the Philippine Center Management Board (PCMB), and Consul General Cecile Rebong, Vice Chair of the Board, welcomed the guests who graced the occasion. Attending were artists, art aficionados in the community, artists featured in the book, PCMB Board Member Ambassador to the UN Libran Cabactulan and other friends of the Philippine Center.

Ambassador Willy Gaa, in his remarks to guests, noted, “ Through the years, the Philippine Center in New York has gathered works of Philippine masters as well as of new and promising artists…The works contained in this book represent the vast array of Filipino artistry and talent, the richness of Philippine culture and the beauty of the Filipino soul.” The collection was started in 1974 when the Center was formally opened. The art works were either purchased or donated.

Consul General Cecile Rebong shared, “In my years of service in New York, I have always marveled at the art treasures which have accumulated at the Philippine Center. While I have the privilege of enjoying these cultural treasures on a daily basis, they are not seen by the general public as they are in the various offices in the Center. Thus, the dream of publishing a book on the collection became compelling. And now, thirty-six years (36) after the collection started, the book is finally here!”

Consul General Rebong, who is also the Board’s Vice-Chair and who initiated the project acknowledged the dedicated work of the editorial team and all those who helped in the development and production of the book

DFA Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, in his book message, mentioned, ” For the global Filipino, whether aspiring artist or art enthusiast, the book… becomes a valuable resource for seeing the works of old masters, providing a depth of inspiration to strike out and create a great and distinctly Philippine art.”

Former Ambassador Hilario Davide, Jr. was still the PHL’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and a member of the Philippine Center Board when the book was conceptualized, planned and put into implementation (2009 – 2010). He said, “…through the meticulous ordering and classification, and special notes for the layman… (the book) in a very unique way, preserves them ( the art pieces) for all to see and appreciate in one singular, artistically relaxed setting and enhance their value for the years to come.”

Also featured in the books are artists with distinct artistic achievements. In alphabetical order, they are :
+Pacita Abad, Ambie Abaño , Jess Abrera, Lee Aguinaldo, Augusto Albor, Romeo Alcantara , Angelito Antonio, Ros Arcilla, Tam Austria, Fred Baldemor, Manuel Baldemor, +Lito Ballesteros, Roberto Barbadillo, Jr., Bren Bataclan, Norma Belleza, Jinggoy Buensuceso, Benjie Cabangis , Lex Cachapero, +Anastacio T. Caedo, Orlando Castillo, Eduardo Castrillo, Fernando Catague, Roberto Chabet , Jose Datuin, Cesar De Los Santos, Tessie Dichupa, Edgar Doctor, Imelda Cajipe Endaya, Carlos Esguerra, Emmanuel Garibay, Agustin Goy, Lamberto Hechanova, Lillian Hwang, +Ibarra De La Rosa , +Venancio Igarta , Toym Imao, Raul IsidroZny Laygo, Raul Lebajo, Lao Lian Ben, Lenore RS Lim, Malang, Ben Maramag, Emi Masigan Mercado, Romulo Olazo, Elmer Oliva, Julian Oteyza, Leon Pacunayen, Mario Parial, Al Perez , Rodolfo Paras Perez , Pancho Piano, +Rodolfo Ragodon , Cristina Quisumbing Ramilo, Cid Reyes, Rene Robles, Manuel Rodriguez, Sr., Rodolfo Samonte, Emil Sano II, Juvenal Sanso, Dominic Rubio, +Solomon Saprid, Lolita Valderrama Savage, Aster Tecson, Raymundo Valencia,, Atong Valenciano, Arturo Veloira II , Ronald Ventura, Francisco Verano, Francisco Villanueva, Francis Yap, +Hugo C. Yonzon II , and Jose Zulueta.

The book is now available for $40 at the Philippine Center @ 556 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10036, c/o Ms. Zeny Avila, 1-212-575-4774. In Manila, please email Ms. Endaya at Icendaya@gmail.com. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for book reservations; pick-up will be at Liongoren Gallery at 111 New York St. Street, Cubao, QC, tel (02) 912-4319. Each book costs P1,800.00

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