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Awards: Ateneo Art Gallery announces the new shortlists for the 2021 Ateneo Art Awards

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG) presents the new shortlisted artists and writers for the 17th season of the Ateneo Art Awards. The program, which now covers a two-year period, continues to give recognition to contemporary artists and art writers even in the midst of a pandemic.

Over 140 nominations from different museums, galleries, artists, and art educators were received by AAG for the Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art (FZA) category. This award recognizes young and upcoming Filipino visual artists under the age of 36 whose works were exhibited within a two-year period, between May 2, 2019 to May 1, 2021. Many of the nominated exhibitions were held at a time when local galleries have been struggling to reopen at the height of the pandemic. Some of them are being recognized in this year’s awards.

In alphabetical order, the twelve (12) artists and exhibitions shortlisted for the 2021 Ateneo Art Awards – Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art are:

  • Brisa AmirUntitled Blankets (October 2019, Artinformal Makati)
  • Renz BaluyotEmpire (October 2020, West Gallery)
  • Nice BuenaventuraFools will copy but copies will not fool (June 2019, Artinformal Makati)
  • Mars BugaoanAppear Disappear ½ ¼ (April 2020, Kapitana Gallery, Talisay, Negros Occidental)
  • Doktor KarayomPatingin (May 2019, Blanc Gallery)
  • Celine LeeThe Length and Breadth of Depth (November 2020, Underground Makati)
  • Christina LopezPortraits (Proxies) (March 2021, The Drawing Room, Makati)
  • Henrielle Baltazar PagkaliwanganOn This Site Will Rise (Part of a group exhibition Fathom: The Monumental Art Series, October 2019, Orange Project, Bacolod)
  • Ioannis SicuyaNICHE (November 2019, The Boston Gallery)
  • Jel Suarezsmall bones, holding a mountain (October 2020, West Gallery)
  • Jo TanierlaPagburo at Pag-alsa: Natural Depictions and Illustrated Prophecies (Gelacio, 1910) (October 2020, UP Jorge B Vargas Museum)
  • Miguel Lorenzo UyI am that I am (March 2021, Underground Makati)

From the shortlist, the Ateneo Art Awards – Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art are given to three (3) artists by a jury. The panel this year consists of Katya Guerrero, visual artist, archivist, and co-founder of Luzviminda PH; Maya Muñoz, visual artist and winner of the 2006 Ateneo Art Awards – Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art; Lisa Ito – Tapang, freelance curator and instructor of Art Theory and Criticism at the UP College of Fine Arts; Pete Jimenez, visual artist, sculptor, and former General Manager of Optima Digital; Marcel Antonio, painter; Philippe Pirotte, curator, art historian, adjunct Senior Curator at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and former Dean at Städelschule at Frankfurt am Main, Germany; and Ma. Victoria Herrera, Director and Chief Curator of Ateneo Art Gallery. 

Aside from the 3 winners, one (1) artist from the 12 shortlisted will also be the recipient of the Ateneo Art Awards- Embassy of Italy Purchase Prize. Started in 2018, the said award is a partnership between AAG and the Embassy of Italy which seeks to help the Embassy compile a collection of Philippine contemporary art while providing a new award incentive to further promote Philippine contemporary artists. 

The Ateneo Art Awards – Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism (PKL) on the other hand continues its mission to reach a wider audience. In response to the diverse entries received from the AAG x KLFI Essay Writing Prize in 2020, the AAG and Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation Inc. (KLFI) introduced a new theme, category, and publication partner to encourage more writers to participate. 

With the theme, “Navigating Crisis: Arts and our Futures”, the PKL Prizes invite essays that reflect on the pandemic and its effects on various aspects of life, including arts and culture. Writers may submit entries for the English or Filipino categories. A maximum of six (6) writers will be shortlisted for each category and the winners will have the opportunity to contribute to The Philippine Star, ArtAsiaPacific, and new publication partner, the Katipunan Journal.

