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ARTablado Presents Our Stories in Color

"ARTablado Presents Our Stories in Color" unveils a kaleidoscope of narratives through vivid brushstrokes, inviting viewers into a world where every hue tells a unique tale.

Watercolor paintings are distinguishable by the brightness and luminosity of their hues. An artist with a deft yet light hand can coax layers of colors by taking the time to draw them out—one careful step at a time.

For all their innate breeziness, watercolors can be a challenge to create for beginners. The unpredictable nature of water and pigments, however, can lead to surprising and beautiful effects.

The Philippine Guild of Watercolorists (PGW) is a group established in 2016 whose aim is to enable its members to connect with the art community by showcasing their talent with watercolors. The guild currently has over 200 official members and 7.8 thousand followers on Facebook, and 27.6K reach on their page.

From April 16 to 30, the PWG is holding “Our Stories in Color,” a two-week exhibit of watercolors at ARTablado at Robinsons Galleria. Artworks to be featured include those created by some of its members as well as those by premier watercolor artists namely Erwin Mallari, Richard Romeo, JC Vargas, Dan Macapugay and Ton Ador.

Mallari has been painting watercolors for just over a decade but already has a catalog of realistic paintings honed by his years as a photographer. In 2012, he was a semi-finalist in the Metrobank Art & Design Excellency competition, and in 2014 he was awarded as one of the five grand prize winners of the Kulay sa Tubig watercolor competition.

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An architect by profession, Romeo was one of five grand prize winners at Kulay sa Tubig in 2020 where his painting, “A National Treasure”, and “A Golden Hour in Basilan” in 2022, caught the eye of the jurors. Macapugay was also a grand prize winner at the same competition with his painting “Ina” that was based on a photo taken by a friend. He was drawn to the image because it reminded Macapugay of his grandmother.

Vargas is one who works quickly, as one does when working with watercolors. Earlier this year, he was one of the featured artists at a live watercolor painting session held in another mall. Ador bagged the grand prize at the first Sihag Cebu Watercolor competition held four years ago, and Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE) in watermedia category in 2022.

The works of these five awarded artists will be showcased alongside pieces by 15 members of the PGW. Of the 37 members who submitted watercolor paintings on full sheets for consideration, theirs were the ones chosen by the jurors.

The ongoing ARTablado exhibit is noteworthy as it is only the first where all the pieces on display are watercolors. Visitors to the exhibit will find that the PGW is a home for watercolor artists where everyone is welcome no matter what their skill level may be.

The founding members headed by Karen Sioson have cemented PGW’s aim and the succeeding officers continue to stand strong by these: “We aim to build awareness, interest, and appreciation for the watercolor art and discover, hone, and support local talent through art-related 4Es: education, events, exposure, and experiences,” “One of our promises is to provide the network and platform for artistic exchange and collaboration.”

Education comes in the form of opportunities for its members to learn and master their craft via workshops, demos and other activities. Through events, live or digital, members will get to celebrate and express love for watercolors and the arts. Exposure will build awareness by promoting the exceptional talent of Filipino watercolorists through shows and other activities. Experiences in the form of plein air sessions and on-the-spot challenges will further challenge and improve the skills of its members.

There have only been a few juried exhibitions since PGW was established so “Our Stories in Watercolor” is one that is certainly worth viewing. The list of participating artists include Joseph Balderas, Aileen Barreiro, Aileen Cura, Dinna delos Reyes, Rigie Fernandez, Joanne Cariaso-Gacayan, Alice Atienza-Lee, Kyle Fortu-Legaspi, Judy Liuson, Sarah Liuson-Ongsun, Bids Llorin-Luna, Cher Cabula-Mendoza, Drake Pagulayan, Lorraine Panelo and Eduardo Solana Jr.

The jurors included John Cogley, president of Daniel Smith Artists Materials; Dino Pajao, an honorary member of PGW, a multi-awarded watercolor artist and one of the few Filipino members of the the Singapore Watercolor Society; and Iris Babao-Uy who is also an honorary member of PGW, one of the most sought after multi-media workshop instructors in Manila.

Joanne Cariaso-Gacayan, the current President of PGW, expressed, “We partnered with ARTablado for this exhibition because, in addition to their professionalism, we believe that with the gallery’s support, we can make watercolor painting more accessible to beginners and artists of all levels.”

Walk-ins and prospective buyers can look forward to a showcase of watercolor works not just by the members but by guest artists as well. Auxiliary activities include live painting sessions during the exhibit period to further show the public how members of the guild paint in various watercolor styles.

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