In alphabetical order, the shortlisted writers for the 2021 Ateneo Art Awards – Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism are:

English Category:

  • Allyn CanjaThe Internet Knows No Region: How artists from Western Visayas broke barriers during a global pandemic
  • Kiko del RosarioPiercing Loss, Streaming Desire
  • Elizabeth Ruth DeyroThe Artist’s Social Responsibility in the Time of Crisis: On Leslie de Chavez’s ‘I Like Art Fairs and Art Fairs Like Me’
  • Carla T. Gamalinda – Art and the inevitable crisis of the screens
  • Alee GaribayBirthing an Alternative Culture amidst a Crisis
  • Portia PlacinoForging on by the Mountainside

Filipino Category:

  • Jaffy V. FajardoNandiyan lang kultura at mga sining
  • Jord Earving GadinganHabang Wala Pang Matino
  • Mikka Ann CabangonAng Hikayat sa Pag-aaral ng Sining-bayan

The PKL shortlist was selected by the following jurors: Millet Mananquil, Lifestyle Editor of The Philippine Star; Remmon Barbaza, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy at Ateneo de Manila University; H.G. Masters, Deputy Editor & Deputy Publisher of ArtAsiaPacific; Padmapani Perez, Anthropologist, Writer, and Owner of Mt. Cloud Bookshop in Baguio; Judy Freya Sibayan, Visual Artist, Curator, Founding Editor and Publisher of Ctrl+P Journal of Contemporary Art; Alvin Yapan, Ph.D., Editor of Katipunan: Journal ng Mga Pag-aaral sa Wika, Panitikan, Sining at Kulturang Pilipino and Associate Professor, Kagawaran ng Filipino at Ateneo de Manila University; and Ma. Victoria Herrera, Director and Chief Curator of Ateneo Art Gallery.

Two winners will be selected from the English category. The winner of the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for The Philippine Star will be awarded a regular column under ‘Platforms’ in the Arts and Culture section of the paper, to be published once a month with a total of 12 articles for a year. The winner of the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for ArtAsiaPacific will be contributing to this bi-monthly publication, with a total of six (6) articles for a year.

One winner selected from the Filipino category will be awarded the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for Katipunan Journal and will be contributing to this bi-annual research publication, with a total of two (2) articles for a year. In addition, the winning writer in the Filipino category will have his/her essay published in The Philippine Star in August 2021.

The Ateneo Art Awards also broadens its network through partnerships with artist communities outside of Manila.  The 3 winners in the FZA category will be eligible for local residency grants funded by AAG and its new partner institutions: No Space Residency managed by Nona Garcia and Kawayan de Guia in Baguio; Project Space Pilipinas by Leslie de Chavez in Lucban, Quezon; Casa San Miguel headed by Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata in Zambales; and A-Bungalow Residency managed by Adrian “Adjie” Lizares in Silay.

In addition to the opportunity to have their written work published, one of the winners from the PKL category will also be selected and offered a month-long writer’s residency at Orange Project in Bacolod. This is the first time that the AAG and KLFI will be awarding a residency grant to a writer since the launch of the PKL Prize in 2014. The said residency will give the winning writer an opportunity to immerse and interact with local art communities in the Visayas.

The Ateneo Art Gallery is set to announce the winners for the 2021 Ateneo Art Awards on 15 September 2021 via livestream. In place of a physical exhibition, the AAG will release a series of videos about the shortlisted exhibits and essays after the online awarding. Readers may also access the essays online through the Vital Points: Essays from the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism website​.

The 2021 Ateneo Art Awards is co-presented by the Ateneo Art Gallery and Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation Inc.; in partnership with the Embassy of Italy, No Space Residency, Project Space Pilipinas, Casa San Miguel, A-Bungalow Residency, The Philippine Star, ArtAsiaPacific Magazine, Katipunan Journal, and Orange Project.

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